Irish-bred Black Jack Blues thrived in the soft going and made his pace-setting tactics stand up for 2 5/8 miles to win the $250,000 Grand National at Far Hills Saturday.
Owned by Irv Naylor and trained by J.W. Delozier, the winner went to the front under Ross Geraghty and thwarted several challenges – including shots by Organisateur, Tax Ruling, Your Sum Man and Arcadius late. The 8-year-old Definite Article gelding stormed off to win by 7 lengths with Organisateur (Bernie Dalton) second and Dynaski (Peter Buchanan) third. The winner covered the distance in 5:29 4/5. Your Sum Man finished fourth with Dirar fifth. Mabou and Tax Ruling, Grade I winners earlier this year, struggled in the going and were not factors.
The victory capped a huge day for Naylor and Delozier, who also won the $75,000 Foxbrook Novice with Lake Placid (Carl Rafter) and a $25,000 maiden hurdle with Imperial Gin (Geraghty).
Mary Ann Houghland’s veteran Sweet Shani (Danielle Hodsdon) won the $50,000 Peapack Stakes for fillies and mares to start the day for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. The Fields Stable’s 3-year-old Wanganui (Buchanan) won the $25,000 Gladstone for trainer Tom Voss. Arcadia Stable’s Delta Park (Joey Elliott) closed the day with a victory in the $50,000 New Jersey Hunt Cup timber stakes for trainer Jack Fisher.
For photos of the day check out TOD MARKS’ GALLERY ONLINE.