The first of 25 points races in 2014 on the road to the Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct as a field of eight will line up in the $200,000 Jerome (G2) at one mile and 70 yards on the inner track.
Noble Moon, who broke his maiden in his debut at 25-1 and ran third in the Nashua (G2) at 16-1 will get plenty of attention at the betting windows as the 6-5 morning line favorite.
The Leah Gyamarti trainee will face a field of seven three-year-olds including Marylander third place finisher Classic Giacnroll, recent first level allowance winner Master Lightning from the Todd Pletcher barn, and the Tony Dutrow trained Scotland, a promising looking maiden.
The winner of the race will earn 10 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby and it is the first of five stakes for three-year-olds at the meeting that may produce contenders for the Run for the roses.
Upcoming stakes are the $250,000 Withers (G1) on Feb. 1, the $500,000 Gotham (G2) on March 1, and the $300,000 Bay Shore (G3) and $1 million Wood Memorial (G1) which both will be contested on April 5.
A field of eight three-year-old fillies will go to the post in the co-feature on Saturday’s card, the $100,000 Busanda at one mile and 70 yards on the inner track.
The 5-2 morning line favorite is Alpaca Fina, who has won three of her four career starts, last out coming with a good late run to get up late to beat first level optional claimers. Her lone loss was a third place finish in the Sharp Cat in her first start against winners.
The George Weaver trained Flipcup will step outside of the state bred ranks for the first time and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. The filly won the New York bred East View on Dec. 22.
Friday’s card was wiped out by the snowstorm, but the sun is forecast to make an appearance on Saturday and we should be back in action with a first post of 12:25 eastern.
Let’s head out to Aqueduct for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 8 The Jerome G2 Post time 3:38 ET
7 Classic Giacnroll 5-1
1 Nobiz Moon
2 Scotland 7-2
8 Master Lightning 6-1
Classic Giacnroll is coming off a solid effort in a third place finisher in the Marylander at Laurel Park in his stakes debut. The colt sat off the pace, came with a six wide run and finished up well, beaten two lengths for the top spot. The winner of the race was Joint Custody, who came back to win the state bred Maryland Juvenile Championship in his next outing on Dc. 28 and the fourth place finisher Extrasexyhippster came back to win the Don Rickles Stakes here on Dec. 21. He makes his second start off a 2 ½ month break and has enough pedigree to handle two turns, by Derby winner Giacomo out of a Storm Bird mare.
Nobiz Moon took the field gate to wire in his debut returning his backers $53.50. He stepped up into stakes company last out in the Nashua (G2). He was bumped coming out of the gate and made a good late rally after coming six wide in the stretch to finish third, again at a generous price of 16-1. The $200,000 purchase is going to be a much shorter price in this spot. The colt is a half to graded stakes placed Mambo Fever ($124.010).
Scotland is still a maiden but this guy appears to still have a ton of upside. The Tony Dutrow trainee made a good late rally to just miss in his debut by a head at Laurel Park as the beaten favorite. Second time out the colt came with a four wide rally to finish in the runner up spot and looks as if he is going to appreciate the stretch out to two turns. The barn is 21% winners moving runners from sprint to route.
WIN: Classic Giacnroll to win at 7-2 or better.
EXACTA: 1,7 / 1,2,7,8
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