A day after taking the 2016 Vosburgh Stakes, seven-year old gelding Joking was all smiles. With a perfect record through three races during this year, it’s easy to see why. The Charleton Baker trainee is headed to the Breeders’ Cup Twinspires Sprint after storming the final stretch at Belmont Park to earn his first grade-I race.
With A.P. Indian deciding to skip the 2016 Vosburgh due to track conditions, X Y Jet became the obvious favorite to replace him. Going off at 6/5, X Y Jet was the pace setter for almost the entire race. He was threated consistently by Weekend Hideaway at 7/1 and Holy Boss who was the second choice at 3/1. Joking sat in the back minding his own business and waiting to strike.
The first quarter mile whisked away in a crazy past :21.59 with X Y Jet holding the lead at the half-mile with a time of :44.12. However, it seemed that the favorite in the 2016 Vosburgh had burned up too much fuel early on as he was devoured by the top three finishers. Joking came around the long way to take the win, followed by Stalkwakin’ Dude and Weekend Hideaway, the latter of which looked like he had played a perfect strategy.
Joking was worth $10.00, $5.40, and $3.60 while Stallwalkin’ Dude paid out $6.90 and $5.00 in second place. Weekend Hideaway paid $4.30 to show in third place at the 2016 Vosburgh.
This was a massive win for trainer Charlton Baker. “Super! Super! That’s the word to describe it,” Baker screamed after the victory. “We’re definitely going to go on the Breeders’ Cup from here.” Not known as a big player in the thoroughbred horse racing game, the 2016 Vosburgh marks the second major victory in his long career. Since 1998, Baker has always been a well respected member of the community but hadn’t notched a notable victory. Joking helped establish him with a victory at the True North, and now the pair are headed to the world championships.
Once there, they’ll have to contend with A.P. Indian who will make his play for the Breeders’ Cup Twinspires Sprint at the Phoenix. But Joking seems ready for the challenge after a resounding and career defining win for himself and his trainer at the 2016 Vosburgh. “He came back super and is bouncing in his stall today,” Baker said the next day. “He got a good setup and got his track and everything went well. It’s the goal of every trainer, to get to the Breeders’ Cup.”