Jimmy Freight Set For 2023 Debut

Jimmy Freight
Published: February 16, 2023 04:26 pm EST

 “Jimmy Jets” is ready for takeoff.

Millionaire pacer Jimmy Freight, who saw an injury halt his 2022 campaign in September, will begin this season on Saturday (Feb. 18) at The Meadowlands, where he is the 2-1 morning-line favourite in a $23,000 conditioned race. The eight-year-old stallion, aka “Jimmy Jets,” will start from post six with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Brett Pelling.

Jimmy Freight, an O’Brien Award winner in 2018, has hit the board in 60 of 75 career races, winning 33, and earned $1.87 million. Last year, he counted the Camluck Classic — won with a track-record 1:50.2 performance at The Raceway at Western Fair District — among 12 victories in 21 starts. He also captured the Mohawk Gold Cup in a career-best 1:48.

“He had a couple of real setbacks, but he got through them and shows no ill effects,” Pelling said, referring to a 2022 season that also saw Jimmy Freight sidelined by a cut leg suffered on a trailer trip. “He’s come back good.”

Pelling began training Jimmy Freight last summer after Adriano Sorella, who alone owned the horse since buying him out of Iowa during his two-year-old season, created an ownership group with Eric Cherry, Robert Cooper Stables, Jesmeral Stable and Howard Taylor. As Pelling has gotten to know Jimmy Freight, he’s been impressed by his intelligence.

“I do know that he’s smarter than us,” said Pelling. “I tell whoever drives him, 'Don’t worry about what you do because he will do it himself.' He is the smartest horse racing that you will ever come across. He knows exactly what is going on. He knows where the hole is, he knows when to go, when to whoa; he’s just an absolute amazing professional.

“I’m not saying he’s a machine, he’s just an absolute pro. He’s a pretty cool dude.”

Pelling is pointing Jimmy Freight toward the MGM Borgata Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway, which begins on March 20. He heads to Saturday’s race off two qualifiers. He won the most recent, on Feb. 11, in 1:52.2 with a :27.1 final quarter. He won the first, on Jan. 28, in 1:52 with a :26 last quarter.

“He should acquit himself pretty well,” said Pelling. “He qualified twice and both times he was in hand, so he’ll be fine.”

Jimmy Freight is among a strong returning group of horses for Pelling. Others in the stable include Test Of Faith, the 2021 Horse of the Year who will receive another Dan Patch Award on Sunday, as well as former Dan Patch Award honouree Allywag Hanover, and Charleston, Combustion and Earthwindfire — all Grand Circuit winners last year at two.

“They all came in Feb. 1 and look great,” said Pelling. “They came back in great condition, nice and sound, and all grown up. We have a real nice balanced team this year. It’s exciting.”

Six-year-old Allywag Hanover, who has earned $1.78 million lifetime, and five-year-old Test Of Faith, with $2.49 million, both are entering their fourth years in Pelling’s barn.

“Most of the time when you have these horses, you don’t have them for that long,” said Pelling. “For us, it’s quite special.”

In addition to Jimmy Freight’s seasonal debut, 2021 Canadian Trotting Classic champion Ahundreddollarbill will make his season bow in Saturday’s $31,500 Open Trot at The Meadowlands. The five-year-old gelding is the 2-1 morning-line favourite in a seven-horse field. He will leave from post five with Todd McCarthy driving for trainer Tony Alagna.

Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EST) at The Meadowlands. Free TrackMaster programs for The Big M can be found at playmeadowlands.com.

(With files from USTA)

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.