Three-year-olds hit Derby trail in Jerome

Profile Picture: James Scully

January 1st, 2015

Saturday’s Jerome at Aqueduct is the year’s first scoring race in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series and the one-mile and 70-yard race has attracted El Kabeir, winner of the November 29 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs.

The John Terranova-trained colt already possesses 11 points, earning 10 for the Kentucky Jockey Club and one for a fourth in the Champagne, and a Jerome victory would put El Kabeir in an extremely favorable spot given that 10 points was enough to make the Derby field the past two years.

However, El Kabeir doesn’t figure to receive the same cushy trip on the front end from post 9 that he enjoyed last time. Nasa is a speedy rival with some quality to his immediate inside and Ostrolenka appears likely to send from post 4.

I’ll try to beat El Kabeir at short odds.

Ostrolenka is eligible to rebound from a dreadful effort in the Remsen, a potential speed of the speed play from his inside post, and Ackeret rates consideration on the stretch-out for cold trainer Rudy Rodriguez, registering a 95 BRIS Speed rating while romping over Parx allowance foes last out.

But I’ve landed on Mini Cosmo for the top selection. A moderate debut winner for Graham Motion, the colt improved when making his stakes bow the second time out and continued to show more last time while stretching out to two turns.

An appealing 8-1 on the morning line, the Unbridled Energy colt has captured two of three starts and his BRIS numbers fit in this spot.

Saturday’s Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park offers no points toward a Kentucky Derby berth, but the one-mile event features an exciting three-year-old in Mawthooq, a 10-length maiden winner at Aqueduct on November 26. The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt drew favorably on the far outside versus eight rivals and picks up the services of John Velazquez.