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Jim Dandy preview

Three continents of feature racing covered this weekend on the blog, this time it's Jon da Silva (@CreamOnTop) chiming in with his assessment of the time-honoured Jim Dandy Stakes from the picturesque Saratoga.

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Jim Dandy Dirt Grade 2 9 furlongs 1045 BST

The Jim Dandy looks a compelling race. After the 3 classics run in 35 days the 3 year olds return 7 weeks later. The classic runners face horses kept fresh and maybe some late developing sorts. As in the UK it is not unknown for early season classic contenders to disappear as forces in later top class racing. For classics to prove to be anything but in hindsight. A slight wrinkle here is this is not level weights albeit a very limited one but Belmont winner Palace Malice carries top burden.

Bashaar
Paceless closer who has made ground over lesser trips and steps up in class here (has contested a turf grade 9 when well beaten). Has been staying on but this would be a tough way to break your stakes maiden. Will try to deep close.

Code West
Classic pretensions went South in the Louisiana Derby - 7th to solid Kentucky Derby placers Revolutionary 3rd and Mylute, 5th and re-opposes, so not that far behind but behind none the less. Been on an upward curve since winning 2 of 3 culminating in the grade 3 Matt Winn over a mile and a 1/16th. Will likely press the pace.

Will Take Charge
Got to run badly in all 3 classics - only runner to do all 3. Quite what he had done to make his connections quite so dislike him is unknown. To be fair had run down stablemate and Preakness winner Oxbow prior to those 3 floggings. Cuts back from classic distances to one he beat Oxbow over. Likely sit in midfield.

Moreno
The Early Speed. Coming off an all the way romp in the Grade 2 Dwyer. Should easily see off Code West for the lead so a chance gets a shot at another grade 2 over a new trip of 9 furlongs. On the rise and by Ghostzapper has claims at the distance. Likely to have Palace Malice and Code West challenge him down the back.

Palace Malice
Out non stayed everything else in plodding home in the Belmont nonetheless outran Oxbow who had dominated the Preakness. Set a suicidal pace in the Kentucky Derby but did not fade to nowhere. Possibly under rated because form does not look that consistent and times slow. Top weighted and a 5/2 Morning Line. The race could be determined by when and how hooked up Palace Malice gets with Moreno. I like him but gives weight and faces some other speed.

Perfect Title
Closer who won an allowance last time. Steps up a long in class here to a hot group 2. Did close fast off slow fractions then in his first start over 9 furlongs. Lot to find.

Freedom Child
Got loose in the Peter Pan and turned it into a romp posting a good time with both Beyer and Timeform. Faced with harder rivals early including Palace Malice who run here he was never in it in the Belmont. Rested since. With Palace Malice and Moreno he's unlikely to get it easy up front. Could have needed the break but equally could be soft when faced by fast horses.

Mylute
Closer 2nd in Louisiana Derby and 5th in the Kentucky Derby before a good 3rd in the Preakness. Clearly smart and one who will hope for a pace duel up front. . Consistent and with the best Beyer speed figures here - holds the best 3 in the race. Gets 6 pounds off Palace Malice and has finished in front of that rival twice.

Looking Cool
Won the Grade 3 Iowa Derby closing against a fastish pace. Improving but well beaten by Code West on penultimate start in the Matt Winn.

Conclusion
I am skeptical of classic form but at 3s (Coral) Mylute and Palace Malice are fairly priced. There seems enough pace for Palace Malice to race early and bring Mylute into it. I also think that Palace Malice is unexposed after only a few starts and his Kentucky Derby run hidden good if looking at the final result. If PM clears them down the back he could waltz home. However he's giving 6 pounds to the horse with the 3 best speed ratings in the race. This does have a chance to be a surprise given we have hard ridden classic contenders albeit off breaks and maybe horses given more time to find themselves. Nonetheless battle hardened classic contenders have the more solid form. Of the rest Code West is solid and beat Palace Malice and Mylute when 2nd in the Risen Star. Selection Mylute.

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