Zayat Stables' JAYCITO (Victory Gallop) took the overland route down the backside and around the far turn at Hollywood Park in Saturday's $250,000 Norfolk S. (G1), but had enough stamina to overtake even-money favorite J P's Gusto (Successful Appeal) to land the 1 1/16-mile Cushion Track feature by a length under Mike Smith. Despite enduring a four-wide trip for more than half the race, Jaycito likely stamped his ticket to Louisville for the November 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) which will be contested at the same distance as the Norfolk, which he completed in 1:44.
A maiden from two starts entering the Norfolk, Jaycito was expected to improve stretching out to two turns for the first time. He settled into fourth outside rivals entering the first turn, with 71-1 outsider Clearance Clarence (Cryptoclearance) taking the early lead from J P's Gusto, who entered the Norfolk with consecutive scores in the Del Mar Futurity (G1), Best Pal S. (G2), Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G3) and Willard Proctor Memorial S. Biding his time as Clearance Clarence clipped off a quarter in :24 1/5, jockey Pat Valenzuela soon applied pressure with J P's Gusto, and the margin between the two was only a head after a half in :48 3/5 and three-quarters in 1:13.
Riveting Reason (Fusaichi Pegasus) and Jaycito were in close attendance to the two leaders throughout, with the latter staying in the clear while taking the scenic journey. Turning into the stretch, J P's Gusto easily dispensed with Clearance Clarence and opened up a length, but Jaycito found plenty in the tank to fight on with, eventually wearing down J P's Gusto in the final yards. That rival had 1 1/2 lengths on Riveting Reason, with Clearance Clarence 1 1/4 lengths farther back in fourth.
Jaycito paid $8.40, $3.20 and $2.80 as the 3-1 third choice, while J P's Gusto gave back $2.60 and $2.20. Riveting Reason, at 36-1, paid $5.60. The $1 exotics were worth $8.70 (exacta), $72.60 (trifecta) and $608.80 (7-1-6-2 superfecta). Acaffella (Mr. Greeley) and Lucky Mr. K (Benchmark) trailed the field, while Boxeur des Rues (Smart Strike) bolted leaving the second turn and unseated Rafael Bejarano while being pulled up.
Jaycito debuted in a six-furlong maiden at Del Mar on August 21, showed speed and faded near the end to finish second by a half-length. Brought back for the September 8 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs, the bay broke very slowly to trail the field of 11 through the early stages, but made a strong rally in the final furlong to grab second, 4 1/2 lengths behind J P's Gusto. This maiden-breaking win boosted his lifetime earnings to $210,000.
Jaycitio was bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Catesby Clay, and was a $110,000 Keeneland September yearling. He is the second winner from as many foals produced by the multiple stakes-placed Night Edition (Ascot Knight), a half-sister to the stakes winner G S T Blues (Pax Nobiscum) and the stakes-placed Sweet Marie (Regal Intention). Jaycito's third dam was the multiple stakes winner Sundae Star (Right Combination), a half-sister to the Grade 3-placed stakes winners Juan de Fuca (Lord Vancouver) and Mrs. Specklewing (Vice Regent).