04/18/2011 3:02PM

Aqueduct: Jerome could serve as Gallant Dreams's audition for Belmont Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Tom Albertrani (above) and owner Charlotte Weber are hoping Gallant Dreams can be a Belmont Stakes horse.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Tom Albertrani and owner Charlotte Weber earned their way to the Kentucky Derby when Brilliant Speed won last Saturday’s Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland by a nose. This Saturday, Albertrani and Weber will send out another 3-year-old that could wind up representing them in one of the other Triple Crown races.

Gallant Dreams, a product of Grade 1 winners Bernardini and Dreams Gallore, will start in what is shaping up to be an intriguing renewal of the Grade 2, $150,000 Jerome Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct. Traditionally run in the fall at Belmont, the Jerome was moved to the spot on the calendar previously occupied by the Withers Stakes, which has been put on hiatus for this year.

Gallant Dreams won a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Belmont Park last Oct. 22 in the second start of his career. The horse was turned out after that and brought back slowly for his 3-year-old campaign. He wound up in the Timely Writer Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 12 against defending 2-year-old champion Uncle Mo, to whom Gallant Dreams finished third, beaten 9 1/2 lengths.

“He definitely needed the race,’’ Albertrani said. “We weren’t planning on running him in there. They were trying to fill the race and we needed to run so I didn’t object. We were pleased with his performance. He came of the race doing super and it should set him up for the Jerome.’’

Albertrani said he believes Gallant Dreams will ultimately prefer races at longer distances than the one mile of the Jerome. He is by the Albertrani-trained Bernardini, who won the 2006 Preakness, out of Dreams Gallore, who won the 1999 Mother Goose.

“He looks like a horse that definitely wants to go long,’’ Albertrani said. “He might be a Belmont type of horse. He kept running at the end of the Timely Writer and [Javier] Castellano came back and was very high on him.’’

The Jerome became a bit more interesting on Monday when the connections of Astrology, who won the Grade 3 Iroquois last year at Churchill Downs, announced he was running. Justin Phillip, who like Astrology is trained by Steve Asmussen, is also running, just two weeks after finishing third in the Grade 3 Bay Shore. Astrology worked four furlongs in 50.40 seconds on Monday at Churchill while Justin Phillip went the same distance in 49.76 seconds over Belmont Park’s main track.

Others pointing to the Jerome include Rattlesnake Bridge, the runner-up in the Timely Writer, and sharp Gulfstream Park maiden winners Adios Charlie and Cal Nation. Rajiv Maragh will be up from south Florida to ride Adios Charlie, according to his agent Richard DePass.

J J’s Lucky Train, the Bay Shore winner, is possible for the Jerome. Trainer Bill Anderson said he wanted to see how his colt trained Tuesday at Parx Racing before making a final decision. Vee’s Accolade, recently sold and transferred to trainer John Terranova, is also possible.


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