Will the Belmont winner feel Jim Dandy? That question will be answered Saturday at Saratoga, with Essential Quality looking to parlay his impressive June 5 Belmont Stakes triumph as the favorite in Jim Dandy odds for the $600,000 stakes race.
Post time is 5:39p ET. Most nationwide bettors can access the action via the TVG app.
Jim Dandy Odds: Race Breakdown
Let’s look at the feature race. Odds will be determined at post time. The odds you see here are only estimates.
1. Dr Jack (13-1) – Jockey: Jose Ortiz, Trainer: Brad Cox
Won his 6 1/2 furlongs debut in April at Gulfstream Park and stretched out to 1 1/16 miles by posting a three-length victory on May 14 at Pimlico. Made a strong run at the leaders at the Pegasus June 13 at Monmouth Park and did not bow out of it until the final strides. Beaten by Weyburn. Faded in final strides at 1 1/16 miles. Can he go further? Improving.
2. Masqueparade (4-1) – Jockey: Miguel Mena, Trainer: Al Stall Jr.
Showed grit in winning a head-to-head stretch duel in the Grade III Ohio Derby June 25. Had just enough to outlast Keepmeinmind. Has improved his speed figures in four consecutive starts, going from a 74 for a third-place maiden finish in February at Fair Grounds to a 98 for his last-out graded win.
3. Weyburn (5-1) – Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens
Won the Grade III Gotham in March at Aqueduct Racetrack and ran a strong second to Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun, losing by just a neck in the 1 1/16-mile Pegasus. He rallied late in that race and nearly stole it after Mandaloun had taken the lead in the stretch and appeared safely home. Mandaloun’s impressive follow-up, gaining a Haskell Stakes win via disqualification after initially losing a photo to Hot Rod Charlie may, by extension, elevate Weyburn’s respect.
4. Keepmeinmind (7-1) – Jockey: Joel Rosario, Trainer: Robertino Diodora
Ran seventh in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness, before garnering a 97 Beyer for a third-place finish in the Ohio Derby. May have run as well as he can. The Kentucky Derby seventh was a good result from a poor start. The Preakness was a strong hard-knocking fourth. He was running well again at the end of the Ohio Derby. Probably can’t win but could pick up pieces if the race backs up a little.
5. Essential Quality (1-2) – Jockey: Luis Saez, Trainer: Brad Cox
The expected favorite in Jim Dandy odds at post time. Likes Saratoga. Since shipping earlier this month from Churchill Downs, he has registered three Saratoga workouts. His connections have Horse-of-the-Year aspirations, with Essential Quality posting six wins in seven starts, earning a Triple Crown jewel via the Belmont and posting a 109 Beyer for it. The Belmont victory, off a game fourth in the Kentucky Derby, continues his progression. It doesn’t figure that he’ll get the suicide pace duel Rock Your World handed him by engaging Hot Rod Charlie early in the Belmont. The choice.
6. Risk Taking (16-1) – Jockey: Manny Franco, Trainer: Chad Brown
Risk Taking, trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, ran a dull seventh in the Wood Memorial before the off-the-board Preakness effort in a 10-horse field. No excuse for the last two efforts. Toss candidate. Don’t think he stays with these.
Jim Dandy Stakes Pace Scenario
Looks like there are no natural pacesetters. Weyburn and Dr. Jack may be forwardly placed. Top horses in this field run well late.
Essential Quality should be near it early but doesn’t have to own the lead. Small field, everybody should get a good trip, this should simply be the best horse wins.
Different Ways To Bet Jim Dandy Stakes
Will check post-time odds, but first wager is an Essential Quality-Weyburn exacta box. If payoff looks short, may have to lean more on one side.
Improvement angle on Masqueparade puts him in one trifecta ticket.
Dr. Jack might go in one trifecta ticket, under.
But the field is small and spreading may not pay off.
Jim Dandy Part of Loaded Pick 3
In addition to highlighting Saratoga’s loaded Saturday card and serving as a prep for the Grade I, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers at 1 1/4 miles on August 28, this 1 1/8-mile race helps form an excellent three-race package.
The Jim Dandy is Race 9.
It joins the Grade I, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap for 3-year-olds at six furlongs in Race 8. The Grade I, $250,000 Bowling Green for 4-year-olds and up going 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf is Race 10.
How’s that for a late Saratoga Pick 3?