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2021 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes Quick Picks
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2021 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes Quick Picks

by Laurie RossAugust 27, 2021

The $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes (G1) is named in honor of the late Hall of Fame trainer whose career spanned seventy years. Formerly, the seven-furlong race was named the King’s Bishop.

The 2021 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial will see the long-anticipated match-up between the trio of Life is Good, Jackie’s Warrior, and Drain the Clock. The H. Allen Jerkens is carded as race 9 on the Travers undercard, with a post time of 4:12 PM ET.

#1 Drain the Clock (6-1)

Drain the Clock is out for revenge against Jackie’s Warrior. The Saffie Joseph, Jr. trainee edged out his rival by a neck in the seven-furlong Woody Stephens (G1) at Belmont Park. However, their next meeting was no contest as Jackie’s Warrior dominated Drain the Clock by 7 1/4 lengths in the Amsterdam Stakes (G2).

Drain the Clock regressed in that race, after earning a career-best 101 Brisnet speed figure in the Woody Stephens. Nevertheless, Drain the Clock draws the rail, and he has won three of four starts at seven furlongs. Win contender.

#2 Jackie’s Warrior (1-1)

Jackie’s Warrior is one of the leaders of the 3-year-old sprint division, and he seeks to become the third horse in the last four years to capture both the Hopeful Stakes as a 2-year-old and the H. Allen Jerkens a year later, joining Practical Joke (2018) and Mind Control (2019). The Steve Asmussen trainee loves the Spa and is undefeated in three starts here. However, he has won only once in two starts at seven furlongs. Win contender.

#3 Newbomb (30-1)

The later maturing Newbomb graduated after switching to the barn of Kelly Breen in June. He has won two of three starts for the barn, including an eight-length romp in a six-furlong allowance race here on August 7. But, class and speed figure-wise, he appears up against it. Toss.

#4 Following Sea (5-1)

Following Sea returns to sprinting after finishing a distant third in the Haskell (G1), beaten 18-lengths. Following Sea is talented, but the Todd Pletcher trainee may not be able to match strides with the likes of Jackie’s Warrior. However, Following Sea’s speed figures are right up there with the best. Exotics.

#5 Judge N Jury (15-1)

Judge N Jury dominated a seven-furlong state-bred allowance race by 8 1/2 lengths in his season debut. He showed the ability to rate off the pace, which is vital in a race filled with early speed. His late-pace speed figure of 97 fits with the more accomplished horses, and while the Danny Gargan trainee doesn’t have the resume of the top trio, he has a long-shot chance at the exotics. Exotics.

#6 Life is Good (8-1)

Life is Good was the best colt in California until he was injured in March after dominating the San Felipe Stakes (G2) by eight lengths over eventual Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.

Now in Todd Pletcher’s barn, Life is Good hopes to continue his winning ways against runners with more recent form. On the plus side, the colt’s regular jockey Mike Smith is in town to ride. Maybe Life is Good really is that good, but Jackie’s Warrior is a formidable foe. Exotics.

H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Analysis

Jackie’s Warrior is pure speed, regularly clocking first quarters in 21 and change. He’ll play fast and loose on the front end and is a need-the-lead type. He’ll have his hooves full with Life is Good, who can also throw down quick early fractions. Smith will either go directly to the front or try rating Life is Good behind horses for a one-run move.

Drain the Clock is a little more tractable and can settle behind dueling pacesetters. If Life is Good or some other horse softens Jackie’s Warrior up, this guy is the most likely winner.

#2 Jackie’s Warrior (1-1)

#1 Drain the Clock (6-1)

#4 Following Sea (5-1)

#6 Life is Good (8-1)

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About The Author
Laurie Ross
Laurie is a handicapper, pedigree consultant, and published author. Her work has been featured on numerous prominent racing websites and she is a reoccurring guest on sports radio programs. She is also a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. Her yearly publications contain tremendous insight and value for bettors and horsemen. The Freshmen Sire Guide has received accolades from leading trainers and handicappers and her Triple Crown guides are a best-selling feature.