A compact group of six go to the post in Saturday’s $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga, with the up and coming Global Campaign facing four foes that competed in Triple Crown races.
Tacitus is the 7-5 morning line favorite for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The colt was third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and was the runner up in the Belmont Stakes (G1) as the beaten favorite.
War of Will (5-2) is the lone three-year-old to compete in each of the triple Crown races, winning the Preakness Stakes (G1). The colt was seventh in the Run for the Roses and a disappointing ninth in the Belmont.
Laughing Fox (15-1) makes his first start since a fifth-place finish in the Preakness and Tax (8-1) was 14th in the Derby and fourth in the Belmont.
Completing the field is Mihos (15-1), who was fourth in the Dwyer (G3) at Belmont Park going a mile on July 6, his first start off a five-month break.
The Jim Dandy serves as a prep race for the marquee event of the summer at the Spa, the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) on Aug. 24.
With the three-year-old division wide open, a win in the Jim Dandy and Travers could go a long way toward winning division honors. War of Will, with his win in the Preakness is the lone Grade 1 winner in the Jim Dandy field.
Casse Confident in War of Will
His trainer Mark Casse is confident the 1 1/8 miles suits the colt.
“He’s won at a mile and a sixteenth and a mile and three-sixteenths, so a mile and eighth shouldn’t be a problem,” Casse said.
There are two other graded stakes on an outstanding 12-race card—the $250,000 Bowling Green (G2) and the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1).
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The Bowling Green drew a field of 13 that will go 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf. The Mott trained Channel Maker is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The gelding won the Man O’ War (G1) in May and was fourth in the Manhattan (G1) in his last outing.
The Vanderbilt features defending champ Imperial Hint (3-1), who makes his first start since a third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) in March.
He faces the steaking Mitole (1-1), who has won seven races in a row. The Steve Asmussen trainee won the Met Mile (G1) over a deep field in his last start on June 8.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 11 The Jim Dandy G2 (Post time 6:51 ET)
#4 Global Campaign 2-1
#5 Tacitus 7-5
#6 War of Will 5-2
#2 Tax 8-1
The colt is coming off an impressive victory in the Peter Pan (G3) last out. The colt tracked the early pace, took over the lead and held on to win by 1 1/4 lengths in his first trip at nine furlongs. The runner up Sir Winston came back to win the Belmont Stakes (G1) at 10-1 while the fourth-place finisher Final Jeopardy came back to run a good second in the Dwyer (G3) on July 6. The Hough trainee won his first two career starts at Gulfstream Park, then was fifth in the Fountain of Youth (G2) in his stakes debut, beaten 5 1/2 lengths. He owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and looks capable of taking this field gate to wire unless Ortiz elects to send Tax. The colt has worked sharply since his last start and will be tough if he runs back to his last effort. Two of his sibs are also stakes winners, top earner Bolt d’Oro ($1 million).
The Mott trainee was the beaten favorite in the Belmont Stakes. The colt brushed with War of Will coming out of the gate, stalked the early pace while three wide, came farther out on the far turn, bumped with War of Will again, was angled inside and then out again in the stretch and finished up well, beaten just a length. The colt lost some ground in the outing and the inner paths were preferred that day. The colt has worked well since his last outing and appears to be coming into this race in top form. Mott won this race in 2017 with Good Samaritan. The main knock is the likely short price.
War of Will
The colt did not fire his best in the Belmont, tiring to finish ninth. He participated in all three Triple Crown races, winning the Preakness Stakes (G1) two back. He took the brunt of the trouble in the Kentucky Derby (G1) where he backed up to finish eighth, placed seventh via the disqualification of Maximum Security. he also tossed in a clunker in the Louisiana Derby (G2) earlier this year at 4-5 after winning the LeComte (G3) and Risen Star (G2). He fits with his best, but the question mark is whether or not we see it here after racing three times in five weeks this spring.
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 4,5,6
TRI: no play