Pick Six Racing’s Vyjack
(Into Mischief), a narrow winner of the GII Jerome S. Jan. 5, showed a new dimension to remain unbeaten in Saturday’s GIII Gotham S., rallying from well off the pace and unleashing a powerful stretch rally as the 2-1 second choice to reel in 33-1 chance West Hills Giant
(Frost Giant) for a 2 1/4-length decision. "It’s amazing," winning owner David Wilkenfeld said. "Words can’t describe it. You buy a horse, you hope for this, but it’s not something you really think about. I was nervous [when he was so far back] because I’ve been watching the races all day and everything is first to second and pretty tight." It’s on to the GI Wood Memorial Apr. 6 for the $100,000 FTMMAY graduate. "That’s always been our game plan to stay at Aqueduct," Wilkenfeld continued. For more on Pick Six Racing, click here for a TDN Feature.Saturday, AqueductGOTHAM S.-GIII,
$400,000, AQU, 3-2, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44, ft.
1--VYJACK, 123, g, 3, by Into Mischief1st Dam: Life Happened, by Stravinsky2nd Dam: Round It Off, by Apalachee3rd Dam: Capp It Off, by Double Zeus
($45,000 yrl '11 FTKJUL; $100,000 2yo ‘12 FTMMAY). O-Pick Six Racing; B-Machmer Hall (KY); T-Rudy R Rodriguez; J-Joel Rosario. $240,000. Lifetime Record: 4-4-0-0, $442,200. *1/2 to Prime Cut (Bernstein), MGSP, $161,715. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2--West Hills Giant
, 116, c, 3, Frost Giant--Outtawesthills, by Take Me Out. O-Long Island Racing Stables, Sunrise Stables & Gina Bentivegna; B-Robert Castelli (NY); T-John P Terranova II. $80,000.
, 116, c, 3, Street Sense--Pilfer, by Deputy Minister. ($500,000 yrl '11 KEESEP). O-Shadwell Stable; B-Siena Farms LLC (KY); T-Kiaran P McLaughlin. $40,000.
Margins: 2 1/4, HF, NK. Odds: 2.35, 33.75, 8.40.
Also Ran: Siete de Oros, Overanalyze, Transparent, Amerigo Vespucci, Champion Boy, Escapefromreality, Sky Captain, Ore Pass. Scratched: Now and Then. Click for the brisnet.com chart or the brisnet.com PPs. VIDEO.
With Joel Rosario taking over the reins for the first time here, Vyjack broke a bit slow and immediately settled this time to race in 10th through an opening quarter in :24.16. Under a good hold while parked four wide down the backstretch, he was given his cue entering the far turn, began to roll as they straightened for home, and really came alive in mid-stretch to keep his perfect four-for-four record intact. "He’s a good horse," trainer Rudy Rodriguez said. "I wasn’t worried when he was last [early on]. He was able to relax and be comfortable." Vyjack, a sharp debut winner in a field that included subsequent Jimmy Winkfield S. hero Clawback (Put It Back) and GII Fountain of Youth S. victor Orb (Malibu Moon) Nov. 10, followed with a runaway tally in the seven-furlong Traskwood S. at Aqueduct Dec. 9. Stretched to two turns in the Jerome, he was very headstrong while hard held throughout by Cornelio Velasquez, but got his act together in the stretch, digging in gamely to secure a head victory. "I’m excited about him, that’s for sure," Rodriguez concluded. "We thought maybe this horse could take us there [to the GI Kentucky Derby]. So far he’s proven he can belong with this kind. Hopefully he can keep going."
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