Tom Pedulla presents 5 key takeaways from Saturday’s $558,000, Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, a prep for the Aug. 27 Runhappy Travers Stakes on the iconic upstate New York observe, and different main weekend developments:
BOUNCING BACK: Epicenter, second within the Kentucky Derby Offered by Woodford Reserve and Preakness Stakes, rebounded in an enormous manner in profitable the Jim Dandy by 1 ½ lengths beneath jockey Joel Rosario towards Derby third-place finisher Zandon. “It’s extraordinarily rewarding off two powerful races to carry him again within the winner’s circle the place we expect he belongs,” Corridor of Fame coach Steve Asmussen stated. Epicenter missed by three-quarters of a size to 80.80-1 bomb Wealthy Strike within the Derby. He fell quick by 1 ¼ lengths to Jim Dandy rival Early Voting within the Preakness. He would vault himself again into the dialogue for main 3-year-old by profitable the Travers, the famed “Mid-Summer time Derby.”
UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS: Champion sprinter Jackie’s Warrior grew to become the primary horse to win at the least gained Grade 1 race at Saratoga for 3 successive seasons when Rosario hand rode him to a two-length victory within the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap. “The nice racehorses which have run right here and he’s the one one to try this. I can’t say how a lot I needed that for him and am pleased with it, and Jackie’s Warrior has executed it,” Asmussen stated, including, “I needed this greater than you’re presupposed to need issues.” The 4-year-old Maclean’s Music colt captured the 2020 Hopeful Stakes earlier than registering a taut victory towards come backing Life Is Good within the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial final yr.
NO CROP, NO PROBLEM: When jockey Joe Bravo dropped his driving crop whereas American Theorem made a six-wide bid within the 77th version of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes on Saturday, he apprehensive that he might need compromised his mount’s possibilities. In no way. The son of American Pharoah had unstoppable momentum and went on to a 1 ½-length determination over Get Her Quantity. “I dropped my stick on the flip and that may make you nervous,” Bravo stated. “However he didn’t want it.” American Theorem secured an expense-paid berth within the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Dash for proprietor Rustin Kretz and coach George Papaprodromou.
SUPER SUB: Corridor of Fame coach Richard Mandella couldn’t attend the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday as he offers with a case of COVID that has sidelined him for nearly per week. His son, Gary, saddled Royal Ship and despatched the 6-year-old gelding on his method to a stunning 2 ¼-length victory over Nation Grammer for jockey Mike Smith. “He was rolling on the bottom and simply saved going,” Smith stated. “I hope this win helps Mr. Mandella really feel higher. He and his son get all of the credit score with this horse.”
INAUSPICIOUS RETURNS: Corniche, the nation’s main 2-year-old when he accomplished his juvenile marketing campaign with a 3-for-3 report final season, is ideal no extra. The son of High quality Highway, making his season debut and his first begin since being transferred from controversial Bob Baffert to Todd Pletcher, stumbled at first and was finally eased by jockey Luis Saez within the $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes on Sunday at Saratoga. Pinehurst, one other completed expertise whereas in Baffert’s barn, bobbled at first and completed subsequent to final within the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam, which was gained by Gunite. Pinehurst was making his first begin for New York-based coach John Terranova.