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Top 3-year-olds meet in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Saturday

By NY Hot List staff | Friday, July 29, 2022

The second and third-place finishers in the Kentucky Derby along with the Preakness winner are part of the field of five in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy that will race 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga on Saturday. In addition, Epicenter, Zandon, and Early Voting have already earned at least $1 million in their careers as graded stakes winners.

Preakness winner Early Voting skipped the Derby after finishing second in the Wood Memorial behind the eventual Belmont Stakes winner Mo Donegal.

“There was plenty of discussion [to run in the Kentucky Derby], but ultimately it looks like we made the right call to point to the Preakness,” trainer Chad Brown said.

Brown’s other runner Zandon will return to the races in the Jim Dandy after he was third in the Run for the Roses.

“He’s a pretty consistent horse and time has really done this horse well since the Derby,” Brown said. “We did the right thing for him. I love the way he’s training. He’s put some weight on and I expect him to run well Saturday.”

Epicenter has earned over $2 million after running second in the first two legs of the Triple Crown for trainer Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

“It’s his first run obviously back off the Derby and the Preakness, two hard races 14 days apart,” Asmussen said. “We’re using the Jim Dandy as a prep for the Travers, which is his goal. The Jim Dandy will be his first run at Saratoga and should set us up for the Travers.”

The $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) – Saratoga, Saturday, Race 9.

(4) Early Voting won the Preakness (G1) and is only a neck short of being unbeaten in four career starts. He has a chance to control this race from the start depending on what (2) Epicenter does in the race. Early in his career, Epicenter showed plenty of early speed but in his last three starts has run from farther and farther off the pace. It is likely that he will need to stay close to Early Voting and not allow him to get loose on the lead. (5) Zandon may be the third betting choice, which is attractive. He might get a good set-up for his closing style if the top two choices do battle with each other in the early going. (3) Tawny Port will be the fourth choice in this Jim Dandy field. He was seventh in the Kentucky Derby with victories just before and after that big race in the Lexington (G3) and the Ohio Derby (G3). He is worth considering as a way to get a better payoff in the trifecta if one of the top three do not run their best.

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