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Stay Thirsty Leaves No Doubt in Jim Dandy

Stay Thirsty wins 2011 Gotham Stakes.
As far as Mike Repole is concerned, Stay Thirsty is no longer just Uncle Mo ’s stablemate.


“He’s the 2011 Jim Dandy winner, and that’s how he wants to be addressed from now on,” said a smiling Repole, who owns both colts, after Stay Thirsty swept to an eye-catching four-length victory over Moonshine Mullin Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course.


The 3-year-old Bernardini colt, runner-up in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes in his previous start, relaxed off early fractions of 24.00 and 47.66 set by 18-1 shot Will’s Wildcat, and quickly moved up into contention on the far turn when asked by jockey Javier Castellano. Collaring 9-5 favorite Dominus turning for home, Stay Thirsty quickly took command and went on to complete the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.78 under a hand ride.


“It was a breakthrough effort for Stay Thirsty; he’s kind of been living in the shadows of his stablemate, Uncle Mo , all along,” said trainer Todd Pletcher, who saddled four winners on the card. “We always felt as if he had a performance like this in him, and it’s a great place to do it here at Saratoga .”

With the win in the $500,000 Jim Dandy, Stay Thirsty is now one of the leading candidates for the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday, August 27. Of the 15 Travers winners to prep in the Jim Dandy since its inception in 1960, eight have completed the double, most recently Street Sense in 2007.


“That’s the plan,” said Pletcher, who won the “Mid-Summer Derby” in 2005 with Flower Alley. “Assuming he comes out of it well, that’s why we’re here.”


The win was the second in three starts at the Spa for Stay Thirsty, who broke his maiden here last August and next finished second to Boys At Tosconova in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful.


Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the field of seven sophomores, Stay Thirsty returned $7 for a $2 win bet and upped his earnings to $800,000 for Repole, who paid $500,000 for him at the Fasig-Tipton sales in February, 2010.


Overall, Stay Thirsty is 2-1-0 from five starts this year, having captured the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack prior to finishing seventh in the Grade 1 Florida Derby and 12th in the Kentucky Derby.


“I think we made a mistake when we went to New York for the Gotham and then came back to Florida ,” said Pletcher. “If we could do that all over again we probably would have just gone to New York and stayed there in a cooler climate. He’s overcome all that and has put together two big wins this year and a big race in the Belmont . I think he has established himself as one of the leaders in the division.”


Moonshine Mullin, the longest shot on the board at 37-1, finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of Dominus under jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson and will likely return for the Travers.


“We thought he ran a super race,” said trainer Reade Baker. “There's a 90 percent chance that we'll come back for the Travers.”


Completing the order of finish behind Dominus were Alternation, Brilliant Speed, Will’s Wildcat, and Scotus.



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Older Comments about Stay Thirsty Leaves No Doubt in Jim Dandy...

I would not be surprised if Mike Repole and Todd Pletcher have two of the three finalists for Eclipse 3 yr old championship. (Stay Thirsty and Uncle Mo) I hope he can meet the Haskell winner in the Travers!
I thought this was one of the most impressive performances by a 3yo colt so far this year.

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