By Dick Downey
Jack's in the Deck benefitted from a patient ride by Abel Castellano, Jr. to win the First State Dash for 2-year-olds at Delaware Park.
Sitting in seventh position 3 1/4 lengths off the lead, after the initial quarter-mile run by All Tripped Up in :21.64 , Jack's in the Deck was still three lengths off the pace after three furlongs. He made a three-wide move on the turn and was taken wider into the stretch. A length from the front at the furlong marker, he prevailed by a length over Always Smiling and was timed in 1:04.53 for the 5 1/2 furlongs.
Won the War finished third, followed by All Tripped Up, High Heat, Rocky Gap, Bullet Catcher, Coach Fridge and Marquetrys Warrior.
Jack's in the Deck, trained by Robin Graham, came into the First State Dash off a fourth-place finish in the Maryland Million Nursery at Laurel Park. He had won an allowance race at Delaware after running third to Overdriven in the Grade II Sanford Stakes.
Owned by Skeedattle Associates, Jack's in the Deck was bred in Maryland by Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman. He's a son of Love of Money out of Thracian, by Partner's Hero.
As the 2.90-1 favorite, Jack's in the Deck paid $7.80 to win and collected $45,000 of the $76,400 purse.