SARATOGA SPRINGS — Texas Red held of Frosted in the final strides to win the Grade II jim Dandy by a quarter-length at Saratoga Race Course this evening.
With a field cut to just four horses because of scratches, Texas Red sat off the early pace of Japan and made the first move to the lead, followed by Frosted.
Ridden by Kent Desromeaux, Texas Red won for the first time since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last November.
“I had so much left, I got to the leader quicker than I thought I would,” Desormeaux said. “He kind of idled on the lead that last three-sixteenths of a mile, but when challenged, there was tons left, and that was the most encouraging thing about the entire ride, the energy lift galloping out. I think I’m sucking more wind than he is.”
Frosted’s trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said he didn’t see anything to dampen his hopes of making a strong run at the Travers later in the meet.
“He ran very well, and a nice horse won it,” he said. “We gave him four pounds. We’ll have a more honest pace in the Travers, and we’ll look for a different outcome.”
In an effort to coax the connections of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to the Aug. 29 Travers, NYRA announced that it would bump the purse from $1.25 million to $1.6 million, if American Pharoah starts.
American Pharoah is the 1-5 favorite in the $1.75 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Sunday.
Desormeaux, for one, said he’d rather not see American Pharoah show up for the Travers.
“I’d rather be the big fish in a little pond,” he said. “We’ll save that for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.”
On the Jim Dandy undercard, Rock Fall won a photo finish over The Big Beast in the A.G. Vanderbilt, Holy Boss won the Amsterdam and Red Rifle powered down the stretch to win the Bowling Green.
Innovation Economy, who was the 2-1 betting favorite in the Bowling Green, broke down on the backstretch and was euthanized. It was the first racing fatality of the meet.
Innovation was trained by Chad Brown and co-owned by Shaker High graduate William Lawrence, with Klaravich Stables.