Jolting Joe graduates in style in NYSSS Cab Calloway
By RYAN MARTIN
SARATOGA SPRINGS — After a string of four consecutive runner-up finishes in his first four starts, Skychai Racing’s Jolting Joe had his coming out party when notching a first career victory in Thursday’s $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series Cab Calloway division restricted to New York-sired sophomores going 1 1/16 miles over the Mellon turf at Saratoga Race Course.
Trained by Mike Maker, who secured a fourth stakes win this meet, Jolting Joe made all four of his prior efforts at different tracks, including seconds behind subsequent graded stakes-winning Kentucky Derby hopefuls Art Collector at Kentucky Downs and King Guillermo at Gulfstream Park West, as well as a stakes placing in the Armed Forces at Gulfstream Park last September. He arrived at the NYSSS Cab Calloway off a close second over the lawn on July 25 at Ellis Park.
“The horse ran a credible race at Ellis Park,” said Maker. “He seems to find some tough competition and he proved our high hopes for him today. Some of the seconds we were disappointed with, but it turns out they were some pretty live races.”
Jolting Joe broke sharply from his outside post in the six-horse field and secured his position in third approaching the first turn under Tyler Gaffalione as 48-1 longshot Stuy Town Baby commanded a leisurely opening quarter mile in 25.19 seconds and a half in 49.24.
Around the far turn, Dream Bigger assumed command with Jolting Joe in pursuit to his outside taking over around the three-sixteenths pole. To his outside, stablemate Turbo Drive gave him a fight, but Jolting Joe kicked clear by the eighth pole and powered home a 1 ¾-length winner in a time of 1:43.07 over the firm turf.
Turbo Drive finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of third-place finisher Zipalong.
Fresco, Dream Bigger and Stuy Town Baby rounded out the order of finish.
“With a short run into the first turn, I was trying to be a bit more forwardly placed but we didn’t get away the cleanest,” said Gaffalione, who secured a third stakes win of the meet aboard Jolting Joe. “I looked to my inside and there were two going at it, so I figured I would just sit behind them and let them do the dirty work. He was traveling nicely throughout, and when I asked him for run at the top of the lane he gave me an extra punch. I still think there’s more in the tank. We haven’t seen the best of him yet. Hopefully, he just keeps improving.”
A gray son of Mission Impazible, a leading New York sire during his first, second and third crops, Jolting Joe is out of the black type-producing Tapit broodmare Marylin Monroan and is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Somelikeithotbrown, who won the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch over the Saratoga turf earlier in the meet and also is trained by Maker.
“I think he will run on as a Mission Impazible,” Maker said. “His gallop-outs in his last two races have been tremendous. I thought he was going to be up on the lead, but I left that up to Tyler and he rode a big race as usual.”
Maker was also pleased with the performance of runner-up Turbo Drive, who earned graded stakes black type for the first time in Thursday’s race.
“I think [Turbo Drive] was just outrun, maybe lost a little ground but ran a great race as well,” Maker said.
Now boasting a record of 5-1-4-0, Jolting Joe banked $55,000 in victory while enhancing his lifetime earnings to $90,450. He returned $4 for a $2 win bet.