J Be K Turns Back For Bay Shore

Once on the Kentucky Derby trail, J Be K will try seven furlongs April 5 at Aqueduct.

Zayat Stables’ J Be K is no longer on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) trail, but the lightly-raced 3-year-old will try to score his first graded stakes victory April 5 when he takes on seven sprinters in the $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, J Be K fell off as a Derby contender after finishing eighth in the March 8 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. The son of Silver Deputy was in contention at the top of the stretch but was not able to sustain his bid against stablemate Pyro, who won the 1 1/16-mile event.

J Be K emerged as a 2-year-old star last summer after setting the Saratoga track record when he went 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.13 Aug. 29 in his maiden debut. Off again until this winter, the dark bay colt was transferred from Bob Baffert to the barn of Asmussen, where he made his successful 3-year-old debut at Fair Grounds, taking an allowance race by five lengths in gate-to-wire fashion.

Out of the Valid Wager mare Major Wager, J Be K was bred in Kentucky by Glory Days Breeding. He was purchased for $350,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in training sale. J Be K last worked April 1 at Keeneland, when he breezed four furlongs in :50 flat.

Garrett Gomez will ride J Be K, who will break from the far outside in the seven-furlong test.

Another highly-regarded 3-year-old who was briefly on the Derby trail is Edgewood Farm’s Make the Point. The son of Menifee won two of his first three career starts, including an impressive 1 ¾-length victory in his sophomore debut at Gulfstream Park. That prompted trainer Kiaran McLaughlin to send Make the Point into the Feb. 24 Fountain of Youth (gr. II), but that did not go too well, as he led after a half-mile but faded badly to finish last in a field of 11.

Make the Point last worked March 31 at Belmont, going four furlongs in :48.64. Eibar Coa will ride.

Carrying the 120-pound co-highweights will be Paraneck Stable’s Magical Forest and Bobby Hurley’s Go Go Shoot, both of whom enter with two-race win streaks.

Magical Forest has already started six times as a 3-year-old and eight overall. The Forest Camp colt seems to have found a groove of late, winning his last two efforts after going winless in his first six. He broke his maiden at a mile and 70 yards March 1 at Aqueduct, then came from off the pace to get up by a half-length in the six-furlong Spicy Award Stakes 12 days later, both times under Alan Garcia. One of the colts he defeated in the Spicy Award was Bay Shore entrant Double Down Vinman.

Interestingly, Garcia will ride Go Go Shoot in the Bay Shore, while Cornelio Velasquez will be in the irons of Magical Forest for the first time.

Go Go Shoot is 3-0-0 from four lifetime starts for trainer James Ryerson. The gelding's first two starts as a 3-year-old have been successes, taking both six-furlong sprints - the Jan. 21 Jimmy Winkfield and Feb. 18 Fred Capossela Stakes – in front-running fashion at Aqueduct. Garcia rode in the Winkfield.

The other colt coming off a stakes win is Germania Farms’ Gattopardo, who took the March 1 Miracle Wood by almost three lengths at Laurel Park. Gattopardo has never been off the board in six starts for trainer Tim Tullock Jr., and the early speed in this race could set up well for the son of Johannesburg, who prefers to sit just off the lead.

$150,000 Bay Shore Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, 4:09 p.m.), Three-Year-Olds, Seven Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Magical Forest (KY), 120, Cornelio H. Velasquez
2. Make the Point (KY), 116, Eibar Coa
3. Gattopardo (KY), 118, Julian Pimentel
4. Laysh Laysh Laysh (KY), 118, Mario G. Pino
5. Go Go Shoot (FL), 120, Alan Garcia
6. Double Down Vinman (PA), 118, Jeremy Rose
7. Jockey Ridge (KY), 116, Edgar S. Prado
8. J Be K (KY), 118, Garrett K. Gomez