Jim Dandy 2022 Entries: Triple Crown Trail alums return on Saratoga Saturday

Trainer Chad Brown has a pair of aces running against one another in Saturday's Grade 2 Jim Dandy on Saturday at Saratoga ... find out who they are in this race review.
Trainer Chad Brown has a pair of aces running against one another in Saturday's Grade 2 Jim Dandy on Saturday at Saratoga ... find out who they are in this race review.

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Race 9: 1 1/8th (Dirt), Jim Dandy Stakes (G2), Purse $600k, 3 (Saturday)

The annual renewal of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy is the perfect opportunity for former Triple Crown Trail participants to “runback” after their arduous winter and spring. Most are at Saratoga for 1 reason … to prepare for the upcoming Travers Stakes (G1) … aka, the 4th leg of a series that began way back in Kentucky at Churchill Downs. This test for 3-yr-olds will be a challenge because the level of fitness is always in question. Thumbing through a list of past winners is like strolling down memory lane. Who can forget Awesome Again? Or Ecton Park and Graeme Hall? What about Medaglia d’Oro or Flower Alley? More recently, names like Bernardini, Street Sense, Palace Malice, Wicked Strong, and Laoban will all be remembered … The last 3 victors, Tax, Mystic Guide, and Essential Quality all made their mark … of a champion!

Now, let’s find out about this field…

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#1 Western River (Jky: R. Santana/Trn: R. Brisset):

The Brisset Barn trots this colt by Tapit for what has to be his toughest race to-date. He did compete in the Peter Pan S. (G3) against stablemate We the People, but ended up just off-the-board. To his credit, he won a MSW90k at Oaklawn and most recently an ALLW Co. race at Churchill Downs. In both of those scores he was piloted by the aggressive Ricardo Santana. Once he broke with Steve Asmussen, it really gave him the opportunity he needed. As a jockey, that is important ... This is an example of one of those "chances" because he is going to be the longest shot on the board …

Grade: C+

 

#2 Epicenter (Jky: J. Rosario/Trn: S. Asmussen):

Steve Asmussen’s prize colt is the only runner entered that ran in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Preakness (G1). Of course, he was solid in both of those attempts, finishing 2nd on both occasions behind surprise long shot Rich Strike, and then he was outlasted in the end by Early Voting #4, respectively. This son of Not This Time clearly runs well in almost any scenario, and that speaks to his versatility. His march to the Travers (G1) goes through the “Dandy” for Winchell Thoroughbreds, and do not be surprised if he is fit and ready to take the prize with his regular rider aboard, Joel Rosario.

Grade: B+

 

#3 Tawny Port (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: B. Cox):

Probably the Derby horse that will get the least attention coming into this race, but remember what happened last weekend with his stablemate, Cyberknife in the Haskell … he won. Brad Cox is one of the best in the nation when it comes to preparation, and this Peachtree Stable-owned son of Pioneerof the Nile has superb potential. In fact, he ran rather impressively under the Twin Spires (odds 81/1), ending up 7th, just under 5-lengths behind Rich Strike. Could a major fortifying be under way … distilling a winner? Possible … look who takes the mount … first time aboard … but it’s Irad Ortiz.

Grade: B+

 

#4 Early Voting (Jky: J. Ortiz/Trn: C. Brown):

In 4 career races, each time there was something to question about this colt by Gun Runner, but each time, he seems to counter it. Even in his one defeat, when he lost by a neck to Mo Donegal (Belmont Stakes champ) in the G2 Wood Memorial, ‘cappers realized that Chad Brown’s was special. There is no question that he is talented, but one has to wonder if he was able to catch Epicenter #2 napping because he skipped the Derby? I am sure that Jose Ortiz will give him a great ride once again, but this is going to be a major test for him because frontend speed can be challenged. His sire is reaching new heights, but we will see if he has the chops to get the job done here … I am skeptical once again.

Grade: B

 

#5 Zandon (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: C. Brown):

The “other” Chad Brown entry is no slouch, and owner Jeff Drown invested well when he bought this son of Upstart in 2020 at the Keeneland September Sale. He has shown both his shipping ability and a penchant for running from off-the-pace. Like most of the Derby participants he had to deal with a torrid pace set by Summer Is Tomorrow. By the time Flavien Prat got him free near the top of the lane, he was just trying to mount a rally. A top pick coming into this race, he should be able to take advantage of an honest pace that is sure to be set by his rivals. Brown’s numbers at Saratoga are in the stratosphere. The real question will be the odds … watch the tote. I am hoping for 3/1 or a touch above. That should be a bet!

Grade: A-

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Join us Saturday for all of our selections! Should be a great set of races from The Spa! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!

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