Saturday, March 17, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 17, 2007 . . . Brent Johnson drove 11 hours from Virginia to watch his horse run at Turfway Park Saturday and ended the trip in the winner's circle, as Jade's Revenge won the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes. It was the first stakes win for Jade's Revenge, a 4-year-old Quiet American colt trained by Graham Motion.
As expected, Starspangled Gator and Sweet Grass Creek went right to the front, clocking :22.43 for the first quarter of the 1 1/8-mile race. At the half-mile in :45.46, Starspangled Gator was five lengths ahead of Sweet Grass Creek and 17 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.
With Rodney Prescott aboard for the first time, Jade's Revenge ran comfortably in sixth as he waited out the fury up front. He moved turning for home, took the lead in mid-stretch, and kept on to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Sidcup, who closed well without threatening the winner. Dynareign was another 2 lengths back in third. Starspangled Gator held on well into the stretch to finish sixth, beaten 6 lengths. Final time was 1:50.11.
"The trainer told me not to rush him," said Prescott. "The only trouble we had was that when we made the lead he started looking around for horses."
Running in the East, Motion had tried Jade's Revenge on dirt and turf and in allowance and claiming races without finding the key to consistent success. Then Fair Hill Training Center put in Polytrack last fall and the colt blossomed.
"He really started picking it up training over Polytrack and has just progressed in the last six months," said Johnson, who races Jade's Revenge in partnership as Bushwood Stables and also bred the colt. "He's not one to have a quick burst but he puts in a nice, sustained run and it set up perfect for him."
Noting that Bushwood Stables also races 2005 John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Better Talk Now, Johnson said, "[Better Talk Now] has won so many big races, and yet this one wins his first stakes race and it's exciting all over again."
Finishing 4th through 11th in the Tejano Run were Pair of Kings, Ascertain (IRE), Starspangled Gator, Esprit Du Roi (CHI), Bond Street, Wayzata Bay, Sweet Grass Creek, and Fifth Page.
The fifth choice at 8-1, Jade's Revenge paid $18.80, $6.40, and $5.40. His record now stands at 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 7 thirds in 17 starts for earnings of $126,948.
Racing continues at Turfway on Sunday, with first post at 1:10 p.m.