Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher

Tonalist Tunes Up for Jim Dandy at Belmont

Belmont Stakes winner breezes five furlongs in company July 6 for Christophe Clement.

Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Tonalist  continued his preparations for the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) by breezing five furlongs in company with stablemate Life in Shambles July 6 at Belmont Park.

NYRA clockers caught Tonalist, who is owned by Robert Evans, traveling the distance in 1:02.15, with Life in Shambles timed in 1:01.62. It was the second work for Tonalist since the Belmont Stakes as the 3-year-old son of Tapit  zeroes in on the July 26 Jim Dandy at 1 1/8 miles at Saratoga Race Course.

"They both worked well," said trainer Christophe Clement. "Life in Shambles goes to the Curlin (July 25) and Tonalist, touch wood, goes to the Jim Dandy. It was just a maintenance five-eighths, but he did it the right way; :25 3/5 (for the first quarter-mile), and they finished well. The fastest eighth of a mile was the last eighth of a mile, which I love."

Tonalist, who also won the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) this spring, defeated Commissioner  by a head June 7 as he spoiled the Triple Crown bid of California Chrome . In his first work back June 28, the bay colt breezed five furlongs in 1:02.67 at Belmont.

Another horse being aimed to the Jim Dandy is Dwyer Stakes (gr. III) winner Kid Cruz.

"We will point towards the Jim Dandy and then the Travers (gr. I)," said trainer Linda Rice the morning after Kid Cruz's three-quarter-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Dwyer. "If I feel like he needs more time, we'll just wait and train him to the Travers."

Named for New York Giant Victor Cruz, Kid Cruz had previously won the Private Terms at Laurel Park, Federico Tesio at Pimlico Race Course, and Easy Goer at Belmont. He finished eighth in the Preakness (gr. I) between the Tesio and Easy Goer.

"We've had a few bumps along the road," said Rice. "We had to scratch him from the Wood Memorial (gr. I, in April), so we'll see how it plays out. One day at a time."