Irish Jasper finishes fast in TCA to provide Farish with milestone Bowl

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October 8th, 2016

Irish Jasper overcame a slow start to easily prove best in Saturday’s $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), rallying boldly up the inside to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths. Along with notching an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in the “Win & You’re In” race, the 4-year-old filly delivered Will Farish, who co-owns the daughter of First Defence with David Mackie, with a milestone Gold Bowl trophy for recording his 24th graded stakes victory at Keeneland.

Farish joins Claiborne Farm as the second owner to receive a Gold Bowl.

Julien Leparoux was up for trainer Chad Brown, who took over training duties for the Kentucky-bred lass following victories in the Miss Preakness (G3) and Victory Ride (G3) last year. Irish Jasper opened the year with an unplaced finish in a July turf allowance at Belmont and was exiting a comfortable allowance tally on the main track at Saratoga.

Now a five-time stakes winner, Irish Jasper completed 6-furlongs in 1:09.64 and has now earned $550,300 from a 15-8-0-1 ledger.

She was off as the 3-1 second choice among eight rivals and ran down even-money Stonetastic, who established splits in :21.84 and :45.02 before coming under serious pressure. The pacesetter saved second by a neck over 7-2 third choice Bendable.

Bred by Mr. andMrs. Robert E. Courtney Sr., Irish Jasper is the lone stakes winner out of the Mr. Greeley mare Irish Connection.

Irish Jasper photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography

Thoroughbred Club of America Quotes:

Will Farish (winning co-owner of Irish Jasper):

“She’d won two Grade 3s, but this race was a big thing for us. A big thing to have it here at home. Julien (Leparoux) rode a hell of a race, particularly from the eighth pole where he had to make that move. Going that fast, it’s pretty tough.”

On whether Irish Jasper’s connections will take advantage of the “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1)

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Julien Leparoux (winning rider):

“It was a little scary at the beginning. I thought she was going to break a little bit better. After that, she traveled very good and we got through on the rail. She made a big run.”

Paco Lopez (rider of runner-up Stonetastic):

“I love the position of my filly. Today she cost me a little in the first jump and the second jump. It seemed like she was easy in the first quarter (:21.84), a little fast in the second (quarter). Then I stayed right there. I knew the 1 (Irish Jasper) was coming. I was waiting for the 5 (Bendable) but the 1 came on.”

Jose Ortiz (rider of third-place finisher Bendable):

“I stuck with the plan to stay off Stonetastic and at the quarter pole I went after her because she was the favorite.  My filly gave me a good run from the quarter pole to the wire. She never gave up on me and I'm very happy the way she ran.”

Robby Albarado (rider of fourth-place finisher I’m a Looker):

“I had a good trip. Turning for home I thought I had a chance to beat them. She put me right in position where I needed to be. It was a really good race. You’ll see these horses in the Breeders’ Cup. These are the fastest fillies in the country. I expected her to run big. She ran huge.”