Jace's Road was back on his best form Saturday at Fair Grounds when taking the $98,000 Gun Runner S. in wire-to-wire fashion by 5 1/2 lengths for trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux.
In his previous start, the Oct. 30 Street Sense (G3) at Churchill Downs, Jace's Road had acted up behind the gate, dropping Geroux, and proceeded to finish a distant eighth of 10 over a sloppy track.
"That was a throw-out race. I could tell in the paddock he wasn't quite himself," Cox said. "I wasn't really pointing to this race with him, but he breezed well here the last couple weeks."
Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables, Jace's Road covered 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:44.85 and paid $6.80 as the 2-1 second choice. Raise Cain, a 23-1 chanced, edged 9-10 favorite Determinedly for second by a head. Hayes Strike, Andthewinneris, Old Alliance, and Mazing Mark completed the order of finish.
A 6 1/4-length winner on debut at Ellis Park, Jace's Road subsequently finished third in the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs prior to finishing eighth in the Street Sense. Jace's Road earned 10 qualifying points toward the 2023 Kentucky Derby by winning the Gun Runner, boosting his total to 13. Raise Cain earned four points, Determinedly three points, Hayes Strike boosted his total from three points to five points, and Andthewinneris earned one point.
Bred in Kentucky by Colts Neck Stables, Jace's Road is by Quality Road and out of the multiple stakes-placed Out Post, by Silver Deputy. He sold for $510,000 at Keeneland September.
In the $100,000 Untapable S., a qualifier for the 2023 Kentucky Oaks (G1), Pretty Mischievous proved best by 3 1/4 lengths over The Alys Look, while 11-10 favorite was an unlucky third after stumbling badly at the start.
Entering the Untapable off her first career loss, a third-place finish in the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill, Pretty Mischievous improved her record to 3-for-4 for owner-breeder Godolphin and trainer Brendan Walsh.
Ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., Pretty Mischievous covered one mile and 70 yards in 1:44.03 and paid $5.40.
Victorious in her first two starts at Churchill, Pretty Mischievous earned 10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks, boosting her total to 13. The Alys Look earned four points and Vahva three points, while fourth-place finisher Hayunevano earned two points and fifth-place finisher Hang the Moon earned one point.
Bred in Kentucky, Pretty Mischievous is by Into Mischief and out of Spinaway (G1) winner Pretty City Dancer, by Tapit.