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Jerome Handicap Betting – El Kabeir Opens 2015 With a Victory

Posted by on 1/2/2015 9:06:27 PM

The Grade-3 Jerome Handicap is a race open to three-year-olds and it is the second-oldest stakes event in the United States as this will be the 145 th edition. The race is held at Aqueduct and run on dirt at a distance of one mile and 70 yards. The purse is $200,000, but there is also 10 points up for grabs in terms of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby in May.

This is a big race for three-year-olds looking to make some noise, and El Kabeir will be the loudest of all as he puts his name on the Derby radar.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, January 3rd, post time TBA

Where : Aqueduct Racetrack, Queens, NY

Pick : El Kabeir

Ackeret broke his maiden on his first try in October, but then he finished fifth in the non-graded James F. Lewis III in November and he needs a good race to kick off his three-year-old campaign. He has never run more than 6 ½ furlongs, and the distance of this race equates to just over eight furlongs, so keep an eye on Ackeret down the stretch.

El Kabeir might be the favorite after winning the Grade-2 Kentucky Jockey Club last month, and he has gotten better in the graded stakes events after a fourth at the Grade-1 Champagne in October, then a second at the Grade-2 Nashau one month later. A win here, and you might have to put El Kabeir on your watch list for the Kentucky Derby.

General Bellamy broke his maiden on his third try at the end of November, but now he is being thrust into this race, although he has run 1 1/16 miles and finished fourth in his debut. This will definitely be the best field he has run against, so this will be a good test for General Bellamy.

Mini Cosmo has two wins in three starts, breaking his maiden on the first attempt, and then an allowance race. He finished fourth at the non-graded Christopher Elser Memorial, and he still hasn’t run longer than a mile, so the step up in competition as well the distance could be a challenge to this colt, but the speed seems to be there.

Nasa finished third ahead of Mini Cosmo at the Elser Memorial, which followed his maiden win and then he won the non-graded Pennsylvania Nursery in December. This could be the race that decides how far Nasa goes as a three-year-old, and like many of the other horses in this field, he has never run more than seven furlongs. This is a horse that needs to be watched as the race comes to a close.

Now We Are Free finished sixth in his debut (a maiden-clearance race), then won a maiden special weight event at 1 1/16 miles and then an allowance race in November. This is a very intriguing option because we have never seen Now We Are Free go up against a field like this. He can make a big jump in the three-year-old ranks with a win on Saturday.

Ostrolenka is another interesting pick as he finished seventh in his maiden debut, then won on his next try. Then he won the non-graded Sleepy Hollow in October, but Ostrolenka slumped badly to a 13th-place finish at the Grade-2 Remsen in November. He is a much better horse than he showed at Aqueduct at the end of November, but Ostrolenka has to prove it on Saturday. He has already run over 1 1/8 miles, but that was at the Remsen, so that might not be promising.

Royal Burgh is another horse which is looking to bounce back from a disappointing showing at the Remsen, where he finished one spot ahead of Ostrolenka in 12th. This followed a maiden win in his first try in October, so this is his chance to get back on track as Royal Burgh doesn’t even need a victory necessarily; he just needs a solid performance to land a few more big races as a three-year-old.

Tencendur rounds out the field and he made his debut with a third in his maiden race, so he still has some ways to go before we figure out if he can compete. That is what the Jerome is for and Tencendur ran that maiden race at a mile and 70 yards, so the distance shouldn’t be a problem for this colt.

How It Will Play Out

This is a tough race to call as many of these horses are still improving, but El Kabeir has been very good from what has been seen of him, and he has the best pedigree to put himself in the winner’s circle on Saturday.

Jerome Handicap Betting Pick: El Kabeir

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