Much like Hawaakom did in the Razorback H. (G3) one race before, My Boy Jack burst threw an opening at the rail in the stretch en route to victory in the $500,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park on Monday.
The 1 1/16-mile Southwest was the final Prep Season qualifier in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. My Boy Jack earned 10 points, pushing his total to 12 after a distant third-place effort to McKinzie in last month's Sham (G3) at Santa Anita.
Contested on a muddy track, My Boy Jack saved ground all the way under Kent Desormeaux as favorite Mourinho was pressured up front by Road to Damascus through splits of :23.46, :47.70, and 1:13.56. Making excellent progress on the far turn, My Boy Jack cut the corner and had advanced to second as they entered the straight and bulled his way past the tiring chalk to win comfortably by 4 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:46 over a muddy, slow-playing track.
"It was a complete turnaround effort from his last start," said Desormeaux, who rode for his brother, trainer Keith Desormeaux. "Today he was quite calm and let me ride him and that was the biggest difference. He didn't waste any energy going around the race track so he flew home. Great training job by Keith."
Owned by Don't Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables, My Boy Jack paid $19.60. Combatant rallied outside and proved second best, with Hopeful (G1) winner Sporting Chance edging Mourinho for third after shying away from Combatant in the stretch in what appeared at first to be a potential foul. The stewards conducted an inquiry, but did not change the order of finish.
The order of finish was completed by Zing Zang, Kentucky Club, the dead-heating Seven Trumpets and Retirement Fund, Road to Damascus, and Ezmosh.
Combatant has now run second in three straight Kentucky Derby (G1) preps and now has 12 Derby qualifying points. Sporting Chance earned his first two points, while Mourinho added one to make his total 11.
Sixth in his debut on dirt, My Boy Jack reverted to grass for his next five starts. After three straight seconds, including in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, he broke his maiden in the $101,000 Zuma Beach at Santa Anita on October 9. He concluded his freshman campaign running seventh by three lengths in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
A $20,000 Keeneland September yearling bred by Brereton Jones in Kentucky, My Boy Jack is by Creative Cause and out of the Mineshaft mare Gold N Shaft, herself a daughter of Grade 3 winner Gold N Delicious.