04/07/2011 2:30PM

Aqueduct's Bay Shore the biggest test yet for J J's Lucky Train


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Even as he was attempting to stretch J J’s Lucky Train out in distance earlier this winter, trainer Bill Anderson thought the 3-year-old would be much better in one-turn races.

Anderson was proven correct when J J’s Lucky Train ran perhaps the best race of his career winning the seven-furlong Miracle Wood Stakes over the stubborn Bandbox on Feb. 26 at Laurel Park. Saturday, J J’s Lucky Train will run in the deepest field of his career when he meets seven well-matched 3-year-olds in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes going seven furlongs at Aqueduct.

WOOD MEMORIAL DAY: Watch Uncle Mo videos and read Dave Litfin's analysis

The Bay Shore field includes the unbeaten Smoke It Right, as well as stakes winners Vengeful Wildcat and Royal Currier.

J J’s Lucky Train, a son of 2005 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Silver Train, finished second in both the Count Fleet and Whirlaway Stakes, a pair of two-turn stakes run over Aqueduct’s inner track. While not beaten by much in either race, Anderson simply felt “he didn’t have that kick at the end.”

In the Miracle Wood, J J’s Lucky Train hooked up with Bandbox at the five-sixteenths pole and prevailed by a neck at the finish. Bandbox came back to win the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel, his third career stakes victory.

“I didn’t think the race in Maryland would come up as tough as it did,” Anderson said. “He’s training good, he’s had two bullets. He’s coming into himself now I think.”

If Vengeful Wildcat moves forward off his three-quarter-length loss to Sensational Slam in the Capossela Stakes here on March 5 – his first start in six months – he could be the one to beat. Vengeful Wildcat did make what appeared to be winning move in the stretch at pacesetting Diski Dance in the Capossela, but he flattened out late.

“It looked like he had dead aim on the horse in front of him,” trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said. “Maybe the last part he got a little bit tired. Hopefully, he’ll move up off the race.”

Smoke It Right is 4 for 4, most recently winning the Southwest Stakes despite drifting in the stretch. Trainer Benard Chatters said Smoke It Right wore a bar shoe on a hind foot in his last two starts, but will not wear one on Saturday.

Smoke It Right figures to be on the pace along with Dr Disco and possibly Justin Phillip. Royal Currier bounced back from a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Hutcheson at Gulfstream to win a starter allowance as the 1-4 favorite also at Gulfstream.

Buffum and Harlan’s Hello complete the field.

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