Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, eighth to Cloud Computing when last seen in the Preakness (G1), will seek a measure of revenge against that foe Saturday at Saratoga in the $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2).
A win in 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy can give either colt a leg up in the race for divisional honors in advance of next month's Travers (G1) over a mile and a quarter. It marks the first start for both since the May 20 Preakness, which Cloud Computing won by a head from Classic Empire, who had pressured Always Dreaming into setting a fast pace. While Cloud Computing pounced from the catbird seat in third to win narrowly, the Derby winner retreated badly approaching the stretch and finished ninth.
It was a far less favorable trip than Always Dreaming had gotten in his two earlier stakes wins in the Florida Derby (G1) and in the Churchill Downs classic. The Todd Pletcher-trained colt was never more than a length or so off the lead in either race and won the Florida Derby by five lengths and the Kentucky Derby by 2 3/4 lengths on an off track.
The Preakness was the first stakes win for the Chad Brown-trained Cloud Computing. A debut winner in February, the colt ran second in the Gotham (G3) and third in the Wood Memorial (G2) but was kept out of the Kentucky Derby due to his relative inexperience. Both he and Always Dreaming bypassed the Belmont Stakes (G1), the third jewel in the Triple Crown.
The Jim Dandy field of five is rounded out by Grade 2 winner Good Samaritan, who makes his dirt debut after competing exclusively on turf; Giuseppe the Great, the Woody Stephens (G2) runner-up who tries two turns for the first time; and Pavel, a last-out debut winner at Santa Anita who should play a prominent pace role on Saturday.
The Jim Dandy is the 10th of 11 races at Saratoga and can be wagered on at TwinSpires.com.