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Breeders' Cup 2017

Vyjack Returns Sunday at Aqueduct

Vyjack Jerome 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Sue Kawczynski

Vyjack, the 2013 Grade 3 Gotham winner, will make his first start in almost nine months on Sunday when he competes in a seven-furlong optional claimer at Aqueduct Racetrack.


A winner of his first four races, Vyjack suffered his first defeat when he was third, beaten one length, in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial before finishing 18th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, eighth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, and sixth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. He was shut down for the remainder of 2013 after being diagnosed with gastric ulcers.


Vyjack, who is trained by Rudy Rodriguez for David Wilkenfeld's Pick Six Racing, began preparing for his comeback at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland before turning in four workouts at Aqueduct. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said he hopes the gelded son of Into Mischief is ready to put in a strong performance in Sunday's race, which could be used as a springboard to the Grade 1, $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap on June 7, Belmont Stakes Day.  


"When we brought him from Fair Hill we always wanted to try to run him at the end of the meet [at Aqueduct]," said Rodriguez. "We know he likes Aqueduct. I don't think we have him 100 percent, so the race looks like a good race to start him. Maybe a mile would be better for him, but he'll go seven eighths on the main track. He's doing very good, and we're happy with the way he's training. We're happy with the way he's coming up to the race. We'd like to give him this race to point to the bigger races. If he runs the way we expect him to run, we'll try to run him in the Met Mile at Belmont. That's our goal right now, so, hopefully, everything works from here. But so far, so good."


Rodriguez said Vyjack does not have to win on Sunday to continue to the Met Mile.


"I'd him like to show up the right way," said Rodriguez. "If he wins, that'd be very good, especially for him. He's a gelding; we have a long future ahead of us for him, so we want to try to take one step at a time and see if we can get the job done on Sunday."




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Older Comments about Vyjack Returns Sunday at Aqueduct...

when this one ran before he did it against PANFULLY SLOW intermediate fractions.
I am not comparing races. Never do that. I am just showing how fast "X" horse went in regards to "Y" horse. Many consider if a horse can get a certain distance by winning or losing. I never have or never will.
ok, not sure you can compare races like that. Well I hope all goes well for him
Nathan you are right,$68K is chump change,this race has nothing to do with the purse. Like Rudy said,He has to show up. Buds if your opinion is that he can only go so far,that is not a problem. Thankfully we don't depend on those who share your thoughts. I should not,but i will support our mind set. You see we believe in sheets to a stronf degree. Whether it is a revelation or not to you. So do roughly 90% of the trainers out there. You see when Paynter lost at the wire to Union Rags in the Belmont Stakes 2 yrs back. They ran a speed number of "3". Last year when Palace Malice won the Belmont,he ran a "0". That means he ran approximately6 to 7 lengths faster than the year before. Vyjack because of a bump at the start and a Jockey who was more interested in relaxing the horse ,as opposed to riding the horse. Vyjack with his extremely wide trip,and probably not at full strength. He ran a speed figure of "3". The same as the year before. So you see Buds,if Paynter and Union Rags ran in last years Belmont,they would of been off the board.If you agree with that assesment,it really is not that important. Just like i have my opinions on other horses.You have them here,we are not out to convince Joe Public.
Buds, we never had the opportunity to see Vyjack perform past the Gotham distance properly because he was not healthy. His best distance I believe is 1 1/8. Distance means nothing to me when it comes to a great horse. If that is his distance then that is where he does his best against other horses who run at that distance. We have no idea what the horse could have been last year because he was not himself in subsequent races. But what he accomplished prior to his health issues was only matched by Verazzano and this is why I say he was the best at that stage.
68 is chump change is what I meant, just a good return is what Rudy’s looking for.
Lisa- I do remember, and like I said, I thought he was one of the best 8-8.5 furlong horse. Maybe he could or can run farthe but I didn’t think he could. But by me saying I think he could be a top 5 horse in that category isn’t a put down, it’s a compliment. Amino- Your 68K, for a tune up race is pretty good. Hope He returns in good form… all im saying
Oh my!
That's what I meant, Lisa. We all have our favorites, and GL.
Buds, Vyjack went undefeated and crushed his opponents through to the Gotham. His health was not 100% after that race and therefore no race afterwards was a true Vyjack running his race. He and Verazzano were unmatched up until the Wood Memorial where a healthy Verazzano beat Vyjack by less than 2 lengths. He was the best then and I have every faith in Rudy and his connections that he is as healthy as he was in arguably the best performance iin last years preps, the Gotham. If you dont remember the performance, its on youtube.
Did I mention it's a $68K purse.. don't worry, be happy, buds.
Im sorry Mary but did I say something astonishing to you? I guess its safe to say that only certain people are allowed favorites at the track and others, well, not so much.
TM, You’re slipping, it took OVER 20 minutes for you to reply! Im just saying, not sarcastically, ok maybe a little sarcastically, but don’t look at races down the road, worry about the one on Sunday. I know this horse had some serious health issues; sometimes they never come back to previous form. I hope he does hes a nice horse. Lisa, as far as the top 2 from last year, your going to have to convince me of that. Top 5 miler- 8.5 furlong; perhaps.
omg, if I was a big fan of his, it would be like Royal Vyjack. GL, but oh my!
IMO, Vyjack was the best 2 year old out of the 2010 crop and began his 3 year old campaign as one of two of the best, he and Verazzano. His health prevented him for continuing on his Champion course and those that actually understood this eagerly awaited his healthy return back to the stage. Vyjack is, was and will always be a major champion. I have great faith in Mr. Rodriguez to do what is right for this incredible horse. Go get'em Vyjack!
Buds this horse suffered a near fatal stomach condition last year. Do you think that developed overnight. He is lucky to be back in one piece and prepping for his 4 yr old campaign. There is a thing called being a bit cautious and just making sure that everything is in order. If we would of none you knew so much about Race Management,we would of consulted you prior to picking out a race. Maybe next time.
Thats my point, better win this one first, and yes a nice gift would be in order
Send the racing secretary a bouquet, TM, for writing this *extra* NW4x or NW of a Stake since Aug or $100K claiming race that was 1) not in the condition book and 2) only drew 5 but goes as the 3rd anyway.
Vyjack Better worry about bating his foes in this tough comeback race before he sets his sights on the Met Mile. What are the condition of Sundays race? A pulse?
Thanks E.

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