Saratoga: How to bet the 2022 Jim Dandy Stakes
A compact, but fantastic, field of four three-year-olds will go postward in the $600,000 Jim Dandy S. (G2) at Saratoga on Saturday. Five were originally entered but four are expected to start in the nine-furlong dirt event, which attracted a pair of Grade 1 winners from the barn of Chad Brown, the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1) runner-up, as well as an up-and-coming colt coming off a big tally.
#4 Early Voting (8-5) is a neck from being unbeaten from four lifetime tries for Brown. By top young sire Gun Runner, the excellent colt was 2-for-2 as a juvenile but has really moved forward in 2022, and the lightly raced sophomore has plenty of room for improvement as well. Second to Belmont S. (G1) victor Mo Donegal in the Wood Memorial S. (G2) two prior, Early Voting took command turning for home en route to a decisive score in the Preakness in his latest endeavor.
The dark bay has posted a nice string of morning drills over the past six weeks to suggest that he bounced out of his run in Baltimore in good order. And the fleet colt figures to be the controlling speed of the race on Saturday, too. Regular rider Jose Ortiz will ride and send the $200,000 yearling purchase from the word go.
Blue Grass (G1) star #5 Zandon (2-1) is the second from the Brown shedrow and seems set for a big performance on Saturday. The Upstart colt, who was a smart third in the Run for the Roses last time out, possesses a sharp turn of foot and should enjoy clear sailing throughout in the small field while making his Spa debut.
The dark bay might not receive an ideal pace scenario with which to work with in the Jim Dandy, but I simply think that the sophomore is especially talented and can overcome virtually any trip that he receives. Flavien Prat will be in the controls and taking the colt back early on.
#2 Epicenter (3-2) is a genuine and talented colt for Steve Asmussen. Not raced since a brave runner-up result in the Preakness, Epicenter makes his local bow and will surely be in the hunt with his best effort. The bay son of Not This Time has the gate presence to be close early, and the colt also has a fine foundation under him to thrive at the distance. Joel Rosario will guide the obvious win contender.