Jim Dandy

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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Liveyourbeastlife Breezes for Preakness

William H. Lawrence's Liveyourbeastlife (Ghostzapper), the runner-up in the GII Jim Dandy S. at Saratoga Sept. 5, worked five-eighths in :59.89 (3/9) Thursday over the Belmont Park main track in preparation for the GI Preakness S. Oct. 3. Trainer Jorge Abreu said that the dark bay would be supplemented to the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. "He breezed really well today," Abreu said. "He went in :59 4/5, which is something he's never done before. We're going to take a shot." Liveyourbeastlife, a $200,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida Select...

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No Mystery about Mystic Potential

Of all the oddities shoehorned into the 2020 calendar, a Jim Dandy on Derby day felt like one of the most incongruous. In a regular year, this Grade II race serves as a midsummer crossroads for sophomores with an eye on the GI Travers: a chance either to regroup, after participation in the Triple Crown series, or to test the water after missing the Classics through immaturity or injury. At least this latter function was maintained, this time round, in the coming-of-age of 'TDN Rising Star' Mystic Guide (Ghostzapper), a...

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Belmont Runner-up Dr Post Headlines Jim Dandy

Dr Post (Quality Road), a very respectable second behind Tiz the Law (Constitution) in the shortened GI Belmont S. June 20, will be the one to beat in Saturday's GII Jim Dandy S. at Saratoga after bypassing the GI Kentucky Derby. He followed his tenacious win while making his two-turn bow in Gulfstream's Unbridled S. Apr. 25 by finishing 3 3/4 lengths within the imposing Derby favorite in Elmont, then reported home third after falling a bit too far behind early in the GI TVG.com Haskell S. at Monmouth last...

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Super Saver Colt Stays Two Turns; Earns Rising Stardom at Saratoga

Wertheimer and Frere homebred Happy Saver (Super Saver) made good on a flashy debut last month and handled nine panels at Saratoga like he was just getting going to garner the 'TDN Rising Star' moniker Sunday afternoon. The Todd Pletcher pupil aired by 5 1/2 lengths at first asking going seven furlongs at Belmont June 20, and was even-money against a solid-looking group of winners this time around. He broke alertly, but was out-footed into the first turn and took up a ground-saving spot in third. Ridden along to avoid...

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Saratoga Stakes Added to Road to Derby and Oaks

With the GI Kentucky Derby moved to Sept. 5 and the GI Kentucky Oaks pushed to Sept. 4, a quartet of Saratoga stakes will be added to the qualifying prep races. The GIII Peter Pan S. July 16 and the GI Traver S. Aug., 8 will be part of the Road to the Derby at 100 and 50 points, respectively. Added to the Oaks trail are the GI CCA Oaks July 18 and the GI Alabama S. Aug. 15, both 100 points. Churchill Downs has also announced three additional Derby...

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