The Jerome Stakes is one of the oldest races in the country and has been part of the Thoroughbred horse racing scene in New York since it was inaugurated in 1866. The race has changed location, distance and time of year multiple times over the long history and is currently run at a mile and seventy yards at Aqueduct every January for three-year-olds with a purse of $200,000 and Grade 2 status. The race is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby and is one of the earliest prep races of the season.
Jerome Stakes Results
The Jerome Stakes was won in 2016 by Flexibility, a son of Bluegrass Cat trained by Chad Brown and ridden to victory by Irad Ortiz, Jr. He completed the race in 1:42.98 and went winless for the rest of the season.
Jerome Stakes Racing Tips
The Jerome Stakes has a rich history that has included some of the best horses, jockeys and trainers in the history of the sport.
Jockey Eddie Arcaro holds the record of most wins by a rider with six – he won his first edition of the Jerome Stakes in 1946 aboard Mahout and continued with Hill Prince (1950), Traffic Judge (1955), Bold Ruler (1957), Warhead (1958) and Kelso (1960). Harry Payne Whitney and Joseph Widener each have trained four winners, the most of any conditioner. In recent years, jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. has won two of the last three editions of the race.
Some of the most legendary horses in the sport of Thoroughbred racing have added the Jerome Stakes to their resumes including Bold Ruler, Kelso, Carry Back and Fusaichi Pegasus. In 2000, Fusaichi Pegasus delivered on the hype surrounding the $4 million colt in the Kentucky Derby. After losing the Preakness Stakes, he was given four months off and returned to action triumphantly in the Jerome, then run at Belmont Park under handicap conditions. He defeated six rivals carrying a high weight of 124 pounds by ¾ of a length in what would be the penultimate race of his career.
Vyjack, who won the race in 2013, is one of the most interesting horses to win the Jerome in recent years. At the time, the bay gelding was trained by Rudy Rodriguez and despite winning his first two starts impressively, he had a reputation as being difficult to handle. He went off as the favorite in the Jerome Stakes and passed the class test in his graded stakes debut, winning by a game head after dueling in the stretch.
He went on to win the Gotham Stakes and ultimately finished eighteenth in the Kentucky Derby. After languishing away in mediocrity against graded stakes competition on dirt with the occasional victory, he has found a new lease on life as a six-year-old on the turf on the West Coast. In addition, he is a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Mile champion Tepin.