INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- What a time to break your maiden.
Jaycito, winless in his first two starts, including a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity last month, ran down favored J P's Gusto to win Saturday's $250,000 Norfolk Stakes at the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting.
Jaycito finished a length in front of J P's Gusto, the winner of four consecutive sprint stakes from May 31 to Sept. 8, including the Del Mar Futurity. For both horses, the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes was their first start around two turns. Jaycito ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.17, paying $8.40.
Jaycito and J P's Gusto are expected to start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
"If he's sharp, we'll do that," winning trainer Mike Mitchell said of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. "If not, we'll wait. The ultimate race we want to run in is the Derby."
Jaycito was four-wide for much of the Norfolk under jockey Mike Smith, but the wide trip did not affect his ability to finish.
Clearance Clarence, a 71-1 outsider, led by a head over J P's Gusto through early fractions of 24.37 and 48.77 seconds.
After racing in third or fourth on the backstretch and final turn, Smith had Jaycito in third place with a furlong remaining, a length behind J P's Gusto, who took the lead in early stretch. Through the final furlong, Jaycito had the better finish. Riveting Reason, a 36-1 shot, finished third, followed by Clearance Clarence, Acaffella, and Lucky Mr. K.
Boxeur des Rues did not finish. He bolted on the final turn, unseating jockey Rafael Bejarano. Boxeur des Reus ran off the racetrack but was caught and did not appear to be injured in the incident.
Mitchell said he was not bothered that Jaycito was racing wide on the backstretch.
"He was out of trouble and he wasn't getting stopped," Mitchell said. "We always thought he was a two-turn horse."
Owned by Zayat Stables, Jaycito, a colt by Victory Gallop, has one victory in three starts and earnings of $210,000. He was second in his career debut at Del Mar on Aug. 21.
J P's Gusto's loss should benefit the colt, trainer David Hofmans said. He wondered that if J P's Gusto had not started from the rail, but on the outside like Jaycito, that the result may have been different.
"If posts are switched, maybe we win," trainer David Hofmans said. "I thought he ran very well. I'm not discouraged by the race. In fact, I'm happy with it."