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Aug 05, 2011

Stay Thirsty captures Jim Dandy Stakes


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Belmont Stakes runner-up Stay Thirsty took control at the top of the stretch to win Saturday's $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The 1 1/8-mile contest serves as the local prep for the $1 million Travers on August 27.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, Stay Thirsty used a stalking race to win the stakes for three-year-olds at historic Saratoga. The colt was sitting fourth for much of the race, behind pacesetter Will's Wildcat. Running in second was 9-5 favorite Dominus with 37-1 longshot Moonshine Mullin in third.

Owned by Mike Repole, Stay Thirsty moved to third entering the far turn. Around the final turn Dominus, on the inside, took over the lead as Stay Thirsty moved into second on the outside.

Coming out of the turn the 5-2 morning-line favorite, trained by Todd Pletcher, made the lead and proceeded to run away from the competition. Stay Thirsty posted a four-length victory over Moonshine Mullin with Dominus fading to third in the seven-horse field.

"We thought he had a big chance today," Pletcher noted. "He does like the track here."

Finishing fourth was 7-2 third choice Alternation followed by Brilliant Speed, Will's Wildcat and Scotus.

Stay Thirsty, the 5-2 second choice at post-time, covered the 1 1/8-miles in 1:48.78 on a fast track.

The victory gives Pletcher his fifth win in the stakes and the second for jockey Castellano who won in 2006 with Bernardini. Stay Thirsty is a stablemate of 2010 champion two-year-old Uncle Mo.

"I thought for sure he was going to be a late-half three-year-old," said Repole about Stay Thirsty.

The colt adds $300,000 to his bankroll, which stands at $800,000 with three wins in nine career starts. Prior to his second-place finish to Ruler On Ice in the Belmont Stakes, Stay Thirsty was 12th in the Kentucky Derby and in his first two starts this year he won the Gotham Stakes and was seventh in the Florida Derby.

In Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, Pletcher will saddle Illinois Derby champ Joe Vann.

Stay Thirsty returned $7.00, $4.20 and $2.90. Moonshine Mullin paid $23.40 and $7.60, Dominus paid $3.00 to show. It was just Dominus' fifth career start.

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