West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables’ Jace’s Road picked up 10 qualifying points in the 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series for his 5 1/2-length romp in the Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds on Dec. 26. The winner clocked 1 1/16 miles on the fast main surface in 1:44.85 with Florent Geroux in the silks.
"He broke super sharp," Geroux said. "On paper it didn't seem there was much speed so I thought if my horse won the break then I would take it from there."
Bred in Kentucky by Colts Neck Stables, Jace's Road brought the gavel down at $510,000 at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The son of Quality Road is the first black-type victor out of the stakes placed Silver Deputy mare Out Post. This is the same female family responsible for producing two-time champion and Hall of Fame inductee Silverbulletday.
Jace’s Road was unveiled on Aug. 6 at Ellis Park in a six-furlong dash and rolled home by a widening 6 1/4 lengths for conditioner Brad Cox. Sent straight to the graded stakes ranks following that impressive score, he finished a solid third in the Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs on Sept. 17. He preceded his Gun Runner triumph with an unplaced showing in the Street Sense S. (G3) beneath the Twin Spires on Oct 30. His lifetime line now reads 4-2-0-1, $126,800.
“Believe it or not this wasn’t really the goal after his last race at Churchill,” Cox said. “We kinda gave him some time off after that and then we came down here with him and he really put together a couple of nice works which told us he was ready to go.”