Fresh Start Stable’s J J’s Lucky Train, who made an
inexorable rally to take the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct on April 9, could
return to the Big A on April 23 to compete in the Grade 2 Jerome for
3-year-olds, trainer Bill Anderson revealed.
While the seven-furlong Bay Shore and the one-mile Jerome
are only two weeks apart, J J’s Lucky Train is currently showing signs he can
handle the two-week turnaround.
“His race in the Bay
Shore was real good and while the Jerome is a little
quick back, he’s already back at the track and training well,” said Anderson,
who said he is currently 75 percent in favor of running the 3-year-old son of
Silver Train in the Jerome. “The timing concerns me a little, but he’s acting
good. We’ll decide on Monday.”
The seven-furlong, Grade 2 Woody Stephens on the Belmont
Stakes undercard on June 11 is the long-range goal for J J’s Lucky Train, who
earlier this year finished second in the Count Fleet and Whirlaway around two
turns over the inner track and won the Miracle Wood at Laurel Park.
“We definitely want to go to the Woody Stephens, but there’s
not much between now and then and he’s run well at Aqueduct,” said Anderson.
Also looking to make a quick turnaround for next Saturday’s
Jerome is Justin Phillip, a troubled third to J J’s Lucky Train in the Bay Shore.
“He got into trouble in his last race, and deserves another
shot,” said Toby Sheets, trainer Steve Asmussen’s New York
The First Samurai colt, owned by Zayat Stables, won his
3-year-old debut at the Fair Grounds in an optional claimer, then finished
fifth in the Grade 3 LeComte and eighth in the Grade 2 Risen Star prior to the Bay Shore.
Sheets added that Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Haynesfield,
recently announced as 2010’s New York-bred Horse of the Year, worked seven
furlongs over Belmont Park’s
main track Saturday morning as he nears a return to the races.
Turtle Bird Stable’s 4-year-old went in 1:26.45, the fastest
of three at the distance, in his sixth published workout of the year.
“He went very well and we’re very pleased with where he is
at,” said Sheets. “We’re looking for a spot in the next week or so.”
In addition to Justin Phillip and possibly J J’s Lucky
Train, the Jerome is expected to attract Cal Nation, who followed up his
dominant debut score by finishing second in a Gulfstream Park allowance; Free
Entry, sixth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby; Justin Phillip, third
in the Bay Shore; Rattlesnake Bridge and Gallant Dreams,
respectively second and third to Uncle Mo in the Timely Writer; and Vee’s
Accolade, who broke his maiden impressively against Florida-breds at
Gulfstream in his 10th start, according to Andrew Byrnes, stakes
coordinator for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).
Also under consideration for the race are Adios Charlie,
an easy maiden victor at Gulfstream in his second start, and Isn’t He
Perfect and Starship Caesar, respectively fifth and sixth in the
Grade 1 Resorts World New York Casino Wood Memorial.
worked a half-mile over the Belmont
training track Saturday morning in 49.64, while Free Entry covered five-eighths
in 1:01.67. Vee’s Accolade breezed a half-mile on the main track in 47.60.