08/05/2011 4:38PM

Monmouth Park: J J’s Lucky Train looking like miler

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
J J's Lucky Train will be pointed for the Smarty Jones at Parx.

OCEANPORT, N.J – Turning for home last Sunday in the $1 million Haskell Invitational, J J’s Lucky Train looked poised to hit the board. The colt, a $40,000 claim in his debut here last summer, was right in the mix in his first crack at Grade 1 runners.

J J’s Lucky Train finished fourth, edged out of third by Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice by only a half-length.

“Shackleford came out a little bit,” said trainer Bill Anderson. “He didn’t bother us, but he intimidated my horse a bit to where he lost a little momentum. We drifted out a little bit in the lane, and that also cost us. He was getting a little bit tired.”

Fatigue was understandable. J J’s Lucky Train was stretching out to 1 1/8 miles for the first time. He has been most effective at distances up to one mile, 70 yards.

Anderson thinks the colt will develop into a miler. That’s a major reason Anderson is pointing J J’s Lucky Train to the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at one mile, 70 yards on Labor Day at Parx Racing instead of the Grade 1 King’s Bishop at seven furlongs on Aug. 27 at Saratoga.

“It seems to me he’s a better miler,” Anderson said. “You go three-quarters or seven-eighths of a mile, and there are some really fast horses. Look at the King’s Bishop. You’ve got Uncle Mo and Flashpoint. Those are some really fast horses.”

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