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Kilroe Pace Scenario Favors Jeranimo

Jeranimo inherited the lead by default when he finished second in the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes on Jan. 16. Trainer Mike Pender anticipates a more favorable scenario for the 6-year-old Congaree horse owned by B.J. Wright when he tackles 4-5 morning line choice Mr. Commons and others in Saturday’s Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile.


“He definitely runs better with a target, if you just leave him alone and let him do his thing,” Pender said. “Just put him in cruise control behind other horses and let him drop his bit. He can out-gallop any miler in the country, I believe.


“But if you get to fighting and tussling with him, and the pace is such that it’s so slow that he’s up there on the front end, it tends to take away that turn of foot,” Pender added. “Hopefully he’ll find a nice little spot to relax and put it into cruise control and you’ll see that sizzling, scintillating three-sixteenths turn of foot that he’s got.


“Wouldn’t it?” Pender said when asked about a déjà vu-like possible stretch duel between Jeranimo and Mr. Commons. “He couldn’t get to us in the Oak Tree Mile (second by three-quarters of a length last Oct. 8) but he did have a little trouble in that race and we had a perfectly clean trip.


“But if you watch the gallop out, Mr. Commons never got by us. When Jeranimo is in front at the top of the lane, he’s tough to get by.”


The field for the Kilroe: Mr. Commons, Mike Smith, 4-5; Jimmy Simms, Corey Nakatani, 12-1; Willyconker, Joel Rosario, 8-1; Compari, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Jeranimo, Martin Garcia, 3-1; Massone, Alonso Quinonez, 15-1; Make Music for Me, Chantal Sutherland, 20-1; and Mega Heat, Joe Talamo, 15-1.



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