Delayed start for Jujubee

Ken Weingartner

Hightstown, NJ — Jujubee, who was the 2021 Dan Patch Award Trotter of the Year as well as being voted the sport’s top 3-year-old male trotter, has seen his 4-year-old debut delayed, but owner Jon Erdner hopes his homebred star will be ready to return to action during the summer.

Last season, Jujubee won 14 of 18 races, finished worse than second only once, and earned $948,791 to lead all male trotters in purses. Trained by Greg Wright Jr., the stallion qualified in mid-April at Spring Garden Ranch, where he won in 1:56.1, as he prepared for this year’s campaign.

Jujubee was eligible to compete in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters, which got underway May 7, as well as this weekend’s Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands but was not entered in either event.

Last season, Jujubee won 14 of 18 races, finished worse than second only once, and earned $948,791 to lead all male trotters in purses. USTA/Mark Hall photo.

“He trained down pretty good during the spring, but Greg thought he was just a little bit off,” Erdner said. “We had him looked at, and we didn’t find too much, but it looked like there might have been some stress in one of his bones. So, we decided to give him some time. He should be back in July.

“I don’t think (Jujubee) knows anything is wrong, but we’re not taking any chances. Maybe we’re a little bit overcautious, but you have to do what is right by the horse.”

Jujubee was lightly raced at age 2, racing five times in conditioned events, and posting two wins, two seconds, and a third. Last year, his victories included the Breeders Crown, Kentucky Futurity, Phil Langley Memorial, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship.

Along the way, the son of Creatine-La Cantera became the first 3-year-old male trotter in history to win with two sub-1:50 miles, capturing the Muscle Hill Trot in 1:49.4 at The Meadowlands and the Futurity in 1:49.3 at Lexington’s Red Mile.

“You always like to set records and so forth, but we still have that ahead of us,” Erdner said. “I think that when he’s ready to go he will come back pretty well. He will be stronger and more mature. I think he can tackle some of the records he hasn’t beaten yet.”

Jujubee is eligible to a number of stakes during the second half of the Grand Circuit season, including the John Cashman Memorial in August, Maple Leaf Trot in September, and Breeders Crown in October.

“He’s missing a few (stakes now) but he should be fresh for the end of the year,” Erdner said. “He still has a career ahead of him yet. We’ll hope for the best there.”

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