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John Velazquez celebrates his win aboard A Little Warm in the 2010 Jim Dandy Stakes.
The highlight race of the second weekend of the 2010 Saratoga Race Course meeting is the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds and the major local prep for the Travers Stakes to be run August 28. A field of 8 went to post in this 1 1/8 mile main track feature, with Dwyer (G2) winner Fly Down sent off as the 2-1 favorite off his close second place finish in the Belmont (G1) last out. Also in the field were 5-2 second choice Afleet Express, winner of two straight including the Pegasus (G3) at Monmouth, and 4-1 third choice A Little Warm, winner of an allowance last out at Delaware after finishing second in both the Hutcheson (G2) and the Louisiana Derby (G2).
A Little Warm and Miner's Reserve duel down the stretch.
Jockey Calvin Borel sent 16-1 longest shot Miner's Reserve down to the rail and to the lead first time past the stands, and he was pressed to his outside by A Little Warm through fractions of 23.32, 46.80, and 1:10.82 over the fast track. Favorite Fly Down was last early, 7 lengths off the pace. Entering the stretch, jockey John Velazquez asked A Little Warm to challenge and he gained a short lead past the 1/8 pole through a mile in 1:35.11. After a brief duel, A Little Warm pulled away to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:47.98. It was just 3/4 lengths back to late-running Afleet Express third, while favorite Fly Down had to check sharply at the 1/8 pole during his rally, finishing 5th beaten 4 1/2 lengths.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 A Little Warm Velazquez 10.20 5.50 3.80 6 Miner's Reserve Borel 13.60 7.90 2 Afleet Express Castellano 3.50 Winning Time: 1:47.98 $2 Exacta 5-6 96.00 $2 Trifecta 5-6-2 344.50 $2 Superfecta 5-6-2-8 2,006.00
Right: A Little Warm get hosed off after the race as his owner watches.
Left: A Little Warm circles after the race. His jockey John Velazquez said, "I rode him down at Delaware, and he impressed me a lot with the way he did it, especially against (Miner's Reserve). I liked that horse a lot, and we had beaten him at Delaware. He came back today and did it the same way. You can place him wherever you want and let the speed go. When you ask him, he's there for you. That's what I like about him. I don't think he'll have a problem (with 1 1/4 miles) if he rates like he did today."
Right: Second place finisher Miner's Reserve heads out for the post parade. His jockey Calvin Borel said, "There were no excuses with my horse. He bounced out there like we did at Belmont. He never fought with me throughout the entire race. He took me out there and we went out there on our own business. It worked out well. We just got outrun in the end. I thought the colt ran a big race. With the way he had been working, he was coming into the race in good shape. I think he's a late developer, and I think you will see a lot more from him."
Left: Third place finisher Afleet Express returns after the race. His trainer Jimmy Jerkens said, "My horse was making forward motion and gaining on the leader, so that's always a good sign. He got a little discouraged getting bottled up down there on the rail, and getting hit with all that dirt. So he kind of spit the bit on him going around the far turn. Then when he got out in the clear he took off again, and I was really happy to see him come on again because it looked like turning for home he was in big trouble."
Right: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Fly Down behind the starting gate before the race. His trainer Nick Zito said, "Throw out that race, I guess. He just didn't fire. Jose said he didn't give him what he usually gives him. Hopefully he comes back well and we'll try to regroup for the next race." Jockey Jose Lezcano added, "He didn't break and I had to go inside. He usually has a kick, but he didn't have the same kick today. He was a little even today."
On to the Diana Handicap
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