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Goals for Jaycito after Norfolk win include Cup, Derby

Mike Smith guides Jaycito to Grade 1 win (Benoit Photo)   Extending his stride with a fluid ease, Runnymede-bred, -raised and –sold juvenile colt Jaycito earned his first career victory at the Grade 1 level when he powered past multiple stakes winner J P’s Gusto to capture the Norfolk Stakes (G1) on October 2.

    Video of the race is available by clicking here:

    But not long after the son of Victory Gallop crossed the finish line at Hollywood Park with a one-length victory in 1:44.17 for the 1 1/16 miles, his connections revealed they are considering even bigger goals for his future.

   Next on their agenda could be the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), North America’s championship race for two-year-old males which this year will be run at Churchill Downs. Thus, it is not difficult to foresee that the following major goal for the Zayat Stables’ colorbearer is the Kentucky Derby (G1).

    “We just always thought he was a two-turn horse," said trainer Mike Mitchell. “We’ll talk it over with (owner Ahmed Zayat) and see how he pulls up (from the Norfolk). The ultimate race we want to run in is the Derby. So if he’s sharp, we (will run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile), and if he’s not, we wait. One thing about Mr. Zayat is that he totally leaves it up to me—there’s no pressure. He’s always doing what’s best for his horse.”

   Jockey Mike Smith, who was riding Jaycito for the first time in the Norfolk, reported that he believes the colt has promising potential.

    “He seems like he can get even better," Smith said. "He's still got some baby fat on him and he's still growing, getting stronger every day. He's still a little green about running, but he's full of talent.”

    After breaking fourth in the seven-horse field, Jaycito held that position while racing four-wide into the stretch and then responded to Smith’s urging to surge past J P’s Gusto, to whom he had rallied from far back to be second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1).

    Purchased by Zayat for $110,000 from Runnymede’s 2009 Keeneland September sale consignment, Jaycito has earned nearly twice that amount in his first three starts. With the Norfolk win, the Futurity second and a second in a maiden race at Del Mar under his girth, Jaycito has earned $210,000.

   His dramatic Grade 1 victory marked the second at the elite level for a Runnymede-bred in 2010, following Awesome Gem’s Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) win this summer. Farm Chairman Catesby W. Clay is the co-breeder of Jaycito.

    “It is very rewarding to see all the hard work and time that Mr. Clay and I put into our matings come to such fruition,” said Runnymede General Manager Martin O’Dowd.

   Jaycito’s dam, the Ascot Knight mare Night Edition, remains a member of the Runnymede broodmare band and is in foal to Proud Citizen.