Mohaymen’s absence gave Flexibility a shot at taking home the $200,000 Jerome Stakes (gr. III), and the New York-bred Bay Colt did just that, taking advantage of the opportunity on his way to a breezy 4 1/4 length victory at the Aqueduct Racetrack.
After winning his October debut at Belmont park in October, Flexibility finished second in two separate November races to Mohaymen. With Mohaymen’s trainer Kiaran McLaughlin deciding to hold Mohaymen out until the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) on January 30th there wasn’t much standing in the way of Flexibility’s quest of winning the Jerome Stakes.
Not only did McLaughlin’s decision give Flexibility a chance at an easy win, but it also added ten Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying points to his total.
“It gives you a sigh of relief to not face him right now,” said assistant trainer Cherie DeVaux. “He can build his confidence and—I don’t want to knock anyone here—get a race that is easier for him.”
After blowing by the competition at the final turn thanks to a prompt by jockey Jose Ortiz, Flexibility finished the race in a time of 1:42.98. “I was told they wanted him to rate and save ground,” said Ortiz. “When I asked, he just took off. I just wanted him to be able to switch leads in the stretch and finish in the stretch. He did it easy.”
The win returned $3.10, $2.50, and $2.10. Flexibility’s career earnings now stands at $256,000. Finishing in second was Vorticity, who paid $5.30 and $3.80. Third-place finisher, In Equality, paid $3.70.
Flexibility’s next race hasn’t been determined yet, but DeVaux said trainer Chad Brown will discuss that with the ownership team.