Saratoga Springs

Preakness winner Early Voting will run in Jim Dandy

Jockey Jose Ortiz celebrates after riding Early Voting to victory in the Preakness at Pimlico on May 21.

Jockey Jose Ortiz celebrates after riding Early Voting to victory in the Preakness at Pimlico on May 21.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Jim Dandy field picked up the Preakness winner on Sunday.

Trainer Chad Brown had been “50-50 right down the middle,” using a vertical karate chop motion with his hand two weeks ago about whether to run Early Voting in the July 30 Jim Dandy at Saratoga Race Course or the July 23 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Following Early Voting’s four-furlong breeze at Belmont Park on Saturday, Brown and owner Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables have decided to hit the traditional Travers prep at Saratoga, a nine-furlong Grade II with a purse of $600,000, instead of the $1 million Grade I Haskell.

With that plan in place, Early Voting shipped up to Saratoga Sunday morning.

He’ll join the Brown-trained Zandon, who was third in the Kentucky Derby, in the Jim Dandy field.

Meanwhile, Brown will still be well-represented in the Haskell with the undefeated Jack Christopher.

“Early Voting is here and he’ll be going in the Jim Dandy,” Brown told the New York Racing Association. “Jack Christopher looked great this morning and looked ready to go for the Haskell.

“At the end of the day, I was going to run two horses in one race and one in the other and I’d rather only run the one in the Haskell. I just didn’t see the benefit of putting Early Voting in a larger field against a really fast horse and what it might do to him five weeks out from the Travers.”

Also expected for the Haskell next weekend is the Bob Baffert-trained Taiba, Matt Winn winner Cyberknife and Florida Derby winner White Abarrio.

Tim Yakteen was the trainer of record for Taiba’s Santa Anita Derby victory in April while Baffert was serving a suspension in California that ended on July 2. Baffert is still suspended in New York until January.

Diana follow-up

In the wake of Brown’s 1-2-3-4 finish with In Italian, Technical Analysis, Bleecker Street and Rougir, respectively, he’ll be mulling where each will start next.

He said In Italian, who broke the course record in the nine-furlong Diana, could hook up with Technical Analysis in the Ballston Spa on Travers Day Aug. 27, or could train up to the Oct. 8 Grade I First Lady at Keeneland, site of this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

He might send Rougir to the Aug. 12 Beverly D. at Churchill Downs, while Bleecker Street probably won’t race again until the fall.

The Diana was the 4-year-old Bleecker Street’s first loss in eight career starts.

“I’m very fortunate to have those four horses able to participate,” Brown said. “Obviously it was a very short field, but I can’t control that. It’s just another memorable accomplishment for our team and a wonderful day at the races for a lot of friends and family. It’s certainly a day and a feat I’ll always remember.”

“I wouldn’t have run her [In Italian] if I didn’t think she had a chance to win,” Brown said. “I thought all four horses were really lined up and ready to run from whatever their individual styles were. Each horse had a plan and each horse a really fair shot to get their trip and do it. All of them got good trips. In Italian just found a way to rebreak at the top of the lane and kick on, which would’ve made it hard for any horse to catch her yesterday.”

Besides his battalion of turf mares who ran in the Diana, Brown still has his ace card, Regal Glory, waiting to be played.

She’s scheduled to run against males in the Fourstardave on Aug. 13 and worked five furlongs in 1:02.11 on the Oklahoma Training Track turf on Sunday.

“She breezed super,” Brown said. “She had been the workmate with In Italian in recent weeks. Her form is holding well. I am planning on waiting for the Fourstardave with her.”

Quick call

Big Invasion didn’t miss a track record by much as he won his fifth straight in Sunday’s feature, the Grade III Quick Call turf sprint for 3-year-olds.

Joel Rosario had a hard hold on Big Invasion on the turn, but let him loose in the stretch an won by 2 3-4 lengths over Run Curtis Run in 1:00.80 for 5 1-2 furlongs on the Mellon Turf Course.

Carotari ran a 1:00.21 in an allowance race on Aug. 17, 2019.

“He was impressive last time and impressive the time before that,” trainer Christophe Clement said. “Today, I told Joel to be comfortable with whatever he wanted to do. We know he can rate now. He’s still a bit immature. He was perfect, but he got a little bit rank in the turn. But he’s so good, he just goes away from them in the stretch. He’s very exciting.”

“He broke very well and it looked like it was a little speed in front, and we set up nice in behind them,” Rosario said. “I kind of made a move into the turn and continued his move. He did great. Turning for home, I was just a passenger on the best horse in the race.

“He’s a nice horse and he ran really fast. Turning for home, it was only his race. He enjoyed what he was doing out there and I’m glad just to be a part of it.”

Nobals, who also came into the Quick Call on a four-race winning streak, came up empty and finished last of six.

Around the track

Trainer Brad Cox said Grade III Sanford winner Mo Strike will target the Grade I Hopeful on closing weekend, while skipping the middle leg of the graded stakes for 2-year-olds on dirt, the Saratoga Special. …

Malathaat, the 2021 champion 3-year-old filly who won the Alabama at Saratoga, breezed a half-mile in 49.22 in preparation for next Sunday’s Grade II Shuvee.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he may add blinkers for the race. …

Corniche, the undefeated Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and 2021 champion 2-year-old male, is expected to get his first start since being transferred from Baffert to Pletcher; he mght start in the Grade II Amsterdam on July 31. He worked in company with Nest, the filly who was second in the Belmont Stakes, on Saturday.

“We’re considering the Amsterdam, which interestingly enough was the first race for Quality Road when we had him,” said Pletcher of Corniche’s sire. “You can see a lot of Quality Road in him, and he’s put in some good work. If things go well next week, that’s probably where we will end up.”

Categories: At The Track, Saratoga Springs, Sports

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