There’s a lot on the line at this weekend’s Jim Dandy Stakes. The $600,000 purse not withstanding, Belmont Stakes winner Creator hopes to prove his worth when he attempts to post back-to-back victories for the first time in his career. The Steve Asmussen trainee caught Destin at the wire in a thrilling finish to round up the Triple Crown series, and has since been resting and preparing for the summer schedule.
Creator will face off with Destin again, and the two are likely to share the spot as co-favorites or somewhere close to that. Like his rival, Destin has not run since placing as the runner-up in the Belmont Stakes but expectations are sky high for him. The son of Giant’s Causeway and Dream of Summer placed a respectable 6th place at the Kentucky Derby and also dominated the Tampa Bay Derby in record fashion. If consistency is your preference, then Destin is easily the better choice between the two at the Jim Dandy Stakes.
Another big name joining that duo will be Mohaymen, who is out for redemption as well. At one time, this horse was the favorite to win the Triple Crown and the Kentucky Derby but a dense schedule that saw pack six high stakes races in to just seven months eventually caught up with him. He was 4th at both the derby and the Florida Derby last time out, but there are still those that believe he has what it takes to be a winner yet again. As another son of Tapit alongside Creator, there’s little doubting his talent. It’s whether or not he can put it all together again after having his confidence stolen by Nyquist back at the Florida Derby.
Rounding out the Jim Dandy Stakes field is Laoban, who finished 5th at the Dwyer, as well as Governor Malibu who was good enough to become the 4th place finisher at the Belmont Stakes. Race Me Home enters after a promising run at the Easy Goer where he finished as the runner-up.
This is a very tight race to call, mostly because the top-three horses are so tightly packed. What the Jim Dandy Stakes inevitably boils down to is legitimacy. Either you believe that Destin’s consistency is a greater value, Mohaymen is well rested enough to return to form or that Creator is the real deal despite a harrowing 11th place finish at the Kentucky Derby. You could just as easily convince me that Race Me Home might spoil the podium party.
For my money, I prefer Destin but a little part of me wants to lump an exotic bet with him alongside Mohaymen because I just believe that there’s too much talent in the latter horse to truly ignore.
Jim Dandy Stakes – Saturday, July 30th at 6:18pm EST (Saratoga)
1 1/8th miles, 3 year olds, $600,000
|1||Creator (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||123||Steven M. Asmussen||–|
|2||Laoban (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||117||Eric J. Guillot||–|
|3||Mohaymen (KY)||Junior Alvarado||121||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||–|
|4||Destin (KY)||Javier Castellano||121||Todd A. Pletcher||–|
|5||Governor Malibu (NY)||Joel Rosario||117||Christophe Clement||–|
|6||Race Me Home (IRE)||Luis Saez||117||Dale L. Romans||–|