Bee Jersey Lives Up to the Buzz in Met Mile

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9th at BEL, $1,200,000GI Metropolitan H. (1m)Winner: Bee Jersey, c, 4 by Jersey Town

Bee Jersey | Sarah K. Andrew

Bee Jersey (Jersey Town) became the talking horse of this year’s GI Runhappy Metropolitan H. after an ultra-impressive victory in the May 6 GIII Steve Sexton Mile going two turns at Lone Star, a race also won by 2017 Met Mile victor Mor Spirit (Eskendereya). The Chuck Fipke homebred lived up to the hype at Belmont Saturday, going wire-to-wire to deny two-time G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner and top-earning New York-bred Mind Your Biscuits (Posse) in a very tight photo finish. The victory in this “Win and You’re In” event earned Bee Jersey a spot in the gate for the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs in November.

Bet down to 3-1 from a 5-1 morning-line quote, Bee Jersey rocketed out of the 10-hole to take immediate control, clocking opening splits of :23.08 and :45.71 with MGISW sophomore Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) and GSW One Liner (Into Mischief) close behind. Mind Your Biscuits, who had been sitting at the back of the first flight in fifth, began to make his move four-wide approaching the far turn as Bolt d’Oro backed up on the rail leaving One Liner to chase after a cruising Bee Jersey. One Liner called it quits in the lane and Bee Jersey rolled clear with Mind Your Biscuits determinedly chasing after him. The two hit the line practically in unison, well clear of the rest of the field, with Bee Jersey winning the bob to take the Met Mile by a nose. Limousine Liberal (Successful Appeal), winner of the GII Churchill Downs S. last time May 5, completed the trifecta and Bolt d’Oro faded to last.

“He’s a tremendous horse with a lot of talent,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “We’re very fortunate that Mr. Fipke sent him to us and I’m glad he was able to win the Met Mile today. It played out the way we wanted. He’s a fabulous miler. This was the goal with the horse at the beginning of the year and now I think we’ll regroup from here and think of how to get him to the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile in the best condition. [At the sixteenths-pole] He looked good. When he got away from there cleanly like he did I loved it. He picked it up to the wire.”

Chad Summers, trainer of Mind Your Biscuits, said, “He shows up every time. Joel [Rosario] gave him a perfect ride. I think he showed them he can go a mile. All credit to Bee Jersey. Ricardo [Santana, Jr.] put him in front and got away with a :23 first quarter. It’s tough to make up that much ground with that opening quarter.”

Starting his career in Dubai under the care of trainer Doug Watson, Bee Jersey was winless in four starts there, but did finish second to this year’s G1 Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}) in the 2017 G3 UAE 2000 Guineas S. and was 15th behind that rival in the G2 UAE Derby in March of 2017 before transferring to Asmussen. Making his U.S. debut at Keeneland in October, the chestnut wired the field for a three-length graduation and was second next out at Churchill a month later. Kicking off this term with a six-length romp at Oaklawn Jan. 20, he dominated a Keeneland optional claimer by 7 3/4 lengths Apr. 14 and bested GISW Girvin (Tale of Ekati) by 5 1/2 lengths last time in the Sexton Mile, earning a 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

Pedigree Notes:

Bee Jersey is the first graded stakes winner and third black-type winner for his sire Jersey Town. A son of MGISW Jersey Girl (Belong to Me), the 12-year-old stallion won the 2010 GI Cigar Mile for owner/breeder Fipke and now stands in Canada. A two-time winner for owner/breeder Courtlandt Farm, the winner’s dam Bees was purchased by Fipke for $100,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November sale carrying a foal by the late Harlan’s Holiday. Fipke sold the resulting foal, a now-gelding named Divine Shift, for $200,000 at Keeneland September and he was picked up by the Zayats the following year at OBS June for $270,000, winning one of four starts. Bee Jersey is the first of her four foals by Jersey Town, which include the unraced 3-year-old filly Jersey Bee’s, who sold to Hunter Valley Farm for $250,000 at KEESEP; a 2-year-old colt named Town Bee; and a 2018 colt born Apr. 24. Her 2017 filly by Jersey Town passed away. Bees is a half-sister to GSW & GISP Madison’s Charm (Capote) and MGSP Pebble Island (Deputy Minister). This is also the family of European champions Duke of Marmalade (Ire) (Danehill), Ruler of the World (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Wolfhound (Nureyev); Horse of the Year and top sire A.P. Indy, champion and sire Lemon Drop Kid; and MGISW sire Summer Squall.

Saturday, Belmont Park
RUNHAPPY METROPOLITAN H.-GI, $1,200,000, Belmont, 6-9, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:33.13, ft.
1–BEE JERSEY, 118, c, 4, by Jersey Town
1st Dam: Bees (SP), by Rahy
2nd Dam: Run for Lassie, by Fappiano
3rd Dam: Lassie’s Lady, by Alydar
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($250,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O/B-Charles E Fipke (KY); T-Steven M Asmussen; J-Ricardo Santana Jr. $650,000. Lifetime Record: 10-5-3-1, $976,293. Werk Nick Rating: C+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Mind Your Biscuits, 122, h, 5, Posse–Jazzmane, by Toccet. ($47,000 Ylg ’14 KEEJAN; $47,000 RNA Ylg ’14 SARAUG; $47,000 RNA 2yo ’15 OBSAPR). O-Shadai Farm, J Stables LLC, Head of Plains Partners LLC, M. Scott Summers, Daniel Summers, Chad Summers & Michael E Kisber; B-Jumping Jack Racing LLC (NY); T-Chad Summers. $220,000.3–Limousine Liberal, 117, g, 6, Successful Appeal–Gift of Gab, by In Excess (Ire). O-Katherine G Ball; B-Mike & Katherine Ball (KY); T-Ben Colebrook. $120,000.
Margins: NO, 5 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 3.25, 4.10, 14.90.
Also Ran: Discreet Lover, Ransom the Moon, McCraken, Good Samaritan, Awesome Slew, One Liner, Warrior’s Club, Bolt d’Oro.
Click for the Equineline.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. NBC HD Replay.

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