As the only maiden in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Futurity at Belmont Park, Skeedattle Stable's Jack's in the Deck was dispatched as the longest shot on the board at 14-1. What initially appeared an ambitious placement by Maryland-based trainer Robin Graham, however, turned out to be a clever bit of spotting. Relishing the step up to six furlongs, Jack's in the Deck stayed on best of all to swamp better-fancied juveniles Team Six and Tarpy's Goal by four widening lengths.
A closing second in his only prior start going 4 1/2 furlongs at Delaware Park, Jack's in the Deck sparked mutuels of $30.20, $10.60 and $6.20. He also became the first stakes winner sired by Love of Money.
"That was great," Graham enthused. "We've been trying to get him into maiden races at Delaware Park, because he's Delaware-certified, but the races haven't filled. He's been getting better as he's trained, and we all felt like going longer would be better for him. It worked out perfect.
"(There was) a lot of speed in there. I thought at the top of the stretch he was in good shape. I know he likes running at horses, so that was great."
Team Six sprinted to the early lead, prompted by Getupwiththesun through fractions of :22 4/5 and :47. Jack's in the Deck was drafting comfortably along the inside, just behind Team Six, and traveling noticeably well for new rider Joe Bravo. Meanwhile, Tarpy's Goal, the 8-5 favorite, was steadily advancing into contention on the outside. Farther back were Large Kaufy and the awkwardly-starting Threeanddonedan.
When Tarpy's Goal accosted Team Six leaving the far turn, he was poised to strike the front and take control of the race. But the favorite instead drifted out to the center of the track, and left a gaping hole for Jack's in the Deck. Just beginning to rev up in midstretch, Jack's in the Deck plowed through the opening between rivals and kept on doggedly to stop the teletimer in 1:13 1/5 on the fast track.
Team Six nipped Tarpy's Goal by a nose for the runner-up spot, 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Large Kaufy. Getupwiththesun and Threeanddonedan rounded out the order under the wire.
"I didn't get too dirty," Bravo said of his winning trip. "I really didn't know what to expect. The horse showed some talent his first time out, but the minute the race started he showed me that he had these horses today and he looks like he's got a good future ahead of him."
Jack's in the Deck, who has bankrolled $99,600 from his 2-1-1-0 line, was bred by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman in Maryland. The dark bay colt is out of the unraced Partner's Hero mare Thracian, herself a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Spirited Game. Thracian's latest foal is an unnamed yearling colt by Domestic Dispute. This is the family of multiple stakes victress Banner Hit, the dam of multiple Grade 2-placed stakes scorer El Gran Papa.