Vyjack, the Jerome Stakes winner, rallied down the stretch to capture Saturday's $400,000 Gotham Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct. The 1 1/16-mile stakes is the last local prep for the $1 million Wood Memorial on April 6.
Owned by Pick Six Racing, Vyjack went off as the 2-1 second choice in the 11- horse field behind 8-5 favorite Overanalyze.
Setting the pace in the Gotham was 33-1 longshot West Hills Giant with Transparent pressing the leader. Racing a couple lengths off the lead were Escapefromreality and Overanalyze. Vyjack was well off the pace up the backstretch.
Around the final turn, West Hills Giant edged away from Transparent as Vyjack and jockey Joel Rosario began to rally from the outside. At the top of the stretch, West Hills Giant still had the lead with Vyjack mounting a furious rally down the middle of the track.
Vyjack, trained by Rudy Rodriguez, caught the leader with less than 100 yards to go and with 70 yards to run took the lead. He was able to draw away from West Hills Giant and post a 2 1/4-length victory over the pacesetter.
Finishing third was Elnaawi followed by Siete De Oros, Overanalyze, Transparent, Amerigo Vespucci, Champion Boy, Escapefromreality, Sky Captain and Ore Pass. Now and Then, coupled with Transparent, was an early scratch.
The time for the Gotham on a fast track was 1:44.09.
Winning the Gotham was worth 50 points as part of the Kentucky Derby points system to determine the field for the 139th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4.
Vyjack, undefeated in four career starts, adds $240,000 to his earnings which now total $442,200.
The gelding captured the Jerome on Jan. 5 as the even-money favorite versus seven. He won his debut race on Nov. 10 and took the Traskwood Stakes at Aqueduct on Dec. 9 as the 1-2 favorite.
Vyjack returned $6.70, $4.20 and $3.20. West Hills Giant paid $21.20 and $12.20, and Elnaawi paid $6.40 to show.