Weekend Watch: Jim Dandy and a trio of Grade 1s on tap

July 26, 2019 02:35pm

Each weekend, Horse Racing Nation previews the top races to tune into coast to coast and runs down the main contenders. All times are Eastern.


Saratoga, Race 9: 5:44 p.m.

wheels back to what is arguably his best distance in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap going six furlongs for 3-year-olds and upward. The Met Mile (G1) winner drew the rail in the field of seven and will most likely go straight for the lead. He has a handful of worthy competitors in True North (G2) runner-up Strike Power, defending Vanderbilt champ Imperial Hint, and fellow Met Mile rival Firenze Fire. As long as he runs his race, Mitole’s win streak does not appear to be in serious danger here.

Saratoga, Race 10: 6:18 p.m.

The Grade 2
Bowling Green Stakes going 1 3/8 miles on the turf drew a field full of familiar names, topped by Man O’ War (G1) winner Channel Maker. The Bill Mott trainee was most recently out-finished in the Manhattan (G1) by division leader Bricks and Mortar. Another from that barn, Chilean Ya Primo, makes his U.S. debut for new trainer Chad Brown. The 4-year old is already a Group 1 winner at both 10 and 12 furlongs and will get Jose Ortiz in the irons. Grade 1 winner Sadler’s Joy makes his first start since running third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf back in November. Now 6, the son of Kitten’s Joy has not won a race in over a year and will come running late. Arklow, second in the Man O’ War, is back to try Channel Maker again. This is not a field to take lightly and should produce some nice payouts to bettors. The 13-horse bunch contains four Grade/Group 1 winners in all and an additional five graded stakes winners.

Saratoga, Race 11: 6:51 p.m.

The Grade 2
Jim Dandy Stakes attracted a compact but talented field. Returning from the Triple Crown series, Belmont Stakes runner-up Tacitus has been installed as the 7-5 favorite and is cutting back to a distance at which he has won, 1 1/8 miles. Peter Pan (G3) winner Global Campaign will try to make it two graded wins in a row, while third choice, the Preakness Stakes hero War of Will, will attempt to rebound off a dismal ninth in the Belmont. Also needing a good look is Tax, last seen finishing a solid fourth in the Belmont with a tendency to carry his speed a route of ground. The winner here will take a step toward an Eclipse Award and potential top billing in next month's Travers Stakes (G1).

Del Mar, Race 8: 8:39 p.m.

Recruiting Ready
ships west to top the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes, a “Win and You’re In” challenge race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The 5-year old son of Algorithms last won in March but has been competitive on the east coast. He will face Kona Gold (G2) winner Cistron and Triple Bend (G2) winner Air Strike. Five others complete the field, but this looks like Recruiting Ready’s race to lose if he handles the ship well.


Woodbine, Race 8: 4:51 p.m.

Tiz a Slam, the 8-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes, won this race a season ago and brings some decent momentum into the 1 1/2-mile feature on turf. A loser of his first two starts in 2019, the 5-year-old won Churchill Downs' Louisville Stakes (G3) two starts back, then posted a front-running victory locally in Woodbine's Singspiel (G3) on June 22. Seven rivals are in to face him, with the Eclipse (G2) winner Souper Tapit figuring to go as the second betting choice, while Pumpkin Rumble is a graded winner going second off the layoff.

Saratoga, Race 11: 6:38 p.m.

Lightly raced
Shancelot will take another step forward in his graded debut, the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes, a 6 ½-furlong event for the 3-year olds. The undefeated son of Shanghai Bobby will have to overcome the outside post in the field of 12 in order to stay undefeated. Then again, trainer Jorge Navarro has already called this colt the best he's ever trained. Shancelot will face a solid pair in maiden winner Honest Mischief and stakes winner Nitrous. Mark Casse also sends out an undefeated colt, 8-1 Super Comet, who posted a career-best number when winning a 6 ½-furlong allowance event.

Del Mar, Race 7: 8:00 p.m.

Paradise Woods will be looking to turn the tables on La Force in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes going 1 1/16 miles for a spot in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. La Force got the better of Paradise Woods in their last outing when the latter bobbled at the start. Two starts back, however, Paradise Woods was the romping winner of the Santa Margarita (G2) over this same rival Beholder Mile (G1) winner and La Troienne (G1) runner-up Secret Spice adds intrigue to the race and topped Paradise Woods in the Beholder Mile earlier this year. Ollie’s Candy has been primarily a turf runner but won the Summer Oaks (G2) on dirt last year after beginning her career on Golden Gate’s all weather surface. If she shows that form again, she could be dangerous. 


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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, which led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.

Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation covering racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues and, from time to time, offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry. A move North to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the From Coast to Coast blog for HRN. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.

An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband, Chris, and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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