LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 6, 2023) – Courtlandt Farm’s General Jim prevailed by a neck over Fort Bragg after a protracted stretch duel to win the 99th running of the $500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by TwinSpires (GII) for 3-year-olds.
Trained by Shug McGaughey and ridden by Luis Saez, General Jim completed the mile over a fast track in 1:34.43.
Damon’s Mound led the field through fractions of :22.41 and :45 while under pressure from Kangaroo Court with Fort Bragg stalking just behind the leaders while in the clear.
Fort Bragg hit the front as the field turned for home and was immediately joined by General Jim to his outside. The two leaders dueled in tandem through the lane with General Jim edging clear in the final yards.
General Jim is a Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief out of the Curlin mare Inspired by Grace. It is the second consecutive graded stakes victory for General Jim, who took the Swale (GIII) in his previous start.
The victory was worth $288,300 and increased General Jim’s bankroll to $529,833 with a record of 7-4-0-2.
General Jim returned $12.04, $6.26 and $4.76. Fort Bragg, under Joel Rosario, returned $7.22 and $5.10 and finished 3 ½ lengths in front of Gilmore, who paid $9.32 to show under Irad Ortiz Jr.
It was another three-quarters of a length back to Frosted Departure who finished fourth followed in order by Gun Pilot, Echo Again, Lugan Knight, Curly Jack, Damon’s Mound, Tall Boy, Kangaroo Court and Bourbon Bash.
PAT DAY MILE QUOTES
Luis Saez (jockey, General Jim, winner) – “When he got a good spot at the half mile pole, we knew we had a chance to win the race. He has plenty of talent. It was an existing stretch duel and Joel (Rosario) is a pretty tough to ride against but we finally got the jump. We decided to make a change after his last couple of races (and add blinkers) and I don’t think he would have won without (wearing) blinkers. It makes a big difference.”
Don Adams (owner, General Jim, winner) – “It was a magnificent win. To win on day like today is truly special. He’s become a nice horse, very special. He’s won two in a row now and hopefully we’ll see good things down the road. We’ll let Shug (McGaughey) decide what’s next for him.”
Joel Rosario (jockey, Fort Bragg, second) – “Turning for home it looked like we were going to win. That other horse ran a big race. He did everything I asked him to do and I guess he just ran second best today.
Irad Ortiz Jr. (jockey, Gilmore, third) – “I went a little wide on the turn but he still kept coming. He’s a nice horse but he got beat by two nice horses and he never gave up.”