FTGGG Racing's graded stakes-winner Masqueparade (Upstart) breezed a half-mile in :47.59 in company over a fast main track Friday in preparation for Saratoga's GII Jim Dandy S. July 31. The bay enters this year's Jim Dandy off a trio of wins for trainer Al Stall, Jr., including the GIII Ohio Derby most recently June 26.
“We're happy with the breeze. He's right on track,” Stall, Jr. said. “We'll give him a chance to see how far he can take his talent. We were patient getting to where we got to with him. He's got a good foundation underneath him. He's a laidback horse and real good about everything. He's very easy on himself.”
The top-three Ohio Derby finishers–including runner-up King Fury (Curlin) and Keepmeinmind (Laoban)–are all expected to start in the Jim Dandy, a field led by GI Belmont S. winner Essential Quality (Tapit).
“There's a bona fide 3-5 shot in there [Essential Quality], so we'll see what happens,” Stall, Jr. said. “Our horse is on the upswing, so if he keeps improving, he could be there or thereabouts. He deserves a shot. His last two races have been very good and he handled graded competition. The numbers are fine but stepping up to those proven competitors is more a test to me than running against the clock. I think he deserves a chance.”