A field of nine led by favorite Medaglia d'Oro is slated for the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga on Sunday.
The Bobby Frankel-trained runner up in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) has been assigned 121 pounds and early morning odds of 2-1. The son of El Prado out of Cappuchino Bay has not started since finishing half a length in the Belmont behind long-shot Sarava. Medaglia d'Oro will be making his eighth start of the year for owner Edmund Gann. He will be ridden by top Saratoga jockey Jerry Bailey.
Leading challengers in the 1 1/8-mile race will be Iron Deputy, a son of Silver Deputy out of Femme de Fer, who has one start and one stakes win for the year. The colt hasn't raced since Jan. 5 when he won the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct by 2 3/4 lengths. Iron Deputy is owned by John and Susan Moore, trained by James Jerkens, and will be ridden by Richard Migliore. He is the second choice in the early morning odds at 4-1
Essence of Dubai is looking to prove he hasn't lost his stakes winning form this year in the United States. The son of Pulpit, out of Epitome, won the UAE Derby (UAE-II) in March but at best managed a sixth place finish in the Belmont Stakes since returning to the U.S. His only other start was in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) where he finished ninth.
Essence of Dubai is owned by Shiekh Mohammed's Godolphin Stable and is trained by Saeed bin Suroor. He will be ridden by John Velazquez and shares the top weight of 121.
Nothing Flat is one of two entries in the field trained by Nick Zito. The Florida-bred son of Peaks and Valleys out of Her Decision, comes into the Jim Dandy off a second place finish in the Dwyer Stakes (gr. II). He was half a length behind Gygistar. The colt is owned by William Condren and Michael Sherman, owner of Farnsworth Farm, which bred nothing flat. Edgar Prado is in the irons.
Zito's second entry is Quest, who has three times in five starts and comes into the race off a two-length win in 1 1/16-mile $48,000 allowance race at Belmont Park on June 26.
The Jim Dandy field is as follows:
1) Nothing Flat, Edgar Prado, 117, 5-1
2) Stephentown, Craig Perrett, 115, 8-1
3) Essence of Dubai, John Velazquez, 121, 6-1
4) Iron Deputy, Richard Migliore, 117, 4-1
5) Peekskill, Robbie Davis, 115, 15-1
6) Medaglia d'Oro, Jerry Bailey, 121, 2-1
7) Easyfromthegitgo, Donnie Meche, 117, 6-1
8) Gold Dollar, Jorge Chavez, 115, 15-1
9) Quest, Javier Castellano, 115, 12-1