TORONTO, May 4 – Jacks Escarpment, a five-year-old son of Old Forester trained by Nick Gonzalez, seeks his second career added-money score in Saturday’s $125,000 New Providence Stakes, at Woodbine.
A lifetime winner of four races from 16 starts, accompanied by 11 top-three finishes, Jacks Escarpment will make his seasonal debut in the six-furlong event contested on the Toronto oval’s main track. Bred by William Graham and owned by John Caulfield, the dark bay notched his first stakes win in 2016, taking the Kenora Stakes on August 31 at Woodbine.
“He spent the last couple of winters at Classic Mile with Mike Cooke,” said Gonzalez, of the Ocala, Florida training centre. “We’d been checking up on his progress and he came back to us in great shape. He’d doing really well.”
Gonzalez expects another solid performance from Jacks Escarpment, who will test his mettle against Pink Lloyd, winner of this year’s Jacques Cartier Stakes.
“He (Jacks Escarpment) has a real fondness for the Woodbine Polytrack, so hopefully, he comes up with a big effort,” said the veteran conditioner, who has two Queen’s Plate wins to his name, in 2010 with Big Red Mike and three years later with Midnight Aria. “There are some tough customers in this race, but he’s a happy horse coming into it. He’s been training well, too.”
The Ontario-bred began his racing career in late 2014, reeling off back-to-back wins at Woodbine.
Gonzalez figured he had a good one in his barn before a debut that resulted in an authoritative five-length triumph at six furlongs.
“He had trained well ahead of that first one,” recalled the lifetime winner of 1,414 races. “Sometimes they start showing you the good stuff in the mornings, which is what you hope for. This has always been a straightforward horse, no complications at all. He’s also got that Ontario-sired thing going for him.”
Should Jacks Escarpment win on Saturday, it would be a belated birthday gift of sorts. He was foaled on May 4, 2012.
“Well, he loves his carrots and mints,” noted Gonzalez, who will have Rafael Hernandez in the irons this Saturday. “When I see him, I’ll bring him a few extra over to celebrate.”
Post time for the New Providence, slated as race eight on the program, is 4:55 p.m. ET.
FIELD FOR THE NEW PROVIDENCE
PP / Horse / Jockey / Trainer / Morning Line Odds
1 / Phil in the Blank / Jermaine Bridgmohan / Anthony Pottinger / 15-1
2 / Boreal Spirit / Ismael Mosqueira / Jennifer Shafer / 20-1
3 / Sweet Grass Creek / Jesse Campbell / Mike Keogh / 6-1
4 / Seffeara / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Steve Owens / 10-1
5 / Pink Lloyd / Eurico Rosa da Silva / Robert Tiller / 1-1
6 / Ted W / Luis Contreras / Martin Drexler / 4-1
7 / Jacks Escarpment / Rafael Hernandez / Nick Gonzalez / 5-1
8 / Azimut / Jeffery Alderson / Ashlee Brnjas / 20-1