At the break of the Forego, Cody’s Wish seems to break a little slow and stays back with Drafted as Jackie’s Warrior takes the lead briefly from Pipeline.
While the favorite Jackie’s Warrior and Pipeline go head-to-head up the backstretch setting an opening 1/4 of 22.75, Junior Alvarado has Cody’s Wish rated and relaxed back with Drafted seemingly out of the picture. For now. Strategy.
Just behind the leaders Baby Yoda on the rail battles with Kneedeepinsnow outside and Two Three Zero squeezed in between as the trio comes up the backstretch in tandem vying for position.
Cody’s Wish is still indulging his jockey’s desire to stay relaxed until he gets his command as he stays with Drafted’s pace.
Approaching the far turn as Drafted picks up momentum, Alvarado uses this to get Cody’s Wish slowly accelerating. Moving up on the second pack of horses, looking for a basket to weave.
When he sees Kneedeepinsnow drop back around the far turn Alvarado sees his opportunity to kick it up a gear and tell Cody’s Wish it’s time to start passing his competition.
As they round the turn Alvarado tries to take Cody’s Wish through an opening on the rail but gets blocked by Baby Yoda so he has to come up with another strategy.
Coming to the top of the stretch Alvarado quickly moves Cody’s Wish five wide, switches lead from left to right and Cody’s Wish lengthens his stride.
Jackie’s Warrior and Pipeline continue to duel head-to-head down the stretch giving it their all and thrilling fans.
But on the outside Cody’s Wish’s stride is gobbling up the track and his momentum too great as he sails to a 1-1/4 length victory. A textbook ride by Junior Alvarado of patience and split-second decision-making.
By Maribeth Kalinich
Photo by Viola Jasko