02/07/2013 4:00PM

Aqueduct: Vyjack gearing up for Gotham

Tom Keyser
His Jerome victory was the third win in as many starts for Vyjack (left).

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Vyjack, the undefeated winner of the Jerome Stakes, stepped up his preparations for next month’s Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham Stakes by working five furlongs in 1:00.73 Thursday morning over Aqueduct’s inner track.

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez was aboard the gelding, who started about two lengths behind a stablemate and finished on even terms before galloping out well in front.

“He worked very good today,” Rodriguez said. “I put one horse in front of him, let him do a little bit more than what we were doing with him. He’s comfortable, very happy.”

The work was the second for Vyjack since his head victory over Siete de Oros in the Grade 2 Jerome on Jan. 5. That was the third win in as many starts for Vyjack, a son of Into Mischief owned by Pick Six Racing

Vyjack was a bit headstrong in his Jerome victory, attempting to bear out on two occasions under jockey Cornelio Velasquez.

“We’ve been teaching him to relax a little bit better,” Rodriguez said. “The last time was his first time two turns coming off a sprint. Hopefully, he’ll be able to relax a little bit more.

“He’s got a strong head. I don’t know if he’ll be able to relax. Let’s hope,” Rodriguez added. “We try to do everything we can in the morning – put him behind horses, change his attitude, let him hang around [on] the track. If he wants to be a good horse, he’ll need to settle a little bit more.”

Among the horses expected to face Vyjack in the Gotham on March 2 are Remsen winner Overanalyze, Jimmy Winkfield winner Clawback, and Withers runner-up Escapefromreality.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]