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Top 3YO’s Contest Jim Dandy, Haskell

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 7/30/2010 4:12:33 PM

A host of top 3YO colts will be in action this weekend, and contention runs deep. The 47th Running of The Jim Dandy this Saturday at Saratoga lacks a bit of the star power on display in Sunday’s Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, but both races present difficult handicapping challenges. Those who are able to uncover the winners should profit handsomely.

The Jim Dandy field of nine may be reduced, as #6-Miner’s Reserve (morning line 10-1) and #7-Winslow Homer (12-1) are entered in The Curlin Stakes at Saratoga the following day. Afleet Express (4-1) won the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth last out, but this field is considerably tougher. Javier Castellano retains the mount, and he’s as hot as any jockey on the grounds. A swift seven-furlong breeze on July 23rd signals that Afleet Express retains his sharp form. He should contend for top honors. Stormy’s Majesty is a perfect 3-for-3, but this will be his first try vs. open-company stakes horses. NY-bred Friend or Foe defeated open company in his career debut at Gulfstream, and captured The Mike Lee vs. a tough group of state-breds last out. He should love two turns, but will have to learn on the fly. Fly Down was impressive winning The Dwyer, and was a bit unlucky to finish second in The Belmont Stakes. Trainer Nick Zito sharpened him up with a bullet 4-furlong breeze on July 26th, but you have to wonder if this race is merely a prep for The Travers. I’m siding with A Little Warm (7-2). He returned from a 3-month break to beat Miner’s Reserve last out at Delaware Park, and earned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure in the process. Trainer Tony Dutrow said he wasn’t fully cranked for that start, so I’m expecting an even better effort in The Jim Dandy. After a pair of seconds vs. graded-stakes company, this could be the breakthrough spot.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners (Super Saver and Lookin At Lucky) hook up again in Sunday’s Haskell Invitational, and it’s possible that neither will be favored. That honor may go to Trappe Shot, winner of four straight, including The Long Branch last out. He has paired up Beyer Speed Figures of 105, topping the field. This horse holds a recency advantage over the spring classic winners, and benefits as well from a winning race over the track. First Dude looks like the early pace-setter once again, and he’ll have to prove that he can hold off the closers…something he’s had difficulty doing in all but one of his races. I’ll bet on Trappe Shot to win at odds of 5-2 or better.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the weekend. Best of luck and happy gambling!

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