09/04/2011 11:01AM

Saratoga: Jackson Bend, Jersey Town likely to meet again in Kelso

Barbara D. Livingston
Jackson Bend earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure for the first Grade 1 victory of his career in the Forego.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jackson Bend and Jersey Town, the one-two finishers in Saturday’s Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga, are on similar schedules that will presumably have them meeting in the Grade 2 Kelso Stakes going one mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 1 and then the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

 Jackson Bend defeated Jersey Town by 3 1/4 lengths in Saturday’s Forego, giving him the first Grade 1 victory of his career and his seventh stakes score overall. Jackson Bend ran seven furlongs in 1:22.08 and earned a 107 Beyer Speed Figure, one point less than he earned winning the James Marvin Stakes here on July 22.

 Nick Zito, the trainer of Jackson Bend, said he prefers to stretch out Jackson Bend from seven furlongs to a mile as opposed to cutting him back to six furlongs for races such as the Vosburgh and/or Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

 “I think right now I’m certainly looking at the Kelso and the Breeders’ Cup Mile,’’ Zito said Sunday morning. “I don’t want to put him through anything that’s going to be testing for him. The Vosburgh will be extremely tough with Trappe Shot and horses like that. The fact of the matter is the six furlongs in the Breeders’ Cup could be a lot more difficult than the Mile. None of the Breeders’ Cup races are easy but the way he was drawing away yesterday the Mile is the best way.’’

 Zito said he trained Jackson Bend very hard in between the James Marvin and the Forego, something he won’t have to do with just four weeks between the Forego and the Kelso.

 “He’s ready, as you saw,’’ Zito said. “We don’t have to train him as hard and we’re not going to. We have another race after the Kelso. Whether I was a tough coach or not he responded to it. They play for real here.’’

 The $200,000 Kelso is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, meaning the Breeders’ Cup picks up all entry fees and provides a $10,000 travel stipend to the winning connections.

 Barclay Tagg said the Kelso and the BC Dirt Mile are the next two objectives for Jersey Town, last year’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile winner. Tagg said he was pleased with Jersey Town’s performance in the Forego, noting that it was just his second start of the year. He finished second in the Teddy Drone Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 31.

 “He’s a heavy horse; it takes him a couple of races to get going. He’s run twice and been second in both, it’s hard to complain about that,’’ Tagg said.”`I want him for the Breeders’ Cup, that’s our goal this year. Last year, we made a plan and it worked, maybe it will again this year.’’

 Last year, after Jersey Town was shipped back by owner Charles Fipke to Tagg in late summer following two starts for Tim McCanna at Emerald Downs, Jersey Town finished third in the Kelso and second in the Bold Ruler before winning the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct at odds of 34-1.