Last term’s GI Champagne S. upsetter Firenze Fire (Poseidon’s Warrior) rebounded off a lackluster effort in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last out Nov. 4 with a narrow victory in Aqueduct’s Jerome S. Saturday. The Jerome was downgraded from a Grade III to a listed stakes for 2018, but still awards the winner 10 points towards a spot in the gate for the GI Kentucky Derby.
Hammered down to 2-5 favoritism while cutting back to one-turn here, Firenze Fire was unhurried early, running two-wide at the back of the tightly bunched sextet as second-choice Seven Trumpets (Morning Line) clocked a comfortable opening half-mile in :50.81. The chalk advanced up the outside on the backstretch run to be third as Seven Trumpets retained control, albeit while bearing out a bit on the far turn. The pacesetter settled back onto the rail in early stretch and Firenze Fire came charging after him, determinedly running Seven Trumpets down in the final strides for a half-length success. Coltandmississippi (Pioneerof the Nile) was third.
“Heading into the race, I thought he might be up against it,” trainer Jason Servis said. “It looked like there was a speed bias for most of the day on the track. He didn’t have the easiest of trips. He didn’t break on top and had to deal with some traffic, but I’m not going to knock the ride. Manny [Franco] got the job done. It’s nice when things work it. They don’t usually, but when they do it’s nice.”
Servis added, “The [GIII] Withers [S. Feb. 3] is certainly an option, but I’ll talk to the owners and we’ll decide from there.”
Bred in Florida by his owner Ron Lombardi’s Mr Amore Stable, Firenze Fire donned cap and gown on debut at Monmouth Park June 19 and followed suit with a 12-1 upset of eventual GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity S. hero Free Drop Billy (Union Rags) in Saratoga’s GIII Sanford S. July 22. Fourth behind “TDN Rising Star” Sporting Chance (Tiznow) and Free Drop Billy in the GI Hopeful S. on the Spa’s closing weekend Sept. 4, the bay pulled off another upset at 11-1 with a half-length defeat of next-out GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Good Magic (Curlin) in the GI Champagne S. at Belmont Oct. 7. The form of that race was further flattered when third-place finisher Enticed (Medaglia d’Oro) returned to win the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. next out. Firenze Fire was last seen finishing a non-factor seventh when trying two turns for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar Nov. 4.
Firenze Fire became young sire and 2012 GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. hero Poseidon’s Warrior’s first winner when graduated on debut in June and was also his first stakes winner in the Sanford. Firenze Fire’s dam My Every Wish, second in both of her career attempts, was claimed out of her finale for $16,000 by Mr. Amore Stable and Servis at Aqueduct in April of 2012. Firenze Fire is her first foal. The 9-year-old mare is also responsible for the yearling filly Firenze Freedom (Istan). She was bred back to Fast Anna. Firenze Fire’s second dam is a full-sister to 2011 Broodmare of the Year Oatsee (Unbridled), herself the dam of MGISW Shackleford (Forestry), GISW Lady Joanne (Orientate), MGSW Baghdaria (Royal Academy), MGSW Afleeting Lady (Afleet Alex) and SW & MGSP Stephanoatsee (A.P. Indy).
JEROME S., $150,000, AQU, 1-13, 3yo, 1m, 1:42.88, my.
1–FIRENZE FIRE, 122, c, 3, by Poseidon’s Warrior
1st Dam: My Every Wish, by Langfuhr
2nd Dam: Mille Lacs, by Unbridled
3rd Dam: With Every Wish, by Lear Fan
O/B-Mr. Amore Stable (FL); T-Jason Servis; J-Manuel Franco.
$90,000. Lifetime Record: GISW, 6-4-0-0, $539,100.2–Seven Trumpets, 118, c, 3, Morning Line–Angel Trumpet, by
Cape Canaveral. ($45,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $205,000 2yo ’17
OBSAPR). O-West Point Thoroughbreds; B-St. George Farm,
LLC (KY); T-Dale L. Romans. $30,000.3–Coltandmississippi, 118, c, 3, Pioneerof the Nile–Selva, by
Forest Wildcat. ($400,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV). O-Teresa Viola
Racing Stables & St. Elias Stable; B-Alexander-Groves
Thoroughbreds (KY); T-Todd A. Pletcher. $15,000.Margins: HF, 5 1/4, HF. Odds: 0.45, 3.05, 5.40.
Also Ran: Regalian, Factor This, Glennwood. Scratched: Old Time Revival, Smooth B. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.