Betting the superfecta in the 2020 Jerome Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

December 31st, 2010

If you can think of any valid reason to play against #3 Independence Hall in the $150,000 Jerome Stakes on New Year’s Day, please let me know. I’m all ears!

On paper, Independence Hall towers over his rivals in this one-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race at Aqueduct. Trained by Michael Trombetta, Independence Hall is already proven over this track and distance, having romped to a stunning 12 ¼-length victory in the November 3 Nashua Stakes (G3). His margin of victory and his blazing final time (1:34.66) were both stakes records.
His reward for this demolition was a 101 Brisnet speed figure, by far the highest in the Jerome field. But wait, Independence Hall is hardly a one-hit wonder. He also ran fast in his debut sprinting seven furlongs at Parx Racing, rallying from mid-pack after a slow start to score by 4 ¾ lengths with a 91 Brisnet speed rating.

Here’s the thing—none of Independence Hall’s half-dozen Jerome rivals have reached the 91 Brisnet speed rating plateau, much less the lofty 101 standard Independence Hall established in the Nashua. With his tactical speed and strong finishing kick (he flew home the final quarter of the Nashua in :24.42), Independence Hall is a formidable presence in this small and generally unremarkable field.

I suppose you can knock the way Independence Hall drifted in and out down the homestretch of the Nashua; he raced greenly and seems like something of a work in progress. And granted, he won’t offer much value in the win pool; he might start at 1-5 or 2-5. But there’s a reason why this son of Constitution closed at 13-1 in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1—he’s an exciting prospect with a world of potential, and it will be a shock if he comes up short in the Jerome.

With this in mind, we’ll key Independence Hall on top in the superfecta, hoping to cash a larger payoff by correctly identifying the top four finishers. Underneath, we’ll favor #1 Prince of Pharoahs (an easy maiden winner going a mile at Belmont) and #7 Bourbon Bay (a late-running maiden winner bred to stretch out in distance).

$7.50 superfecta: 3 with 1,7 with 1,7 with 2,5 ($30)

Good luck!