Jim Dandy Stakes Picks 2017
Jim Dandy Stakes Preview and Odds
Set to be run at 1 1/8 miles on the Saratoga dirt course, the Jim Dandy has drawn a small but competitive field of five runners. After gaining his first career win in his third career start, the Todd Pletcher-trained Always Dreaming (4-5 in the morning line odds) took three straight wins by convincing fashion in the lead-up to the Derby, including winning the (G1) Florida Derby.
Sent off as the slight 9-2 favorite at Churchill, Always Dreaming broke alertly on the sloppy dirt track, quickly engaged and then put away early leader State of Honor, and then cruised to an easy 2 3/4 length win over the the rest of the 20-horse field, who were forced to contend with the poor footing and traffic trouble that compromised the chances of several others.
Immediately following the race there were the usual whispers of another Triple Crown winner in the making, but when Always Dreaming was forced to go head-to-head on even terms with the talented Classic Empire in the Preakness, he came up wanting, dueling with that one to the top of the stretch before tiring badly and fading to eighth.
The main beneficiary of that duel at Pimlico was Cloud Computing (6-5) who came flying late and then needed every inch of the 1 3/16 miles to catch and pass Classic Empire. Unraced as a two-year-old, Cloud Computing started his three-year-old campaign with a win first time out at Aqueduct, and then ran second in the (G3) Gotham Stakes and third in the (G2) Wood Memorial, both at the New York City track.
Although he gets credit for beating a pretty good field in the Preakness, it could be argued that he simply benefitted from all the hard work Classic Empire had done to run Always Dreaming into the ground.
With those two expected to leave the gate on near-even terms in the betting pools, it’s tempting to try and beat them in the small field. To that end, it may be worth taking a shot with Pavel (15-1) at long odds. Although the Jim Dandy will be only his second lifetime start, he ships in from California off an impressive maiden score at Santa Anita. Although he’ll be making a big stretch out in distance off that 6 1/2 furlong race, he’s from a sire who was competitive at longer distances, running third in the 2012 Preakness.
Of the others in the field, Good Samaritan (12-1) comes in after running fourth in the (G1) Belmont Derby Invitational the first weekend of July. He’s a horse that has a stakes win on the synthetic surface at Woodbine, and has since been runnning on the turf. He’s been competitive at the graded-stakes level, finishing in the money in three-of-four tries.
Breaking from the middle of the gate, Giuseppe The Great (12-1) is a late runner who will sit back early and hope that a pace meltdown on the front-end will allow him to pick up a piece as they hit the wire.
The Jim Dandy Stakes goes Saturday, July 29 from Saratoga, with a post time of 6:18 PM Eastern. You can bet the race on Saturday through Today’s Tracks in the Bovada racebook, or with one of our other top-rated online betting sites.
Entries w/ ML Odds
1) Always Dreaming (4-5)
2) Cloud Computing (6-5)
3) Giuseppe The Great (12-1)
4) Pavel (15-1)
5) Good Samaritan (15-1)
#1 – Pavel
#2 – Always Dreaming
#3 – Cloud Computing
#4 – Good Samaritan
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