12/26/2012 4:48PM

Aqueduct notes: Long River eyes run in Jerome Stakes


Long River, a three-quarter-length maiden winner Dec. 15, could wheel back in three weeks and run in the Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome Stakes, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Wednesday.

“We decided to leave him up there for the time being and look at the Jerome,” McLaughlin, who trains Long River for Darley Stable, said by phone from south Florida. “It’s a little quick back, but he’s doing well.”

Long River, a son of A.P. Indy out of the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Round Pond, won a mile and 70-yard race by three-quarters of a length here Dec. 15 in his third career start. In his second start, Long River finished second behind Delhomme and just ahead of Mudflats, who came back to win a maiden race and who also is pointing to the Jerome for new connections.

“His second-place finish was impressive, and he ran very well,” McLaughlin said. “When he won, I thought Irad [Ortiz Jr.] did a great job being patient. He was pinned in along on the inside; I guess when you’re 2-5 that’s likely to happen. But it didn’t look like that hard of a race on him.”

The Jerome replaces the Count Fleet on the stakes schedule. Last year, McLaughlin and Darley won the Count Fleet and the Withers with Alpha, who went on to win the Jim Dandy and Travers at Saratoga.

In addition to Long River and Mudflats, others under consideration for the Jerome are Vegas No Show and Vyjack. Trainer Todd Pletcher figures to run one from the triumvirate of Notacatbutallama, Shaler, and Winning Cause.

Asiya could run in Busanda

McLaughlin also said that Asiya, who won a maiden sprint race by 11 lengths on Dec. 9, could run back in the $100,000 Busanda, also at a mile and 70 yards on Jan. 5.

“We think she wants further,” McLaughlin said. “It’s not easy to go from breaking your maiden to a stakes, but we’re looking at it.”

When Asiya won at Aqueduct on Dec. 9, she ran for purse money only because another part of the entry, Baragh, was scratched at the gate.

McLaughlin noted that Asiya’s mother, Khalila, won an allowance race at Belmont by 10 1/4 lengths for purse only when she had to run with three shoes.