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Breeders' Cup 2017

Jerome for J J's Lucky Train?

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 assistant.


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.”

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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.


Rattlesnake Bridge 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.



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