The running of the 2017 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack on Jan. 2 highlights a strong race card for bettors this Monday afternoon at the New York track.
The list of probable entries for this year's Jerome Stakes is still coming together but look for a few up and coming three-year-olds from famed trainers such as Todd Pletcher, Kiaran McLaughlin and Chad Brown to highlight the field. The following are my top three entries for Monday's main event at Aqueduct as part of a trifecta play.
2017 Jerome Stakes: Aqueduct Racetrack
The Jerome is a Grade 3 stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds as part of the Kentucky Derby prep race schedule. It will be contested on the dirt track at Aqueduct over a distance of 1 mile, 70 yards and the total prize purse for this year's event has been set at $150,000.
Right now there are six entries listed as probable for Monday's race led by my top choice Takaful. This soon to be three-year-old Kentucky-bred colt caught my eye in a third-place finish in this season's Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 26. Mo Town won that race over a distance of 1 1/8 mile with No Dozing taking second in what proved to be a very strong field.
Trained by McLaughlin, he made his two-year-old debut with a victory in a Maiden Special Weight race at Belmont in late October over a distance of 6½ furlongs. Takeful comes into this race with the highest Horse Racing Nation rating in the field at 6.48.
My second choice for the Jerome would be trainer Dan McFarlane's Even Thunder, who has established a HRN rating of 5.12 in his short career as a juvenile. This Kentucky-bred colt will be making his three-year-old debut fresh off a victory in the non-graded King's Swan Stakes at Aqueduct on Dec. 2 over a distance of six furlongs. He also placed first at that same distance earlier in the year at Canterbury Park in the non-graded Shakopee Juvenile Stakes.
The big question coming into this race will be the added distance since Even Thunder has yet to compete in a race longer than six furlongs, but the simple fact that he has won all three races he ran as a juvenile including one at Monday's track gives him some high marks for this race.
Win With Pride
One of trainer Todd Pletcher's more promising prospects is Win With Pride and he is set to make his three-year-old debut as my third choice in Monday's Jerome Stakes. This Kentucky-bred colt was able to hang with the lead pack to finish fourth in this year's Remsen Stakes in his only graded event as a juvenile. He started his racing career with a third-place run in a MSW race at Belmont on Sept. 24 over a distance of six furlongs.
He has also caught the eye of HRN as one of four probable entries in this race with an official rating (5.09). Win With Pride is a pedigree of Love and Pride with a progeny that goes all the way back to Seattle Slew.