08/05/2011 3:19PM

Saratoga: Jackson Bend works toward Forego


Jackson Bend, impressive winner of the James Marvin Stakes here opening day, worked four furlongs in 49.30 seconds Thursday morning over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga in preparation for a start in the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 3. Jackson Bend, with exercise rider Maxine Correa up, worked in company with Our Dark Knight.

“He looked good,” trainer Nick Zito said. “Maxine had a ton of horse. We just have to keep him that way.”

On July 22, Jackson Bend ran the best race of his career, winning the James Marvin by 2 1/2 lengths. He ran seven furlongs in 1:20.91 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108.

“That was an unbelievable race,” Zito said. “If he could duplicate that, he’s going to look good in there.”

One of his potential Forego foes is Regal Ransom, who Friday worked four furlongs in 47.64 seconds over the main track. Regal Ransom is coming out of a last-place finish in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on June 18. However, he is 2 for 2 at Saratoga, having won his career debut in 2008 and an allowance race last September.

“He won here as a 2-year-old, he won last year here at [1 1/8 miles], and he trained for the Super Derby over this track as a 3-year-old,” said Rick Mettee, Godolphin’s New York-based assistant trainer. “He always trained well here. I don’t know if he’s a Grade 1 horse at this stage of the game, but we’ll take a go at the Forego.”

Mettee reported that Hibaayeb, winner of the Sheepshead Bay Stakes earlier this year, is sidelined with a bruised right front foot.

Drop could help Guillot filly

Trainer Eric Guillot thought enough of Por Que’ Te Quiero to run her in a stakes race in her debut at Hollywood Park, but he learned little that day, since she was clobbered coming out of the gate.

On Sunday, Guillot is taking a step back, running Por Que’ Te Quiero against other maiden 2-year-old fillies in the day’s eighth race at 6 1/2 furlongs.

“I’m in love with her,” Guillot said of Por Que’ Te Quiero, a daughter of A.P. Indy who was bred and is owned by Michael Moreno’s Southern Equine Stables. “I think she’s a good horse.”

Guillot said he is afraid, though, that the distance may be too short.

“She’s not a 6 1/2-furlong horse,” he said. “She’ll progress. She’ll be better when she goes a mile or a mile and sixteenth.”

Martin filly has trained well

Although trainer Carlos Martin said he expects Shot Gun Pennie to “improve as she goes along,” he said she has trained well for her debut in Sunday’s second race, a five-furlong dash for New York-breds.

“We bought her at the New York-bred sale last fall,” Martin said of Shot Gun Pennie, a 2-year-old daughter of Speightstown. “She’s a racy-looking filly. She worked in 47 and change out of the gate a couple of weeks ago, and then had a nice blowout for the race with Castellano.”

That last work with jockey Javier Castellano, on Thursday, was timed in 35.80 seconds, the second-best of 11 at the distance. Shot Gun Pennie’s half-mile work in 47.40 on July 22 was the second-best of 37 that morning. Her last three drills have been at Saratoga.

Shot Gun Pennie is owned by the Blue Devil Racing Stable of real-estate magnate Mark Holliday, who named the stable after his high school team’s name.

− additional reporting by Jay Privman