Practical Joke won the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) by 1 1/4 lengths over Takful, and put himself in the picture for the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Practical Joke’s trainer Chad Brown cited the Jerkens win and the Dwyer Stakes (G3) win as reasons why he’s targeting the Dirt Mile for the son of Into Mischief.
“Looking at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, it’s a tricky race because it’s around two turns,” said Brown. “He’s undefeated on one turn, but the mile distance seems perfect for him, so if I had to guess right now, that’s where we’ll end up.”
As for the Jerkens Stakes, Practical Joke was sent off into the race as the 2-1 pre-race favorite, and jockey Joel Rosario handled well him en route to the win in a time of 1:21.96. The winning duo cut the corner before angling out to unleash their best run of the day.
“To cut back all the way to seven-eighths after a tough race in the Haskell, I’m so proud of this horse,” said Brown. “He’s so versatile. It was his third race in seven weeks. He’s our iron horse.
“I was a little concerned they weren’t going quite fast enough, and the horse I anticipated going with him didn’t, so it worried me a bit. Once he came off the turn and had the momentum, he looked like the winner to me.”
Practical Joke is now 5-2-2 in 10 career starts, with four graded stakes win (three G1 wins), and he has earned $1,670,800. His only Breeders’ Cup experience came in 2016, when he finished third in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) that year.