NEW YORK (AP) — Vyjack held off long-shot Siete de Oros by a head Saturday in the $200,000 Jerome Stakes, the first major race of the season for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.
Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Vyjack improved to 3 for 3 with the latest victory, all at Aqueduct. Unlike his earlier decisive wins, Vyjack had to work hard for this one. Siete de Oros made a strong run up the fence turning for home to take the lead, threatening to pull off a 41-1 upset. Vyjack, the even-money choice, fought back in the final strides to keep his record intact.
Cornelio Velasquez was aboard as the gelding ran a mile and 70 yards in 1:40.67.
Vyjack paid $4.30, $3.30 and $2.90. Siete de Oros, making his first start outside Parx Racing in the Philadelphia suburbs, returned $23 and $11. Amerigo Vespucci paid $7.90 to show.
In the supporting stakes, Princess of Sylmar easily took the $100,000 Busanda for 3-year-old fillies by 712 lengths. Chris DeCarlo rode for trainer Todd Pletcher as Princess of Sylmar posted a third straight win. The 4-5 favorite paid $3.90, covering the same distance in 1:41.27.