Trainer Todd Pletcher seeks his seventh victory in the $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga by sending out Destin on Saturday, the race drawing a field of six three-year-olds.
Destin was beaten a nose last out in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and will be looking to turn the tables on the late running Creator. Destin is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line.
Pletcher saddled the winner of the Jim Dandy in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2011 and most recently with Palace Malice in 2013.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trained Mohaymen is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The colt won his first five career starts to become the early wagering favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1), but was fourth in the Florida Derby (G1) and fourth in the Run for the Roses.
McLaughlin, who has won with six of his eight starters at the meeting will give a leg up to regular rider Junior Alvarado.
Despite his win in the Belmont, Creator is the third choice on the morning line at 3-1. The Steve Asmussen trainee bounced back from his 13th place finish in the Derby with his narrow victory in the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Completing the field are maiden Laoban (20-1), Belmont fourth place finisher Governor Malibu (9-2) and Easy Goer runner up Race Me Home (15-1).
The Jim Dandy serves as a prep for the marquee event of the summer at the Spa, the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) on Aug. 27.
Derby winner Nyquist and Preakness (G1) winner Exaggerator compete on Sunday in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park, and if all goes well all three of the triple Crown races likely will show up for the Travers.
The Spa has 11 races on the card on Saturday including three supporting stakes—the $200,000 Amsterdam (G2), $250,000 Bowling Green (G2) and the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1).
Let’s head out to the Spa for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 10 The Jim Dandy G2 (Post time 6:18 ET)
#4 Destin 2-1
#3 Mohaymen 9-5
#1 Creator 3-1
#5 Governor Malibu 9-2
Analysis: Destin put in a game effort in the Belmont (G1), prompting the early pace, taking over the lead and battling on right to the wire, run down by Creator in the final jump. The colt showed some serious talent this spring winning the Sam F Davis (G3) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Pletcher elected to try something different for his poor record in the Kentucky Derby (G1) by bringing this guy in fresh, which did not work. He had a tough trip in a sixth place finish. The colt has the tactical edge over Creator here with the shorter distance and compact field. Pletcher has won this race a record six times and this colt looks capable of making it seven.
Mohaymen makes his first start since a fourth in the Kentucky Derby. The runner up Exaggerator won the Belmont next out while the third place finisher Gun Runner came back to win the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs and three others came back to win stakes as well. This guy was the solid early favorite for the Kentucky Derby after his wins in the Holy Bull (G2) and Fountain of Youth (G2) to run his record to 5 for 5. He was the beaten chalk in the Florida Derby (G1) and Nyquist took over as the favorite. He should be forwardly placed in this spot and tough to knock anything McLaughlin has been sending out, winning with six of his first eight runners at the meeting.
Creator had a rough trip in the Derby and bounced back with a career best effort winning the Belmont last out. The late running son of Tapit is going to need some pace to develop for him to have a shot, but horses coming from off the pace have fared well early in the meeting here.
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,3,4
TRI: no play
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