Belmont winner Tonalist returns to action in Jim Dandy at Spa
Saratoga Race Course on Satuday hosts the Jim Dandy Stakes, the traditional prep race for next month’s Travers Stakes (otherwise known as the "Midsummer Derby.")
Everyone will be eagerly watching Tonalist, who is fresh off his Belmont Stakes triumph over Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome. However, this year’s edition of the Jim Dandy drew a solid field of runners, including popular contenders Wicked Strong, winner of Aqueduct’s Wood Memorial in April, and Commanding Curve, second in the 2014 Kentucky Derby.
While I am definitely a Tonalist fan, and I hope he runs well on Saturday in preparation for the Travers Stakes on August 23, I do believe there are a couple of horses with upset potential in this year’s Jim Dandy:
Legend’s trainer is H. James Bond, a gentleman who is no stranger to major Saratoga stakes races for three-year-olds. Mr. Bond could have very easily chosen another race for Legend (a horse who has only one victory to his credit thus far), but he has decided to put him in against the "big boys" in the Jim Dandy, which shows confidence. In addition, I like the fact that Legend is always competitive during the early stages of his races, and I expect him to be close to the early leaders again in the Jim Dandy.
#5 KID CRUZ
Kid Cruz is already a proven winner, having won 5 of his 8 lifetime races. However, up until the July 5 Dwyer Stakes, Kid Cruz had never passed the test of beating the upper echelon of racehorses in a a graded stakes. That all changed in the Dwyer, where Kid Cruz showed a new ability to stay closer to the leaders during the early stages of the race before running them down in the homestretch. Kid Cruz could be ready to take another step forward in the Jim Dandy.
$2 exacta box: Legend (2), Tonalist (4), Kid Cruz (5) = $12
$2 exacta key: Tonalist (4) over Legend (2), Kid Cruz (5) = $4