January 28, 2022

Tenfold, Vino Rosso highlight short Jim Dandy field

Tenfold breezing at Churchill Downs in early June (c) Coady Photography

With Justify being officially retired this week, Triple Crown veterans Tenfold and Vino Rosso are eligible to make a significant impact among divisional rivals over the coming months. They’ll launch the second half of their sophomore seasons in Saturday’s $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga.

A prep for the $1.25 million Travers (G1) on August 25, the Jim Dandy faces a challenging landscape for entries, with Friday’s Curlin Stakes at Saratoga, Sunday’s Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park and the August 4 West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer all being carded at the same 1 1/8-mile distance, and this year’s edition managed to attract only five runners.

The total could drop to four with Reride being cross-entered to the Curlin.

Saturday will mark the second meeting between Tenfold and Vino Rosso following unplaced efforts in the Belmont Stakes (G1).

Tenfold didn’t make his career debut until February and swept his first two outings over maiden and entry-level allowance foes at Oaklawn Park. By Curlin, the Steve Asmussen-trained colt didn’t fire when stepping up to stakes company with a fifth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) but Tenfold rebounded nicely next time out in the Preakness (G1), rallying boldly in the final stages to miss by less than a length in third at 26-1.

The dark bay colt experienced a rough trip in the last leg of the Triple Crown when forced to steady hard on the far turn of the Belmont Stakes and checked in a disappointing fifth. Tenfold has been training in Saratoga since early July and possesses the tactical speed to race up close to an expected moderate pace. Ricardo Santana Jr. retains the mount.

Vino Rosso recorded his lone stakes victory when drawing off to a three-length decision in the Wood Memorial (G2). The Todd Pletcher-trained son of Curlin dropped far back in the early stages and closed belatedly for ninth in the Kentucky Derby. He took some action in the Belmont Stakes, leaving the starting gate as the 7-1 third choice, and the chestnut offered a decent middle move to reach second in upper stretch before weakening late in fourth.

John Velazquez, who has been up for all seven starts, has the call on Vino Rosso.

Flameaway also has Triple Crown experience, finishing 13th in the Kentucky Derby. The Scat Daddy colt ran well earlier in the season, winning the Sam F. Davis (G3) and recording seconds in the Blue Grass (G2) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2), but Flameaway will need to improve upon a disappointing sixth in the Ohio Derby (G3) last out. Jose Ortiz picks up the mount for Mark Casse.

Sporting Chance showed an affinity for Saratoga last summer, breaking his maiden and winning the Hopeful (G1) in front-running fashion, but the D. Wayne Lukas-trained colt has not visited the winner’s circle in five starts since. He was last seen posting a sixth in the Preakness and Luis Saez retakes the assignment on the possible pacesetter.

Reride exits a fifth in the grassy Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park. The Asmussen-trainee recorded a couple of lesser stakes wins earlier this season and could add to the pace here with Irad Ortiz Jr.