04/09/2011 5:38PM

Bay Shore: J.J.'s Lucky Train prevails by neck over Vengeful Wildcat

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
J.J.'s Lucky Train, ridden by Jose Ferrer, gets up by a neck over Vengeful Wildcat in the Bay Shore,.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The connections of J.J.’s Lucky Train may not have a Triple Crown horse, but it looks like they’re going to have a lot of fun this spring and summer anyway.

J.J.’s Lucky Train again proved his trainer Bill Anderson’s assertion that he’s a better one-turn horse than two with a hard-charging neck victory over Vengeful Wildcat in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct.

It was 1 1/2 lengths back to Justin Phillip in third. Royal Currier, who broke through the starting gate prior to the official start of the race, and Buffum dead-heated for fourth. Harlan’s Hello and Smoke It Right completed the order of finish. Dr Disco scratched.

After J.J.’s Lucky Train finished second in both the Count Fleet and Whirlaway stakes around two turns over Aqueduct’s inner track in the winter, Anderson and the Fresh Start Stable turned him back in distance and the horse won the seven-furlong Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park by a neck on Feb. 26.

 Saturday, despite having to rally five wide under Jose Ferrer, J.J.’s Lucky Train was able to run down Vengeful Wildcat, who had taken the lead in upper stretch under Carlos Marquez Jr.

 Anderson said he was a little concerned because J.J.’s Lucky Train was racing between horses and had to be steadied a time or two by Ferrer down the backside. Anderson was again concerned in the stretch when it looked like, for a stride or two, that J.J.’s Lucky Train wasn’t gaining on Vengeful Wildcat. But J.J.’s Lucky Train got rolling again in the final 100 yards and got up three strides from the wire.

 J.J.’s Lucky Train, a son of Silver Train won for the fifth time in eight starts. He covered seven furlongs in 1:22.54 and returned $6 as the slight favorite over Vengeful Wildcat.

 “Down the backside I was in cardiac arrest when we were in all that trouble; right for the start he was steadying him,’’ Anderson said. “Then it looked like he was hanging a little in midstretch, I didn’t think we’d get to him.’’

 Ferrer said he wanted to wait as long as he could to get to the front because J.J.’s Lucky Train had shown a tendency to hang when he makes the front too soon.

 “I wanted to make sure he’s got somebody to run at; I didn’t want to get there too soon,’’ Ferrer said. ``At Maryland, it looked like he was going to win by five and all of sudden he started to play. Today I wanted to make sure to wait until the last minute.’’

  Ben Perkins Jr., the trainer of Vengeful Wildcat, said the race went like he thought it would.

“Everything worked perfectly turning for home,’’ Perkins said. “I told [Marquez] they’re going to have to catch you the last part and that horse ran good to beat him.’’