By Joe Quillen
Drum Roll Please powered by a front-running El Grande O on a gray day at Aqueduct on Saturday to win the 154th running of the $150,000 Jerome Stakes, earning 10 points in the Kentucky Derby standings.
The three-year-old Pennsylvania bred sat behind the leaders El Grande O and Regalo through a slow first quarter of 24.50 seconds and had the additional target of Khanate who joined the front runners around the 5/8 pole.
Regalo dropped back entering the turn. Sweet Soddy J did not fire after running at Laurel last weekend. Khanateand El Grando O were no match for Drum Roll Please who blew by those two in the stretch to win by three and three-quarter lengths over the fast track in 1:41.91.
Drum Roll Please added 10 points to his total with today’s win, moving him up the standings with 13 points in the early going in the Kentucky Derby hunt. El Grande O earns 5 points for the runner-up finish, Khanate 3 points for finishing third, Regalo 2 points for fourth, and Sweet Soddy J earns 1 point for finishing fifth (and last) in the Jerome.
Drum Roll Please earned his backers $3.40 to win. The exacta paid $3.65 for a $1 payout, the trifecta paid $5.20 for 50 cents, and the superfecta paid $1.65 for a 10-cent increment in a chalky edition of the Jerome Stakes.
Next on the New York road to the Kentucky Derby is the Withers, which will be run on February 3rd and will be a 20-point race for the winner.