Jaywalk surges to White Clay Creek victory
Jaywalk was along late to win the White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware Park. Photo by The Racing Biz.
by Frank Vespe
Trainer John Servis saddled two of the six runners in Wednesday’s $50,000 White Clay Creek Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Delaware Park and had but a single piece of advice for his jockeys, Frankie Pennington and Joshua Navarro.
“I told them, ‘Ride your own race, but I better not see you two ding-donging head and head on the front,'” Servis said following the race.
That turned out to be wise.
One of his pair, the Pennington-ridden Group Text, pressed the pace early before fading to third, setting the race up for the other half of his uncoupled entry, Jaywalk, to come rolling late to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Favored Congrats Gal split that pair to finish second.
Bettors made Congrats Gal the 4-5 post time favorite, and with good reason. The Cal Lynch trainee had won easily at first asking at Laurel Park and followed that up with a solid third-place finish in the Grade 3 Schuylverille Stakes at Saratoga.
While she had led throughout her debut, Congrats Gal had run on willingly from mid-pack in the Shuylerville, closing from sixth to earn the show dough.
But today there was no waiting around. Under regular pilot J. D. Acosta, Congrats Gal broke sharply and immediately attained the lead. She led by a length after an opening quarter-mile in a zippy 21.31 seconds and led by three lengths in mid-stretch.
But Jaywalk and Joshua Navarro were getting revved up.
Navarro told Servis that, when he asked for run at the five-sixteenths, Jaywalk hadn’t really fired.
“But he said as she turned for home and she saw that horse [Congrats Gal], she just leveled off and dug in,” Servis said.
Jaywalk took command in the final 70 yards to earn the victory, with Congrats Gal holding second and Group Text, third, another three lengths farther back. Running time for the 5 1/2 furlongs was 1:04.55.
Jaywalk paid $5.40 to win as the 1.70-1 second choice in the field of six. The exacta, with the favorite underneath, returned $4.50 for a buck.
Jaywalk, by Cross Traffic out of the Orientate mare Lady Pewitt, is a half-sister to the graded stakes-placed Dunkirk mare Danzatrice. Servis paid $190,000 for her at the Keeneland September 2017 yearling sale, and she’s owned by D J Stable LLC and Cash Is King LLC.
She certainly has a ways to go to earn back that purchase price, but she now has two wins and $64,200 in earnings from three starts. The lone blemish on her record was a runner-up effort in her debut behind Nonna Madeleine, subsequently the beaten favorite in the Schuylerville.
As for the future, Servis said that, depending on how Jaywalk comes out of the race, future spots might include the Grade 3 Tempted at Aqueduct in early November or the Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion Stakes in late October. One thing’s clear: he’s got a versatile filly with a bit of talent in this one.
“She’s a nice filly,” the trainer said. “I think she’s a good filly, and she acts like she’ll run all day.”