Champion Essential Quality To Target Saratoga’s Jim Dandy On July 31

Champion juvenile and this year’s Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality is expected to make his next start in the Grade 3 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 31, reports the Daily Racing Form. The 3-year-old son of Tapit had his first work at Saratoga on Saturday, July 10, breezing a half mile over the main track in a steady 50.44 seconds.

“For his first move over the track, I thought it went well,” trainer Brad Cox told DRF. “He broke off slowly. I had 13-and-2 for his first eighth, and picked it up a little down the lane. It was good for him by himself. He’s pretty easy on himself, he doesn’t overdo it and never has. It was very similar to his first work back, by himself, after the Belmont at Churchill. I thought he skipped over the track well. He’s super happy. He was rearing up after his bath, making me think I should have done a little more with him.”

Cox hopes to use the Jim Dandy as a springboard to the Grade 1 Travers Stakes on Aug. 28 at the Spa. Essential Quality, only defeated once in his career when fourth after a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby, could face the top three finishers from the Ohio Derby (Masqueparade, King Fury, and Keepmeinmind), Weyburn, Risk Taking, and one of trainer Todd Pletcher’s top 3-year-olds in the Jim Dandy.

Read more at the Daily Racing Form.

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