Strike Jak Makes It Worth the Wait with Debut Win
D’Angelo Trainee Graduates Despite Bad Behavior Chilean Group 1 Winner Takes on Jesus’ Team Saturday Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $50,000
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Strike Jak held up post time for Friday’s Race 5 for a few minutes when she showed little inclination to enter the starting gate for her scheduled debut at Gulfstream Park. After the daughter of Street Boss finally relented and joined the other seven 2-year-old fillies in the gate riderless, she certainly made it worth the wait.
On the afternoon before he is scheduled to bring stable star Jesus’ Team back to the races following a 15-month layoff, trainer Jose D’Angelo saddled Strike Jak ($7.80) for a narrow front-running victory in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight race on Tapeta.
Bred in Kentucky by Godolphin and William Snowden, Strike Jak showed D’Angelo abundant talent while preparing for her debut for ProRacing Stable LLC, but she hasn’t always been on her best behavior.
“The filly is really nice. The filly is really nice in the mornings. The only problem she has is she can have bad behavior,” D’Angelo said. “This morning, it was hard to put her on the van at Palm Meadows (Training Center). When we started to saddle her, she started to kick and then she didn’t want to go into the starting gate.”
Strike Jak took her time going into the gate but she rocketed out of the gate to assume the pacesetter’s role under Emisael Jaramillo. After shaking off early pressure to take a clear lead into the stretch, Strike Jak gamely held off favored Vai Bella by a neck.
“I think she is not yet there at 100 percent, so I think we have a nice horse in the future,” D’Angelo said.
Jesus’ Team, the multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed former claimer, will be the center of attention on Saturday’s 11-race program at Gulfstream Park when he returns to action against all odds.
The 5-year-old son of Tapiture, who underwent minor knee-chip surgery before facing battles against salmonella and laminitis during his long absence, brings imposing credentials into the one-turn mile optional claiming allowance in Race 10. Jesus’ Team finished third in the 2020 Preakness (G1) and second behind Knicks Go in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) before checking in second against behind Knicks Go in the 2021 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).
Yet, the Jose D’Angelo trainee, who is rated second in the morning line at 3-1, has hardly landed in a ‘soft’ spot in his long-awaited return in the one-turn mile event, for which Collaborate is rated as the 2-1 morning-line favorite.
Jet Set Racing Stable’s Super Corinto is the most intriguing entrant in the 10-horse field of 3-year-olds and up. The 4-year-old son of Super Saver is scheduled to make his U.S. debut and his first start since winning the Group 1 Gran Premio Hipodromo Chile in his most recent start in April. In his Chile finale, the Amador Sanchez-trained Argentine-bred colt was followed in third place by O’Connor, a Chilean import who scored by six lengths in an Oct. 16 allowance in his U.S. debut for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.
Chilean-bred O’Connor had defeated Super Corinto by more than seven lengths in their prior meeting in a Group 1 stakes in Chile.
Graded-stakes winner Sole Volante and multiple stakes-winner Noble Drama are also entered in the Saturday feature.
The Race 10 feature will headline the Rainbow 6 sequence (Races 6-11) Saturday, the popular multi-race wager will offer a $50,000 gross jackpot pool guarantee.