'Jackie' Back in Count Fleet

Jackie's WarriorSarah Andrew

Kirk and Judy Robison's Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) will make his 4-year-old debut and first start since being named 2021's champion male sprinter at the Eclipse Awards as the highweight in Saturday's GIII Count Fleet H. at Oaklawn.

Starting his career perfect in four starts, including convincing wins in the GI Runhappy Hopeful S. and GI Champagne S., the $95,000 Keeneland September buy suffered his first two losses in his only two-turn attempts to date, running fourth at 9-10 in the GI TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile and third in last February's local GIII Southwest S. The Steve Asmussen trainee has been kept around one turn since then, going four-for-six the rest of 2021, rattling off consecutive dazzling scores in the GII Amsterdam S., GI Woody Stephens S. and GII Gallant Bob S. That was enough to make him the biggest favorite of Breeders' Cup weekend at 1-2 in the Qatar Racing Sprint, but the bay was burned up on a quick pace and weakened in the final furlong to finish a disappointing sixth.

Jackie's Warrior returns with a sharp-looking worktab at Fair Ground and over this track, most notably going a bullet five furlongs from the gate at Oaklawn in :59 2/5 (1/45) Apr. 3.

The champ will likely have his hands full with an emerging Hot Springs talent, however, particularly if the fractions are swift. Michael and Patricia Feeney and Jennifer Grayson Taylor's Bob's Edge (Competitive Edge) won four of his first 11 starts from ages two to three, but failed to threaten in three stakes tries before having the proverbial lightbulb go on this winter. Debuting as a 4-year-old in the King Cotton S. here Jan. 29, the gelding blew to the front all the way from seventh just inside the quarter pole and kicked clear to a 2 3/4-length success, earning a career-best 97 Beyer. The Larry Jones pupil showed that was no fluke when passing every rival to repeat in the GIII Whitmore S. Mar. 19.

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