Monmouth Park, 9th Race - July 4, 2008
Jockey Garrett Gomez likens J Be K to a high school star growing and maturing into a college athlete.
J Be K took another step in that process with a dominant victory Friday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Jersey Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park.
"In his last three races, he's really started to blossom," Gomez said. "He's grown a lot and he's gotten bigger. He's always been a big, strong horse. He's grown about a hand in the last two and half months."
J Be K, the 2-5 favorite of the Independence Day crowd of 10,354, improved his record to 5 for 7 for trainer Steve Asmussen. It was the third graded stakes win in the last four outings for J Be K, to go along with the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct and the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park.
The race was loaded with early pace as Go Go Shoot, Bright Pick, J Be K, and Indy Joe stacked four across in an opening quarter of 21.46 seconds. It remained a four-way battle until J Be K edged clear on the turn and cut the corner smartly to open an insurmountable lead.
J Be K was never threatened in the lane, finishing four lengths better than the rallying Silver Edition. Indy Joe hung on for third, followed by Fujita, Go Go Shoot, and Bright Pick.
The time was 1:09.10 for the six furlongs on the fast track.