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Kentucky Derby Prep- Jerome Stakes

Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct

AristidesHappy New Year everybody! We are now about half way through the 2013-2014 Kentucky Derby Prep Season with 9 races out of the way and 9 left to go. If you are unfamiliar with the Derby Points System, you can read up on it here- 2014 Kentucky Derby Points System. On that page you will find the point’s breakdown, the top point’s horses and more, so be sure and bookmark the page to help you prep for this year’s Run for the Roses. This weekend on the 4th we were supposed to have 2 prep races, but the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita has been moved to the 11th, so we’ll be covering that race next weekend. This Saturday, we have the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct. This race has been run since 1866 only missing 5 years (1910-1913 and 2010). Talk about an event steeped in history! This race has hosted many winners that went on to be racing champions such as Tom Fool, Bold Ruler, Kelso, Silver Train and the first Kentucky Derby winner, Aristides (just to name a few!). This race was named after Leonard W. Jerome, founder of the old Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx, which was home to the very first Belmont Stakes. Like I said, lots of history surrounding Jerome and this race named in his honor! Anyway, let’s take a look at Saturday’s Jerome Stakes and see what we can find.

Jerome Park Racetrack

2014 Jerome Stakes

Noble MoonThe $200,000 Grade 2 Jerome Stakes is the 8th race on the card at Aqueduct on Saturday and will spotlight a field of 8 recently turned 3 year olds traveling 1 mile and 70 yards on the inner track. The 6/5 morning line favorite is Noble Moon. There is a lot to like about this colt and I can see why he is favored. He won his maiden debut at Belmont in September in a straight maiden 80k by ¾ of a length, in front running fashion. In his next race, the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct, he ran 3rd with a late charge after being bumped at the start. That versatility of being able to run from back of the pack or being able to run the lead gate to wire makes Noble moon a threat. But there’s something I don’t like about him here. For starters, his regular jockey, Alex Solis, is riding my choice for value in this race- Classic Giacnroll. Classic Giacnroll holds the top speed figure out of this bunch and I believe he has a real shot of winning this one. I don’t know if Solis chose Classic Giacnroll over Noble Moon or if Noble Moon’s connections wanted Irad Ortiz, Jr. instead. What I do know is that Classic Giacnroll should be overlooked by the public and should fetch a nice price here, should he win. For a longshot, I like Mental Iceberg at 20 to 1 on the morning line. In the Grade 2 Remsen, he bounced running last, but I am willing to forgive him on this one since it was his 2nd outing ever. In his maiden race he made a huge come-from-behind rally on the turf to win by ¾ of a length at 1 1/16 mile. I believe he will handle the 1 mile 70 yards with ease and could possibly upset this field for a very large payout. Good luck everybody!

 

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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