A field of 5 three-year olds are set to go to post for the traditional Travers prep, a big race on its own, The Jim Dandy on Saturday. Two of the 5. Come out of The Belmont Stakes. 3 of the 5 are trained by Brad Cox who is going into war like mode surrounding the enemy. Todd Pletcher and Steve Asmussen have the other 2 runners.

The Belmont was a race that saw a lot of ground loss and that may have something to do with how slow they came how, but I personally do not grade this years running very high.

One lesson we have here is we do not marry them. I liked Angel of Empire in The Belmont after being dead set against him in The Derby. Every race is different. I didn’t like the blinkers on in The Belmont, but I went with him anyway. It almost never works out when I go against my own gut. I don’t like him back in here. I don’t particularly like Forte either although he would not surprise me a bit if he won. I don’t like the horses coming out of The Belmont Stakes “this year.”

You can’t buy a championship. Ask the Yankees or Dodgers. You gotta win em and although Brad Cox is playing a stacked deck they still have to run the race.

Set up wise Cox has the lone speed in Saudi Crown going two turns and a mile and an eighth for the first time. This is a fast colt who should be alone on the lead until Irad Ortiz aboard Forte says enough is enough and goes after Florent Geroux. Forte adds blinkers, another move I don’t like with a horse who is reportedly performing at his optimal level but maybe in this case it gives him a little earlier speed after coming out of the slower and slower paced Belmont. We’ll find out about 45 or 46 seconds into the race.

Back to going with you gut. My gut, but also my handicapping tell me Disarm is sitting on a big race and a big second half of the year. This looks like a colt who developed a bit slower than some of the top three-year-olds but fits with the top tier. I see plenty of continued development potential and we all saw how Steve Asmussen had Epicenter ready to peak at Saratoga for both The Jim Dandy and Travers.

Disarm will need some racing luck to fall his way. He’ll likely be towards the back of the pack or able to see them all early. That would be ideal if we had some pace contention, but we may not. Hopefully Forte gets sent a little early by Irad who won’t want Saudi Crown to slip away and steal it. I don’t think this is any prep for Forte. After the Vet scratch in The Derby, missing The Preakness and losing The Belmont they must want this win bad. That can help the scenario for Disarm.

This short field normally would not translate to a nice wagering opportunity but Disarm despite the possibility of not getting an ideal set up, will be 5 or 6-1 and I think he has a real chance of winning. If it doesn’t go his way at least I may get a window into The Travers in a few weeks. I do believe Disarm will win a big one this year. Saturday would be as good a time as any for me.

For me on Jim Dandy Day at Saratoga check out Saratoga Saturday on Past the Wire TV right HERE……

I think you’ll enjoy the show. We start with a lively chat on steward decisions, and we go into a few other spots on the card.

Maybe next week we’ll look at a Del Mar race. Let us know what you think about that. The Del Mar meet has been great so far with nice size fields and payoffs.

Enjoy the races!

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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