J Boys Echo Heads South after Gotham Win


J Boys Echo | Susie Raisher

Albaugh Racing Stable's J Boys Echo (Mineshaft) was en route to Dale Romans's Florida base Sunday, a day after his 3 1/2-length victory in Saturday's GIII Gotham S. at Aqueduct.

“He came back really good,” co-owner Jason Loutsch said of the TDN Rising Star. “We're obviously really thrilled with the result and very proud of him. It's really humbling. We didn't know if we could beat the four horse [El Areeb] yesterday and fortunately we got a good set up and he ran the race we thought he could. We've been waiting for that race for him to break out and kind of grow up and he did that yesterday and we're thrilled.”

Loutsch confirmed the colt, who was third behind El Areeb (Exchange Rate) in the Feb. 4 GIII Wither S. and fourth behind Gunnevera (Dialed In) in the Nov. 19 GIII Delta Downs Jackpot S., would likely start next in either the GII Wood Memorial at Aqueduct or GII Blue Grass S. at Keeneland, both Apr. 8.

After battling on the front end in the Gotham, the 2-5 favorite and TDN Rising Star El Areeb tired to third.

“He came out of it great,” said trainer Cathal Lynch. “He ate up when we got back last night [to Laurel] and by the time we got back to the barn this morning, he had his feed tub licked clean and was in there playing around. He's really no worse for wear. He came back good and scoped good.”

Of the Gotham, Lynch added, “It was just one of those scenarios where the pace was so fast. The winner ran a 102 Beyer and we ran our race, we just got caught up in a bit of a speed duel early, but I think he's no worse for it. Just give him a couple of days and he'll be good to go.”

Lynch added no next start has been determined for El Areeb, who currently has 30 Derby qualifying points to rank sixth.

Cloud Computing (Maclean's Music) was making just the second start of his career in the Gotham and trainer Chad Brown was pleased with his charge's runner-up effort.

“I thought he ran very well,” Brown said. “Coming off a six-furlong maiden race [Feb. 11] and coming back to face winners in a graded stakes while stretching out to two turns, he handled it very well.”

While not committing to a next start for Cloud Computing, Brown did not rule out the Wood Memorial.

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