New Training Style, Blinkers Have Champion Jaywalk Back On Track For Cotillion, Trainer John Servis Says

by | 09.19.2019 | 4:12pm
Jaywalk, shown earlier this year training at Keeneland

DJ Stables' and Cash Is King's Jaywalk is “sitting on good,” according to trainer John Servis heading into Saturday's Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa. The Parx-based trainer sent last year's champion 2-year-old filly to the track Monday morning for her final serious breeze for the Cotillion and the daughter of Cross Traffic went a half-mile in :48.71.

“Everything is good,” Servis said. ” She was a handful; so that's a very good sign.”

Jaywalk started her sophomore campaign with a fourth in the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park, then added a third in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland. The lanky Kentucky-bred then came in at the start and clipped heels with rival Positive Spirit shortly after the break in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs May 3, which led to a disqualification from sixth to 13th.

Sensing his filly needed a change, Servis changed her training style. He opted to run her in mile-long gallops known as two-minute licks rather than her previous sharp, short breezes.

Jaywalk returned fresh. Sporting blinkers for the first time in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks July 6, she responded with a nine-length victory. She then finished second to fellow Cotillion entrant Horologist in the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks August 17.

The filly with earnings of $1,653,500 through 10 career starts has been a challenge, but she's back on a better path according to Servis.

“Early on she was (tricky), said Servis, who won the 2000 Cotillion with Jostle. “We just did a little too much with her, but she's back on track now. Her last two races were really good. Her last race is a lot better than it looks. She bounced a little bit off the Delaware start.

“That was her lifetime high race. She came back 3 or 4 points slower than the Delaware race so she got a little bounce, but she's going into this race very good. I don't really know if it was the blinkers or if it was more of going back to doing what we did last year with her, but she's ready. It's a solid field. It arguably might be the best 3-year-old filly race this year.”

The Cotillion will be Jaywalk's second start over her home track. She broke her maiden by 7 1/2 lengths in the mud at Parx in her second career start last summer.

Jaywalk stepped up from there, rattling off victories in the $50,000 White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware before impressive front-running wins in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

Jaywalk, who will wear the red, white and green colors of Cash Is King Saturday, drew the outside post in the field of 11 for the Cotillion. The Cotillion winner receives an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff as a “Win and You're In” race in the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series.

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