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Jul 31, 2009

Seven set for Jim Dandy Stakes


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - With the $1 million Travers Stakes the target, seven three-year-old thoroughbreds have been entered for Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy is the traditional local prep race for the "Mid-Summer Derby" set for Saturday, August 29.

Because the three winners of this year's Triple Crown races are all entered elsewhere this weekend, the Jim Dandy has an evenly matched field of colts, including the top three finishers from the July 4 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park.

Dwyer Stakes winner Kensei tops the field for owner Stonestreet Stables. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the stablemate of leading filly Rachel Alexandra, has drawn post three with Edgar Prado back to ride.

Kensei was second in the Derby Trial in April and third in the Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park in June. The colt has a career mark of three wins in six starts for $228,628.

"I'm very delighted Kensei came along as he did," said owner Jess Jackson. "It's all a question of hope."

Convocation, second in the Dwyer, will start from the outside post in the Jim Dandy with Belmont Stakes-winning jockey Kent Desormeaux in the saddle. Desormeaux will ride Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird in Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

Owned by Centennial Farms, Convocation made a five-wide move under Alan Garcia to finish second to Kensei in the Dwyer. The colt, trained by Jimmy Jerkens, has earned $88,200 with one win in six career starts, all this year.

Warrior's Reward was the defeated 4-5 favorite in the Dwyer Stakes and again will be ridden by Triple Crown race winner Calvin Borel. Borel will also be at Monmouth on Sunday to ride Rachel Alexandra in the Haskell.

Trained by Ian Wilkes, Warrior's Reward and Borel will break from post four in the Jim Dandy. The colt stumbled badly at the start of the Dwyer, but was able to recover to finish third in the seven-horse field.

"He broke badly and I couldn't get him going," said Borel following the Dwyer Stakes. "He was fine. The ground just broke out under him. It was bad luck. We'll get them next time."

The colt was eighth in the Tampa Bay Derby in March, his only start without Borel. He came back to win an allowance race at Churchill Downs where he then finished second in the Northern Dancer Stakes. Owned by A. Stevens Miles, Jr., Warrior's Reward has won two of six career starts for $100,542.

Here is the full field in post position order for the Jim Dandy Stakes: Saratoga Sinner, Julien Leparoux; Flat Bold, Ramon Dominguez; Kensei, Edgar Prado; Warrior's Reward, Calvin Borel; Charitable Man, Alan Garcia; Miner's Escape, John Velazquez; and Convocation, Kent Desormeaux.

The 46th Jim Dandy has an estimated post time of 5:50 P.M. (et).

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