As the two year olds turn three on New Year's Day, five of them will be running in the first of four Derby prep races at Aqueduct with the $150,000 Jerome Stakes. The race is a one turn mile and will offer 17 qualifying points. In the Jerome, all but one of the entered horses will be receiving points towards the Kentucky Derby.
Of the field, SWILL is coming off a fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2), which earned him one point towards the Derby.
HOLD THE SALSA will also be in contention. The colt won his debut but finished last of nine in the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2). He has picked up a pair of wins however since that performance.
EAGLE ORB is coming off a win in the New York-bred stakes and finished 2020 with a win in the Notebook Stakes going six furlongs.
ORIGINAL has two starts which included a hard loss in his debut but got a win after switching to the turf.
The Jerome Stakes will follow the new NYRA ban on race-day LASIX. Of the five starters, only CAPO KANE has run on it.