Trainer Nick Zito has confirmed that Grade 1 winner Jackson Bend will join the cast of horses headed to Aqueduct Racetrack for the Grade 1, $400,000 Carter Handicap on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 7.
A 5-year-old Florida-bred son of Journeyman Stud stallion Hear No Evil, Jackson Bend boasts a resume that includes more than $1.3 million in earnings for Robert LaPenta and co-owner and breeder Fred Brei
After opening his 2012 campaign with a victory in the Grade 3, one-mile Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 14, Jackson Bend most recently ran third in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap on March 10.
“He stumbled leaving the gate and was outside the entire race,” Zito said. “We really can’t take much from that race, but he came out of it really well. He’s terrific at seven furlongs and the Carter makes perfect sense.”
The race will mark Jackson Bend’s second career start at Aqueduct. Previously, he ran second by 9 ¾ lengths to Eskendereya in the 2010 Wood Memorial (G1).
The Carter is also expected to bring out Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Shackleford, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Caleb’s Posse, Grade 1 winner Capt. Candyman Can, and five-time graded stakes winner Calibrachoa.
NYRA Press contributed to this report.
Jackson Bend/NYRA photo