J J'S LUCKY TRAIN (Silver Train), who made an inexorable rally to take the Bay Shore (G3) at Aqueduct on April 9, could return to the Big A on April 23 to compete in the Jerome (G2) for three-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 him in the Jerome. "The timing concerns me a little, but he's acting good. We'll decide on Monday."
The seven-furlong Woody Stephens (G2) 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," Anderson said.
Also looking to make a quick turnaround for the Jerome is JUSTIN PHILLIP (First Samurai), 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.
Justin Phillip won his three-year-old debut at Fair Grounds in an optional claimer, then finished fifth in the Lecomte (G3) and eighth in the Risen Star (G2) prior to cutting back in trip for the Bay Shore.
In addition to Justin Phillip and possibly J J's Lucky Train, the Jerome is expected to attract CAL NATION (Distorted Humor) who followed up his dominant debut score by finishing second in a Gulfstream Park allowance; FREE ENTRY (Tale of the Cat), sixth in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2); RATTLESNAKE BRIDGE (Tapit) and GALLANT DREAMS (Bernardini), respectively second and third to champion Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) in the Timely Writer; and VEE'S ACCOLADE (Proud Accolade), who broke his maiden impressively against Florida-breds at Gulfstream in his 10th start.
Also under consideration for the race, according to Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), are ADIOS CHARLIE (Indian Charlie), an easy maiden victor at Gulfstream in his second start, and ISN'T HE PERFECT (Pleasantly Perfect) and STARSHIP CAESAR (Repent), respectively fifth and sixth in the Wood Memorial (G1).
Three Jerome candidates posted Saturday works at Belmont Park.
On the fast training track, Rattlesnake Bridge worked a half-mile in :49 3/5, while Free Entry covered five-eighths in 1:01 3/5. Vee's Accolade breezed a half-mile on the fast main track in :47 3/5.