Rather than give Vyjack one final work before Saturday’s Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy, trainer Rudy Rodriguez decided to break from routine.
of the Grade 2 Jerome and Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack over the
winter, Vyjack has breezed three times since his eighth-place
finish in the Belmont Stakes on June 8. Most recently, he went five
furlongs in 1:00 at
Saratoga on July 16, his second straight bullet work.
had a nice open gallop [Sunday], so I think we should be in good
shape,” Rodriguez said Monday morning. “I worked him a little bit before
the [Kentucky] Derby, I worked him a little bit before the
now I’m cutting back a little bit. I just wanted to change things up a
little bit, maybe give him another couple days rest, and maybe he’ll
give us a good race.”
The 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy will be the first start since the
Belmont for Vyjack, the gelded bay son of Into Mischief who ran 18th
of 19 in the Kentucky Derby on May 4 after suffering his first career
loss in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. In the Wood, he was
third, beaten just a length by Verrazano.
Belmont Stakes winner
Palace Malice, graded stakes winners
Code West, Freedom Child,
Moreno and Will Take Charge, along with
fifth in the Derby and third in the Preakness, are also eyeing the Jim
Dandy, Saratoga’s local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Travers here on
he shows up, I think he can compete with these horses,” Rodriguez said.
“If he doesn’t, then we’ve got to regroup and maybe back off, give
him two or three months on the farm and bring him back fresh. He’s a
gelding, so we don’t need to squeeze everything out of him.”