OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Matt Dorman’s D Hatman Thoroughbreds’ Determined Jester, who first entered Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Matron on Saturday on Belmont at the Big A fall meet, will instead take on males in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Futurity, a six-furlong outer turf sprint for juveniles.
The winner of the Futurity will receive a berth into the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 4 at Keeneland as part of the “Win And You’re In” series, but trainer Phil Schoenthal said he chose the Futurity for other reasons.
“That wasn’t really in the considerations,” Schoenthal said of the Futurity’s “Win And You’re In” status. “If she were to win either spot, she would still go in that direction [towards the Breeders’ Cup]. With a well-bred filly, our goal is to win or get a graded placing. We felt like the race on Sunday in an eight-horse field might be a better opportunity to accomplish that goal than the 12-horse field on Saturday.”
Determined Jester has already given her connections confidence in her abilities against males, arriving at the Futurity from a strong maiden-breaking victory in the 5 1/2-furlong Rosie’s on September 6 at Colonial Downs. There, she stalked in second position behind a swift pace set by Call Me Ice Man before unleashing an impressive run in the turn to take charge and sprint home to a 4 1/2-length victory under returning rider Forest Boyce.
“We thought highly of her and we were actually planning on being conservative and entering her in a maiden race on the same card,” Schoenthal said. “I called the owner and said that I believe she’s a stakes quality horse and that this was a chance to get some black type for this filly. She exploded for us and ran like we hoped and expected she would.”
Schoenthal said he was confident in his filly after a promising maiden effort at second asking when fourth in a maiden three weeks prior over the same course and distance.
“I’m not going to tell you that I led over a maiden filly against the boys in a stakes and thought that I was going to win, but I felt like she had every opportunity to run well,” said Schoenthal. “It was a great feeling to be validated.”
Prior to the Rosie’s, Determined Jester’s best performance was a debut third, beaten 4 1/4 lengths, in an off-the-turf 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga Race Course where she was given a prominent trip by jockey Trevor McCarthy and led at the stretch call before being collared at the sixteenth pole.
“We took her to Saratoga the first time and felt like we were unlucky to come off the grass late in the day. I didn’t think she was 100 percent cranked up to win on the dirt,” said Schoenthal. “I thought on the grass that maybe it would carry her a little ways and she’d be OK. We decided to run anyways because we were there and she was ready to run. I thought she ran a really good race. She just got tired at the end.”
Determined Jester drew the outermost post 8 in the Futurity, something Schoenthal said he was pleased with.
“I’m not somebody that gives a lot of instructions to jockeys,” Schoenthal said. “I have full confidence in Forest to make the right decision and place the filly where she’s comfortable. I like drawing the outside – I think she’s got natural speed, but she’s happy to rate. I think Forest will break and take a look over and see what the pace is and place her accordingly.”
A $575,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Determined Jester is out of the unraced Dixie Union mare Call Mariah, a half-sister to graded stakes winners and sires Daredevil and Albertus Maximus. She is one of several recent high-end purchases for Dorman, who owns and operates Determined Stud in Boyds, Maryland.
“[Dorman] and I have been with each other for probably 15 years or more,” said Schoenthal. “He always had a horse or two in the barn and in the past two or three years, he has spent a lot of money at the sales trying to build an elite broodmare band and fillies to race and become part of that someday. He’s put a lot of money into the game, and I think everybody can root for him.”
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Determined Jester breaks her maiden in the Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes (Coady Photography)
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