My Boy Jack lulled them all to sleep. The dirt cheap three-year-old, who was purchased for a penance at $20,000, came through as a huge 8/1 underdog to pay out $19.10 for the win in the 2018 Southwest Stakes. The pre-race ramblings had nothing to do with the Creative Cause colt, but everyone was talking about him afterwards.
The horses that trailed in after My Boy Jack were all considered the talk of the town. The favorite in this race was Mourinho, a 6/5 preference in the 2018 Southwest Stakes after a fresh win in the Smarty Jones. He was joined by two second choices at 9/2 in Sporting Chance and Combatant. The latter was making his much anticipated season debut while Combatant was a close second in the aforementioned Smarty Jones. All three seemed like reasonable bets. Nobody was really giving My Boy Jack any consideration, and that’s fair.
Combatant took the lead in the final turn and was seemingly fending off a hard charging Sporting Chance and a late firing Mourinho on the outside, but he failed to track My Boy Jack on the inside rail. Blistering along the Oaklawn track, the Kent Desormeaux ridden colt rallied to pull of a thrilling upset and win the $300,000 prize pool while reasserting himself along the Kentucky Derby trail.
“It was a complete turnaround effort from his last start. Today he was quite calm and let me ride him, and that was the biggest difference,” said Kent. “He didn’t waste any energy going around the racetrack, so he flew home. Great training job by Keith.”
The Sham Stakes was nothing like the performance that My Boy Jack submitted in the 2018 Southwest Stakes. “I was able to get him up the rail, but I have to say it was a great training job by Keith,” Desormeaux continued. “Last time, he was quiet as a church mouse in the gate, but got very aggressive early and I was just skiing around there. When I turned him loose, he just galloped home. He didn’t power home like he did today.
As for what the future holds, the Desormeaux’s were a bit coy “The best part about the race is he’s going to a Derby. It may be the Arkansas Derby, but he’s Derby bound.”