Staton Flurry’s Mr. Misunderstood collected his third straight victory and remained perfect in six starts on turf when he spurted clear inside the final eighth of a mile to win the 41st running of the $100,000 Jefferson Cup (Listed) for 3-year-olds.
Ridden by Florent Geroux and trained by Brad Cox, Mr. Misunderstood – named after the Eric Church hit song – had a perfect trip tracking the early leaders before he swung out at the top of the stretch to collar stablemate Adonis Creed in deep stretch and win by 2 ¾ lengths and clocked 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:47.78 – the third-fastest clocking in 27 renewals over the distance and surface.
Mr. Misunderstood won for the seventh time in 11 starts and the $60,760 winner’s share jumped the Archarcharch gelding’s earnings to $304,554. The Jefferson Cup was his third stakes victory. Previously, the Kentucky-bred won the $60,000 Prelude and $200,000 Super Derby over Louisiana Downs’ turf course.
“Well, this made the trip from Arkansas worth it,” said Flurry, a 27-year-old native of Hot Springs, Ark. “This horse simply loves the turf. We found that out last year at Fair Grounds when we gambled and ran him for a $30,000 tag. He remains perfect on the grass and Brad’s team has done a phenomenal job with him.”
He paid $3.40, $2.40 as the 3-5 betting choice in the field of eight.
JEFFERSON CUP QUOTES
FLORENT GEROUX, jockey of MR. MISUNDERSTOOD (winner): “This horse really loves the grass. I’m grateful to be able to ride him again. The pace was pretty slow early and he bobbled a couple of times on the backstretch and didn’t really get over the ground that well. I asked him a little bit to keep him in the race and he responded perfectly.”
BRAD COX, trainer of MR. MISUNDERSTOOD (winner) and ADONIS CREED (runner-up): “Adonis Creed ran a really nice race. We recently got him in our barn (previously trained by Kiaran McLaughlin) and I wanted to take blinkers off to get him to relax a little more and he did exactly that. Shaun (Bridgmohan) rode a really nice race on him. Pinch Hit is simply a model of consistency and he’s really been proving that lately. We took blinkers off him and switched him back to the turf and that has really helped. We’ll target the (Nov. 11) Commonwealth Turf (GIII) then probably give him a break for a spring campaign next year.”
STATON FLURRY, owner of MR. MISUNDERSTOOD (winner): “Well, this made the trip from Arkansas worth it. This horse simply loves the turf. We found that out last year at Fair Grounds when we gambled and ran him for a $30,000 tag. He remains perfect on the grass and Brad’s team has done a phenomenal job with him.”
SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN, jockey on ADONIS CREED (runner-up): “I thought he had a perfect trip. He ran hard. The winner ran a phenomenal race today, but my horse kept trying and he ran a super race.”
IAN WILKES, trainer of GIANT PAYDAY (third): “Giant Payday just didn’t quite switch-off enough, but no excuses – we were third-best. He ran well.”
CHRIS LANDEROS, jockey on GIANT PAYDAY (third): “His trip was good, but it was the opposite of what I wanted. I wanted him to sit back and settle, but it was a slow pace and that forced my hand. He ran a good race, but for him to run to my expectation he needed a little more pace in front of him and just let him take kind of a breather out there. He still ran hard, but he just didn’t have much to finish with as I wanted.”