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Goldencents’ Wildman Jack sets record in thrilling Daytona S. (G3)

May 24, 2020

Wildman Jack, winner of the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (G3) in March, made his first U.S. start of 2020 a winning one with a heart-pounding victory by a nose in Saturday’s $100,000 Daytona S. (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

Wildman Jack, ridden by Mike Smith, came out of the gate very quickly to battle for the lead, but Smith backed his mount off to sit just behind the leaders. Seemingly losing ground on the turn, Wildman Jack rallied again after entering the stretch and was side-by-side with Sparky Ville as they hit the wire, with Wildman Jack prevailing in a track-record 1:01.01 for the 5 ½-furlongs on the firm turf.

“He came back from Dubai in perfect shape and he continued to train well,” said trainer Doug O’Neill. “This race came up tough, like a Breeders’ Cup race.  It’s nice to have Big Money Mike, I can tell you that.  Mid-way through the race, it looked like maybe we were dropping out of it, but he still had horse.  I know this is a big win for Glenn Sorgenstein, he owns the horse and he bred him.  This is huge.”

Out of the Orientate mare Orientatious, Wildman Jack picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $373,630 and improved his overall mark to 8-4-2-1.

Goldencents is the leading Third-Crop Sire by stakes winners and winners, with his progeny topped this year by Oaklawn H. (G2) winner By My Standards.