Dwyer winner and Belmont Stakes
runner-up Fly Down tuned up for Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy
with a bullet half-mile move Monday morning under jockey Jose Lezcano.
Going out on the Oklahoma Training
Track after the second break, the chestnut son of Mineshaft covered the four
furlongs in 47.30, fastest of 73 at the distance.
“It was exactly what I wanted,”
said Hall of Famer Nick Zito, who trains Fly Down for Richard C. Pell. “He’s
coming off a 1 ½ mile race and you have to do things like that. Obviously, we
know his fitness level. We’re hoping he’s a little sharp for the race. He’s a
very good horse. He looks good.”
Fly Down was one of a number of
Jim Dandy hopefuls breezing at the Spa Monday morning for the 1 1/8th
mile race. Also working were A Little Warm, Aikenite, and Friend
Or Foe, all of whom went on the main track after the renovation break.
A Little Warm, the Spectacular Bid
winner who is 2-2-0 from four starts this year, went five furlongs in 1:00.05,
according to NYRA clockers.
“I don’t think I could be any
happier with him,” said trainer Tony Dutrow of Edward Evans’ homebred Stormin
Fever colt, who most recently came off a three-month layoff to win an allowance
at Delaware Park on June 29. “He went into his last race well, but not as good
as I’ve seen him. He was going the right way, and right now, I’m very pleased.”
Aikenite, who rallied from last to
score a two-length victory in a one-mile allowance at Belmont Park on June 19
after having competed in eight straight graded stakes, went a half-mile in
48.66 with jockey David Cohen aboard.
“As a younger horse, he wasn’t a
particularly ambitious work horse, and to me, he’s gotten more aggressive,”
said trainer Todd Pletcher of the Dogwood Stable color-bearer. “We’re still
trying to find his best distance. This will be a race that determines what he’s
going to do down the road.
“He did very well at a one-turn
mile; whether that’s going to translate into a top-class mile and an eighth
effort that’s what we’re getting ready to find out.”
The undefeated Friend Or Foe, an
impressive winner over General Maximus and Ibboyee in the Mike Lee at Belmont
Park on June 20, drilled a half-mile in 47.33, fourth-fastest of 126 works at
the distance on the main track.
“It looked like he was just
galloping, which freaks me out a little,” said John Kimmel, who trains the
3-0-0 Friends Lake colt for Chester and Mary Broman. “His fitness level is
good; he’s just lacking two-turn race experience. I’m excited about running
him, but we are asking him to do something he hasn’t done before against
Also likely for the Jim Dandy,
according to Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New York Racing
Association, Inc., (NYRA) are Gainesway Stable’s Afleet Express, Mrs.
John Magnier’s Steinbeck, and Majesty Stud’s Stormy Majesty.
Questionable are Robert V. LaPenta’s Miner’s Reserve, who worked a
half-mile in 48.80 Monday morning, and Fox Hill Farms’ Winslow Homer.