Mr. Amore Stable's Firenze Fire will look to start his 3-year-old season in the same stellar fashion he commenced his juvenile campaign when he heads postward in the $150,000 Jerome Stakes Jan. 1 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The New Year's Day event is the first 2018 Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race on the New York Racing Association circuit, and awards points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top for finishers toward a spot in the starting gate for the Kentuky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Firenze Fire, a two-time graded stakes winner, will headline a field of eight 3-year-olds when he breaks from post 5. As a 2-year-old the Poseidon's Warrior colt won his first two starts, including a one-length score over Free Drop Billy in the Sanford Stakes (G3) July 22 at Saratoga Race Course.
Good Magic went on to the win the Nov. 4 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar, and Firenze Fire settled for seventh. After a nearly two-month break, the Jason Servis trainee will make his Aqueduct debut.
"He's being doing OK, so we'll see what happens," Servis said. "I'm not looking for anything particular except a good race."
Also entered is Millionaire Runner, a son of Warrior's Reward who broke his maiden at fourth asking Nov. 25 at Parx Racing, then took a step up in class last time out and finished seventh in the Dec. 2 Remsen Stakes (G2) in his graded debut.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Seven Trumpets will make the jump to stakes company after back-to-back wins at Churchill Downs. Trained by Dale Romans, the Morning Line colt is unbeaten in two starts since jockey Robby Albarado took over the riding duties following his fifth-place finish in his debut July 15 at Ellis Park. Seven Trumpets will stretch out to one mile and has never raced longer than 6 1/2 furlongs.
Diamond King, also entered in the $100,000 Heft Stakes Dec. 30 at Laurel Park, drew post 2 in the Jerome for trainer Butch Reid. Diamond King won his first two races before Reid sent him to Churchill for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). Diamond King clipped heels nearing the first turn in that event and threw jockey Frankie Pennington to the ground. Looking for a less eventful trip, should he start in the Jerome, Pennington will again have the call.
Rounding out the field are Diamond King's stablemate, Smooth B, who will look to place in a stakes race in his fourth attempt; Old Time Revival, who will make his first stakes start for trainer Ken Decker; Honor Up, a first-time stakes starter for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott; and Regalian, a last-out maiden winner trained by Chris Englehart. Aqueduct Racetrack, Monday, January 01, 2018, Race 7
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Honor Up (NY) Junior Alvarado 116 William I. Mott 6/1 2 2Diamond King (KY) Frankie Pennington 118 Robert E. Reid, Jr. 7/2 3 3Regalian (KY) Luis R. Reyes 116 Chris J. Englehart 15/1 4 4Old Time Revival (FL) Paco Lopez 116 Kenneth Decker 10/1 5 5Firenze Fire (FL) Irad Ortiz, Jr. 122 Jason Servis 1/1 6 6Smooth B (PA) Joseph Rocco, Jr. 118 Robert E. Reid, Jr. 20/1 7 7Seven Trumpets (KY) Robby Albarado 118 Dale L. Romans 4/1 8 8Millionaire Runner (KY) Nicky Figueroa 116 Jaime Mejia 30/1
Aqueduct Racetrack, Monday, January 01, 2018, Race 7