Kentucky Derby points will be on the line at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day, as a field of eight three-year-olds will line up to contest Saturday’s $150,000 Jerome S. The one-turn mile race is worth 17 combined points (10-4-2-1) to the top four finishers.
Cooke Creek has been pegged the 5-2 morning line favorite following his runner-up effort in the Nov. 7 Nashua S. (G3) at Belmont Park. By Uncle Mo, the Jeremiah O’Dwyer-trained colt won his first two starts at Delaware Park, including the Rocky Run S., before finishing a clear second behind Rockefeller last time. The dark bay colt will break from the rail with Manny Franco.
Hagler will make his stakes debut for Rudy Rodriguez following frontrunning wins over maiden and allowance rivals. A Florida-bred son of Tapiture, the chestnut colt registered a field-best 91 Brisnet Speed rating two back, and Hagler will retain the services of Jorge Vargas Jr.
Ohtwoohthreefive will switch to the main track following a nose second in the Nov. 27 Central Park S. on Aqueduct’s turf. Kendrick Carmouche retains the mount for George Weaver. Mr Jefferson merits respect after a fourth in the Dec. 4 Remsen S. (G2) for Michael Trombetta. An allowance scorer at Laurel Park two back, the Constitution colt will be ridden by Mychel Sanchez.
A trio of last-out maiden winners will jump to stakes competition. Courvoisier, a $600,000 son of Tapit, exits a neck tally going 1 1/8 miles at Belmont in his fourth outing. Unbridled Bomber brings a late kick, rallying last to first to score by a neck at Belmont in his last appearance. Smarten Up ships in after romping by nine lengths over maiden special weight foes at Parx.