Scheduled as the New Year’s Day feature at Aqueduct, and the first race of 2018 to offer points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, the $150,000 Jerome Stakes was postponed after a winter storm hit the Jamaica, New York, area.
After days of inclement weather, the one-mile contest will finally take place Saturday at Aqueduct and features eight runners, five of whom are returning from the original field. Firenze Fire was the top draw when the race was first drawn and still is as he faces seven rivals here.
The Jason Serivs trainee is no stranger to New York, taking the Sanford Stakes (G3) at Saratoga and running fourth in that track’s Hopeful Stakes (G1) before capturing the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on October 7. The bay son of Poseidon’s Warrior offered no run when a well-beaten seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last out at Del Mar to conclude his juvenile campaign, and gets a jockey switch to Manuel Franco here.
Seven Trumpets faces stakes rivals for the first time in this spot after breaking his maiden and taking an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill Downs. The Dale Romans-trained Morning Line colt will also have a new rider in the irons with Paco Lopez taking the call.
Old Time Revival also tries stakes company for the initial time for conditioner Kenny Decker. The dark bay son of Brethren has competed exclusively at Laurel Park up to this point, finishing third and fifth in five-furlong maidens over the summer before stretching out to seven furlongs and breaking his maiden by 4 3/4 lengths on December 11. Junior Alvarado has the call.
Smooth B will attempt to rebound in the Jerome after being well-beaten in three prior stakes. The most recent of those came as a fourth-placing, 9 3/4 lengths behind the winner, in the Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx Racing. Joe Rocco Jr. was aboard that day for trainer Bob Reid Jr. and retains the mount.
Regalian is taking a huge step up in class in the Jerome after being claimed on October 9 at Belmont Park and then scoring his initial victory by 4 1/2 lengths for new trainer Chris Englehart in a maiden claimer over track and distance. Luis Reyes pilots the bay son of Fast Bullet.
Coltandmississippi, Factor This and Glennwood are the new entries to the Jerome.
Coltandmississippi broke his maiden and took an allowance/optional claimer in between running off the board in a pair of stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher. The Pioneerof the Nile colt will have to step up in a big way to impact this contest and gets his fifth jockey from as many starts when Trevor McCarthy gets a let up.
Factor This was a maiden winner over track and distance last out, which was only his second dirt start from seven total career races. Dylan Davis has been aboard for all but two of the sophomore’s efforts and will try to guide him to a second straight victory in this spot.
Glennwood finished well behind Seven Trumpets in his most recent start in a Churchill allowance/optional claimer, and was in the maiden claiming ranks prior to that.