07/27/2011 4:08PM

Saratoga: J C’s Pride sets track record in maiden win


J C’s Pride, second to Overdriven in his debut, came back to win his maiden by 3 1/4 lengths Wednesday, setting a track record for five furlongs in the process. His time of 56.54 seconds eclipsed the previous mark of 56.71 set by Fabulous Force on Aug. 18, 1993.

Under Jose Lezcano, J C’s Pride broke on top and set fractions of 21.87 seconds for the quarter and 44.64 for the half. Lezcano stole a peek at the infield board, where he could see no one was gaining on him and he had the colt geared down at the finish.

“He said if he beared down on him at the eighth pole, he would have went 55” seconds, winning trainer Robert Barbara said. “I’m glad he didn’t.”

J C’s Pride, owned by Joseph Bucci, set the pace in his debut, only to be run down by Overdriven, who beat him by 3 1/2 lengths and then came back to win the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes here Sunday. No one would have been surprised had J C.’s Pride run in the Sanford off his debut.

“I like to let a maiden break his maiden the right way, and he did it the right way today and we’ll take our next step from here,” said Barbara, who mentioned the Grade 1 Hopeful here on Sept. 5 as an option. “Today was beautiful, as good as it gets.”

College Day on tap Friday

Saratoga will host its third-annual College Day on Friday, offering $1,000 scholarships after each of the day’s races. Also, students with a valid college ID receive free grandstand admission.

In addition to the $1,000 scholarships, the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program will supplement NYRA’s offer with an additional $2,000 in scholarship money for those students accepted into its track management program.