Flexibility deftly captured the $200,000 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday. The Grade III, one mile and 70 yard race is restricted to 3-year-olds, and offers 10 Kentucky Derby points for the winner.
Coming out of the gate, Donegal Moon stumbled badly and lost rider Manuel Franco, who walked back to the room under his own power. Out quickly were Vorticity, Bird of Trey and Condo King spread three wide across the track. Those three battled through early fractions of :23.48 and :47.31, while Flexibility settled several lengths behind the frontrunners. Irad Ortiz Jr. began asking Flexibility for run entering the final turn, and the colt drew even as the field straightened out into the stretch.
Though he was slightly distracted in mid-stretch and late changing leads, Flexibility drew off easily by 4 1/4 lengths to capture the Jerome in a final time of 1:42.98. Vorticity hung on for second, and In Equality rallied from far back to be up for third.
Flexibility is trained by Chad Brown, and was bred in New York by WinStar Farm. He is by Bluegrass Cat out of a Vindication mare. A $185,000 2-year-old purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select Sale, Flexibility is owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence. This was his first graded stakes win, following good seconds to Mohaymen in both the Nashua and the Remsen.
Quotes from the G3 Jerome Stakes:
Cherie DeVaux, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown, of Flexibility (No. 4): “It's very exciting to have him continue to perform well going in these races. Hopefully each one he can continue to step up. He's been professional throughout. He just steps it up each time. It was a very professional effort, sitting behind the speed today and moving on cue. The race set up well for him. He's always been a big, strong colt who did everything correct. Chad [Brown] and the owners will talk about what's next for him. After following Moyhamen [in the Remsen and Nashua] it was a good feeling to see him get his head in front of the other horses.”
Watch the race replay here:
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