J J's Lucky Train came roaring down the center of the racetrack under Jose Ferrer and nailed Vengeful Wildcat at the wire to win the $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a neck April 9 at Aqueduct.
A former claimer, J J’s Lucky Train won his second consecutive stakes in the seven-furlong Bay Shore. The 3-year-old son of Silver Train races for Fresh Start Stable and was bred in Kentucky by EICO Stable. He is trained by William D. Anderson.
J J’s Lucky Train raced from off the pace in a tightly-bunched field of seven through the early going. Smoke It Right led the way through an opening quarter mile in a speedy :22.64, but Vengeful Wildcat was a stalking second under Carlos Marquez Jr., and took over before running a half-mile in :46.17. The son of Vindication came off the turn still holding the lead, with Royal Currier chasing from the outside and Justin Phillip running at him from the inside.
But the biggest threat for Vengeful Wildcat was J J’s Lucky Train, who came five-wide off the turn and was gobbling up ground by mid-stretch. He reached Vengeful Wildcat a couple of jumps before the wire to score his first graded stakes victory.
The final time on the fast main track was 1:22.54. Vengeful Wildcat was 1 1/2 lengths in front of third-place Justin Phillip.
“On the backside, I was happy with where I was," Ferrer said. "With him, the more you grab, the more he goes. I was trying to give and take, keep him relaxed and comfortable. I wanted to wait, and teach him how to rate to make sure he finishes. Everyone has done a fantastic job with this horse.”
J J’s Lucky Train entered the Bay Shore off a narrow win in the Miracle Wood Stakes Feb. 26 at Laurel Park. He was runner-up in the Count Fleet and Whirlaway stakes at Aqueduct earlier this season. He won three of four starts as a juvenile, including his debut when he was claimed by Anderson for $40,000 at Monmouth Park. Overall, the dark bay/brown colt improved to 5-2-0 from eight starts with his Bay Shore victory and upped his bankroll to $257,000.
J J's Lucky Train, purchased by Jeff Heslep for $35,000 at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training sale, is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Delta Sensation.
“Down the backside, I was in cardiac arrest with all that trouble from the start," Anderson said. "It looked like he was hanging a little in midstretch, and I didn’t think we’d get there. We know he always tries. I think at seven-eighths to a mile it’d take a heck of a horse to outrun him, and that’s where we’ll probably stay with him.”
Sent off as the slight favorite, J J’s Lucky Train paid $6, $3.20, and $2.30. The exacta (3-7) returned $17 and the trifecta was worth $68.