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Jerome Stakes has eight 3-year-olds going to post

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Ozone Park, NY (Sportsbooks) - Saturday's 1-mile, 70-yard Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct has attracted a field of eight 3-year-olds as the New York road to the Kentucky Derby gets underway.

Trying to remain undefeated in the $200,000 stakes is Pick Six Racing's Vyjack, trained by Rudy Rodriguez. The gelding will be ridden again by Cornelio Velasquez from post two.

"He'll be stretching out, going around two turns, and trying the inner track for the first time," said Rodriguez. "It will be a learning experience for him, and for us. It's a very competitive race, but he's been training very well."

Vyjack has been made the Jerome's 2-1 morning line favorite after beginning his racing career with two impressive wins. He broke his maiden on Nov. 10 with a 1 3/4-length victory and captured the Traskwood Stakes at Aqueduct by 5 3/4-lengths four weeks later. The two wins gives Vyjack $82,200.

The 5-2 second choice is Long River who will break from post three with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the saddle. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Long River won for the first time in his third attempt on Dec. 15 at Aqueduct.

"It's a big step up for him, going from a maiden to a Grade 2, but you have to have some dreams and hopes," said McLaughlin. "He's got the pedigree to go any distance, and we're willing to give him a try."

Owned by Darley Stable, the son of A.P. Indy has earned $55,140.

Also stepping up into stakes company off a maiden win is 3-1 third pick Mudflats. Trained by Doug O'Neill, the gray gelding will start from post six with Junior Alvarado returning to ride.

"He's a beautiful looking individual," said O'Neill, who won last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness with I'll Have Another. "His maiden victory was very impressive, and I love the fact that Junior Alvarado is high on him as well. We're looking for a strong performance from him, something we can build on, and hopefully he will be a first Saturday in May kind of horse."

Now owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Mudflats notched his maiden victory on Dec. 8 at Aqueduct when ridden by Alvarado for the first time. The gelding has banked $47,900.

Here is the field for the Jerome in post position order: Siete de Oros, Angel Arroyo, 20-1; Vyjack, Cornelia Velasquez, 2-1; Long River, Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-2; Amerigo Vespucci, Erick Rodriguez, 12-1, Notacatbutallama, Ramon Dominguez, 10-1; Mudflats, Junior Alvarado, 3-1; Vegas No Show, Paco Lopez, 6-1 and James Jingle, Eddie Castro, 30-1.

Post-time for the Jerome is scheduled for 3:48 p.m. (ET).

January 3, 2013, at 12:43 PM ET
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