Turn On The Jets © Benoit Photo
Over the past several years, trainer Phil D’Amato has established an Irish connection that has proven special when it comes to winning races on the Southern California circuit. He did it again Thursday at Del Mar.
The 3-year-old gelding Turn On The Jets popped first time out of the box for his new owners – Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT or Nentwig – firing hard through the stretch under leading rider Juan Hernandez to get up by a neck in the $86,452 allowance feature that topped the eight-race card.
The chestnut son of the Irish sire Mehmas lay mid-pack in the eight-horse lineup, then shifted out at the head of the lane and held off stablemate Gergory’s Pride by a neck at the wire. Final time for the five furlongs on turf was :56.62.
Gregory’s Pride, owned by Rio Del Sol Stables and off as the 7-5 favorite, had a length and a quarter on third-place finisher Reddam Racing’s I’ll Stand Taller.
Turn On The Jets, who was making his first stateside outing and first start in eight months, returned $18.80, $6.60 and $4.20 across the board. Gregory’s Pride paid $3.20 and $2.60, while I’ll Stand Taller paid $7.00.
The winning share of the purse was $49,200 and it boosted Turn On The Jets bankroll to $62,109. He previously had won one of four starts in his native land.
Del Mar’s Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot wager once again proved too tough for the fans and carried over for the sixth day in a row. That means there will be a prize of $383,322 in the pot when wagering begins Friday. First post that afternoon is 3 p.m.