Jim Dandy

Cody's Wish Breezes for Whitney

Cody's Wish (Curlin) worked five furlongs in 1:00 (1/15) Saturday over the Oklahoma training track in preparation for the $1-million GI Whitney Aug. 5. The Godolphin homebred is currently on a six-race winning streak topped by a powerful 3 1/4-length score last out in the GI Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan H. June 10 at Belmont Park. "He was very good. He went five eighths and went well and appeared to be well within himself," Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. "We're uncertain about the nine furlongs (in the Whitney),...

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Forte Works Towards Jim Dandy; Becky's Joker To Spinaway

Reigning Champion 2-Year-Old colt Forte (Violence) logged his first breeze of the summer at Saratoga Race Course when covering a half-mile in :48.90 seconds over the Oklahoma dirt training track Friday with regular jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. up for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt worked in company with graded stakes-winner Grand Sonata (Medaglia d'Oro) in preparation for the GII Jim Dandy July 29 at the Spa. "He jumped on the bridle a little early, so I kind of took a little hold away from the horse," said...

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Mage Decision On Haskell Coming Tuesday

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--A decision will be announced Tuesday on whether Kentucky Derby winner Mage (Good Magic) will run in the GI Haskell S.  July 22 or train up to the GI Travers S. Aug. 26, co-owner Ramiro Restrepo said Friday. Mage was given a break from training by trainer Gustavo Delgado after his third-place finish in the GI Preakness S. May 20. He had his fourth timed work Friday--six furlongs in 1:13.40--at the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, Ky. "Gustavo just wants to watch the horse until Tuesday," Restrepo said....

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Saratoga Set for 155th Season of Racing

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y--Nothing new at old Saratoga this summer. As has been the case for many decades, most of racing's stars will be in town for America's most important Thoroughbred meet of the year. The first race of the 40 days of the 155th season opens at 1:10 p.m. Thursday with a 10-race program at Saratoga Race Course. By the time the meeting reaches its conclusion on Labor Day, Sept. 4, over 400 races, including 71 stakes worth $20.8 million, will have been run. The traditional opening-day feature is the...

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Spendthrift Keeps Options Open For GSW Kingsbarns

GII Louisiana Derby winner Kingsbarns (Uncle Mo) remains a possibility for either the GII Jim Dandy July 29 at Saratoga Race Course or the previous week's GI Haskell S. at Monmouth Park said Spendthrift Farm's general manager Ned Toffey. "We're freshening him a little bit, keeping some options open," Toffey said. "There's the Haskell and the Jim Dandy and we'll look at those, but we'll talk with [trainer] Todd [Pletcher] and just keep things open. Obviously, it gets pretty tough with fewer spots for these good 3-year-olds. You won't find...

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Brown Duo Tune Up for Jim Dandy

The Chad Brown-trained duo of GI Preakness S. winner Early Voting (Gun Runner) and GI Toyota Blue Grass S. hero Zandon (Upstart) each put in their final breezes Saturday at Saratoga for next week's GII Jim Dandy S. The former breezed in company with GII Amsterdam S.-bound Accretive (Practical Joke) and was credited with five panels in 1:01.05 (12/30), while the latter covered the same distance in 1:01.95 (22/30) by himself. "Both horses did really well," said Brown. Zandon went alone. It was a nice easy work for him. I...

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Brown to Decide On Haskell or Jim Dandy for Early Voting After Saturday Work

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - With the $1.25 million GI Travers S. on Aug. 27 as his summer goal, trainer Chad Brown said Thursday morning that he is close to declaring what path his GI Preakness S. winner Early Voting (Gun Runner) will take to Saratoga's biggest race. Brown has two options: send the colt to Monmouth Park to face unbeaten stablemate Jack Christopher (Munnings) in the GI Haskell Invitational S. on July 23 or wait a week and race him against another stablemate, GI Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Zandon (Upstart)...

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Consistency Over Long Haul Stands Out for Top Soph

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton For the past two racing seasons, we've seen two top-rated United States 2-year-olds in each year maintain impeccable form for a period of about 12 months, straight through to a deep point in their sophomore campaigns. That's a fairly remarkable occurrence in this day and age. Tiz the Law (Constitution) broke his maiden at Saratoga on Aug. 8, 2019, then prevailed in the GI Runhappy Travers S. exactly one year later. The compact bay who raced with a relentless swagger lost only once...

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Essential Quality Outslugs Keepmeinmind in Jim Dandy

Intangibles make good horses great horses. Consigned to the widest trip of any of the five runners left for Saturday's GII Jim Dandy S. at Saratoga, Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' and reigning 2-year-old male Eclipse Award winner Essential Quality (Tapit) was under the pump fully a half-mile from home, but--as he has demonstrated on more than one occasion during a season that appears again to be on a championship trajectory--the gunmetal gray colt looked a rival straight in the eye, wagged his finger Dikembe Mutumbo-style and willed himself to the...

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Essential Quality Lays Over Rivals in Jim Dandy

As the leader in a contentious 3-year-old division, all eyes will be on Godolphin's champion Essential Quality (Tapit) Saturday at Saratoga, but the race itself may lack for drama, as the gray lays over his five rivals in the GII Jim Dandy S., the Spa's traditional prep for the Aug. 28 GI Runhappy Travers S. Then again, stranger things have happened at the "Graveyard of Favorites". Sewing up his Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old male via a three-for-three campaign that culminated with a score in the GI TVG Breeders'...

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Essential Quality 'Looks Amazing' After Belmont; Cox Eyes Travers

Essential Quality (Tapit) got great marks from trainer Brad Cox the morning after the colt triumphed in a strong renewal of the GI Belmont S., and Cox said the Godolphin homebred will be pointed next to the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 28 at Saratoga. The Belmont victory marked the first Grade I win as a sophomore for last year's champion 2-year-old male and offered a measure of redemption for the gray, who was the beaten favorite when fourth in last month's GI Kentucky Derby, his first career defeat. "He...

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Tax Impressive in Potential Pegasus Tune-Up

Tax (Arch) likely punched his ticket to the $3-million GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park Jan. 23 with a sharp, front-running performance off the bench in Saturday's GIII Harlan's Holiday S. The 2019 GII Jim Dandy S. and GIII Withers S. winner hit the gate running from his rail draw and Luis Saez was able to dictate very manageable fractions of :23.87 and :46.96. He began to give them the slip as they hit the top of the stretch and was home free from there, running up the...

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