08/26/2011 4:05PM

Saratoga: Jackson Bend sharpens for Forego


Jackson Bend, impressive winner of the James Marvin Stakes when turned back to seven furlongs by trainer Nick Zito on opening day, worked a half-mile in a bullet 47.22 seconds at Oklahoma on Friday in preparation for his scheduled start next weekend in the Grade 1 Forego.

Breaking off in company with Mr. Haywood, Jackson Bend stayed even with his workmate until settling into the stretch, after which he pulled away strongly to finish seven lengths in front before galloping out five furlongs in 1:00 and change.

“I was very pleased,” said Zito. “I needed someone to just hang with him for a while, which is why I put him in company. He’s really seemed to maintain his form since the last race. Anytime you go in 47 over this track you’re ready. And his gallop out was terrific. Hopefully he’ll be able to run the same race he did in his last start. If he can do that, we’ll be okay.”

Brigand sidelined with ankle chip

Brigand, a 2-year-old New York-bred son of Flatter, will be sidelined the remainder of the year due to a non-displaced chip in an ankle, trainer Bob Baffert said Friday.

The horse was sent to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky, where Dr. Larry Bramlage was to remove the chip, Bafffert said.

Baffert said Brigand, who sold for $925,000 at the OBS 2-year-old-in-training sale in March, will be brought back for his 3-year-old year.

Brigand, owned by Kaleem Shah, was a debut winner at Hollywood Park on July 3. Since then, he finished second in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and fourth in the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar on Aug. 7. He had breezed five furlongs in 1:02.28 over Saratoga’s main track on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, Baffert said that Lady Pecan, a recent private purchase for Shah from Canadian-based connections, is being pointed to the Grade 1 Spinaway here on Sept. 4.

Lady Pecan, a Florida-bred daughter of Concerto, won a $62,500 maiden claiming race at Woodbine by 8 1/4 lengths. She had been trained by Ricky Griffith for James Perron Racing Stable.

NYRA makes hurricane precautions downstate

The New York Racing Association has taken some precautions at Belmont Park with the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irene.

Horses stabled in Belmont barns 35, 36, and 61 have been moved to other barns because they are the barns most subject to flooding. NYRA officials have instructed horsemen to bring inside” anything that can fly away,’’ according to racing secretary P.J. Campo, as well as to close all doors and windows.

NYRA president Charles Hayward said that outside mutuel machines at Belmont Park have been brought inside. A decision on whether to open Belmont Park or Aqueduct on Sunday for simulcasting will be made Saturday or Sunday.

w Sunday’s second race is named after Michael A. Letis, who was instrumental in the development of the marketing and television of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Letis, who died last December at the age of 69, was president of Sports Marketing and Television International, the official Breeders’ Cup agency from 1984-2001.

– additional reporting by David Grening