Is there any other owner who is having the superstar roll Jess Jackson is currently on? He buys Curlin, after the flashy son of Smart Strike romps in a maiden win. After, reaping the rewards of Curin's time on the track, Jackson quick grabs the spotlight again when buying the super filly, Rachel Alexandra. The striking filly has already given Jess Jackson his third Horse of the Year, and even though she got off to a slow start, by her standards, she is looking more and more like her old self each race.
You would think Jackson got lucky with Curlin, after all how many times does an impressive maiden winner go on to become the top rated horse of his decade? You may think Rachel Alexandra's brilliance was obvious to spot, and that by now Jess Jackson can only spot the talent of a horse after it has been displayed in a race. Kantharos, might just make anyone who believes that, eat their words.
Jess Jackson bought this colt before anyone ever thought of the colt as potential star. Kantharos, by the speedy Lion Heart, won his first start by a dazzling 11 3/4 lengths. However, even though that win would earn him favoritism in the Bashford Manor, that he would not truly begin to turn heads until that very race.
Stumbling out of the gate is not something one wants to see happen in a 6 furlong sprint race, but when it happen to Kantharos, the athletic colt easily righted himself and was soon in the thick of things. After a snappy opening quarter 21.81, it did not take long for Kantharos to loom up on the outside, before easily assuming command around the turn. At no point in the stretch was the colt in danger of being pressed, in fact, he continued to draw off with only the slightest of urgings, to win by 9 1/2 lengths.
The final time was 1.09.89, with the quarter mile ran in 24.27. From the half mile marker to the eighth mile pole, the Kantharos let loose, running that furlong in 11.85 seconds, not even being touched by the whip. After that he cruised to the finish line, his final furlong clocked in 12.42 seconds.
It remains to be seen if Kantharos can stretch his brilliance out to 1 1/16 for this year's Breeders Cup Juvenile, then once again for next years Triple Crown. With Lion Heart as a sire, some may be skeptical, even though he ran considerably well in the Kentucky Derby and was very effective at the middle distances. After the way he came out the Bashford Manor, ears pricked and eyes bright and alert, I do not an extra quarter of a mile will make much a difference.