08/29/2012 4:13PM

Saratoga: Jackson Bend uncertain starter for Forego

Barbara D. Livingston
Because of the aftereffects of a collision during training hours, Jackson Bend may not run in Saturday's Forego.

Jackson Bend made big news when he rallied to an easy 3 1/4-length victory to earn his first Grade 1 victory in last year’s Forego. It will be an even more amazing story if he can compete and successfully defend that title on Saturday.

Jackson Bend was one of eight older horses entered Wednesday for the  $500,000 Forego, which along with the $250,000 Bernard Baruch support Saturday’s main event, the Grade 1 Woodward. The Forego will be decided at seven furlongs over the main track, the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at 1 1/16 miles on the Mellon turf course.

Jackson Bend was knocked out cold just two weeks ago when he collided with another horse in a training mishap over the Oklahoma turf course. And although Jackson Bend has made a miraculous recovery from the accident, trainer Nick Zito said he will not make a final decision as to whether Jackson Bend will actually compete in the Forego until as late as the morning of the race.

“It’s still a hard decision because you never know what’s going to happen,” Zito said shortly after entries for the Forego were drawn early Wednesday afternoon. “All the tests keep coming back negative. We did an ultra-sound yesterday and he was as clear as a bell. All the X-rays and everything are good but you still never know the effects of what happened. He worked well the other day. We didn’t want to do a lot with him. He’s been fit all month. But it’s still hour to hour, minute to minute. I can’t commit but I like what I see so far and I entered him because there was no reason not to. We’ll just see what happens tomorrow.”

Junior Alvarado will be aboard Jackson Bend for the first time if he runs in the Forego.

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Jackson Bend drew post 2 in the Forego and will break two slots inside the likely favorite, Shackleford, who seeks to rebound from an eighth-place finish as the 6-5 favorite over a muddy track in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt on Aug. 5.

The remainder of the Forego lineup, from the rail out, consists of Jersey Town, Isn’t He Perfect, Pacific Ocean, Emcee, Caixa Eletronica, and Hamazing Destiny.

Data Link will be the 122-pound highweight and likely favorite when facing just six rivals in the Bernard Baruch. Data Link has not started since winning the Grade 2 Monmouth on June 10. He was scratched from the Grade 2 Fourstardave here earlier this summer due to the soft condition of the turf course.

Data Link breaks from the rail under John Velazquez and faces a lineup that consists of Crimson China, Queen’splatekitten, Dominus, Guys Reward, Sky Blazer, and Prince Will I Am.

Dominus will be making his turf debut for trainer Todd Pletcher in the Bernard Baruch. He worked a half-mile in 47.06 seconds over the Oklahoma turf course earlier this week.

“We worked him here on Monday and he worked very well on grass,” Pletcher said. “This kind of puts us in a position to open up some options. That doesn’t rule the Kelso out if we decide to go back to the dirt, but it could open up some other options.”

Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Any news as Forego approaches? Med status? Be well, Jackson! Take care of JB first, Nick!! Bon Chance whatever the situation will be!
ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
Out cold...hour to hour...minute to minute. Life's short, err on the side of caution, keep this wonderful creature in the barn. Jackson Bend will prevail in his next outing.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
OMG, Jackson Bend was knocked out cold? I hadn't heard that before. How horrible. Nick Zito is a classy trainer and will put Jackson Bend first. That is the way NZ does things. There is no way JB is ready to go back out there after that experience. I'm sure Nick will do the right thing, let JB rest and not race him right now. Jackson Bend is such a likable, scrappy competitor. He's little, but mighty! A full, happy recovery to you, Jackson Bend!
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Keep him in the baarn! Rest him until October!!!
R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
I don't know why the connections of Jackson Bend are debating if they should run the horse or not.The answer is not,because there is no way that poor horse will be well to run in a race after been run over by another horse, and been knock out for 5 or 7 minutes just 5 days ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was 13 days ago.
Babette Cade More than 1 year ago
Are you certain he was knocked out or had the wind knocked out of him? There is a difference and many people here do not know that. Read below.
laura ban More than 1 year ago
I had no idea that Jackson Bend was knocked out! How terrible! Nick Zito is the best, He always will be, I would expect that of him, to put the welfare of his horses first! Thank-you Nick for setting such a great example, as always! Best of luck.
Mr_Trackside More than 1 year ago
It appears the East Coast sprint contingent this year will likely be trounced by those in the West (and even midwest) come November. Not a very good group, these.
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
I know Nick personally and he has always been about the horse first. Nick is a great guy and a great trainer and if I had any horses he would be the first I call to train them
michael More than 1 year ago
I agree....Nick would be the guy for me to not only "train" my horse but "care" for him as well....He is a true horseman....I am suprised to learn that Jackson Bend was "knocked out cold" in that accident I didn"t know it was that serious until now.....
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
News like this seems to be overshadowed by Paynter's illness, yeah?
Steve More than 1 year ago
if Jackson Bend is healthy (a big if), the race setup will be right up his wheelhouse. 7 Furlongs, a ton and I mean A TON of early speed.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
The Horse first, Nick. Good Luck Jack!