08/23/2013 4:27PM

Saratoga: Jackson Bend coming for another Forego run

Coady Photography
Jackson Bend was expected to work at Calder on Saturday and ship to Saratoga on Sunday.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It appeared as though Jackson Bend's career was over when he left Saratoga following a last-place finish in the Grade 1 Forego last September.

Though he escaped a frightening training accident a few weeks before the Forego relatively unscathed physically, his performance in the race seemed to signal that mentally he had enough.

But Jackson Bend is not done yet. After three races in south Florida this summer, Jackson Bend is scheduled to arrive in Saratoga on Sunday and will make his third straight appearance in the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego - a race he won in 2011 - next Saturday.

And part-owner Fred Brei is quite confident that Jackson Bend can win it again.

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"I think he's ready to win it," Brei said. "He's back on his game. When he's on his game, he's as good as any horse in the country going seven furlongs."

Brei, also the breeder of Jackson Bend, said he didn't like what he saw when Jackson Bend was being tested for stud duty in the winter and he called his co-owner Robert LaPenta to suggest that the horse go back in training.

"After about 40 days of what I call strength training I said this horse wants to go back to the races," Brei said.

Jackson Bend returned on June 8 in the Ponche Handicap at Calder where he finished fifth. He came back with an improved effort when third in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 6. Most recently, he finished third in the Housebuster at Gulfstream on Aug. 3.

"He was lucky to get any piece of it, the way he got mugged in the race," Brei said. "The whole race was run against him."

Jackson Bend was boxed in on the inside and then was forced to go extremely wide in the stretch. He was beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

"He lost a shoe, somebody stepped on him, he ran a huge race from my perspective," Brei said.

Jackson Bend, who will race for trainer Stanley Gold, was expected to work at Calder on Saturday and ship to Saratoga on Sunday. Jeffrey Sanchez will ride him in the Forego.

Others pointing to the Forego include the Zayat Stables entry of Fast Bullet and Justin Phillip, Lea, Saratoga Snacks, and Swagger Jack. Possible starters include Golddigger's Boy, Sage Valley and Strapping Groom.