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Jul 28, 2011

Jackson Bend cuts through heat to win Saratoga stakes


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito got his first Saratoga stakes win of the summer on opening day as Jackson Bend ran to victory in the $75,000 James Marvin Stakes. The historic upstate New York track opened Friday for its 143rd season.

With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, jockey Corey Nakatani guided Jackson Bend to the four-year-old colt's first win since 2009. Never far off the pace that was being set by 33-1 longshot Escrow Kid, Jackson Bend took the lead along the rail in mid-stretch and outlasted Hamazing Destiny by 2 1/2- lengths in the seven-furlong stakes.

Escrow Kid held on to finish third in the eight-horse field with 3-1 second choice Here Comes Ben getting up for fourth. Aikenite, the 5-2 favorite, rallied to finish fifth followed by Caixa Eletronica, Congressional Page and D' Funnybone.

Owned by Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei, Jackson Bend covered the seven-furlongs in 1:20.91 on a fast track. The James Marvin was the colt's first start since May 30 at Calder.

Jackson Bend was winless before Friday in four starts this year with a second and a third. The $45,000 winner's check brings his career earnings to $912,450 with six wins in 19 starts.

As a three-year-old in 2010 the colt was also unable to find the winner's circle in eight starts. His best finish last year was runner-up to Eskendereya in the Wood Memorial. After finishing 12th in the Kentucky Derby, Jackson Bend was third in the Preakness behind Lookin At Lucky.

Jackson Bend returned $18.80, $7.10 and $6.10. Hamazing Destiny paid $6.80 and $5.90, and Escrow Kid paid $10.40 to show.

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