Champion Jackie’s Warrior returns a winner in the Count Fleet Sprint (G3)
April 16, 2022
Last year’s Eclipse Award-winning champion sprinter Jackie’s Warrior began his 2022 campaign Saturday at Oaklawn Park with a victory in the $500,000 Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3).
Jackie’s Warrior, who will join the Spendthrift stallion roster at the conclusion of his career, is now an eight-time graded stakes winner of $1.8 million for owners Kirk and Judy Robinson.
The 4-year-old colt was making his first start since the Breeders’ Cup. Paired with his usual rider Joel Rosario, Jackie’s Warrior rocketed out of the gate on his own, battling with Empire of Gold through a very swift quarter-mile in :21.61. After a half in :44.51, Jackie’s Warrior shook clear and opened up four lengths with a furlong to go. He was hand-ridden the rest of the way, winning by a deceptively easy three-quarters of a length in 1:09.09 for the six furlongs on a sloppy racetrack.
“Joel lets him do what he wants to do, but he’s responded to Joel. I think that he needed the race and that is apparent. But what a great starting point for a champion,” said trainer Steve Asmussen.
Asmussen indicated that the May 7 Churchill Downs S. (G1) would be the 4-year-old colt’s next start.