May 19, 2024

Tacitus, War of Will clash in Jim Dandy

Preakness winner War of Will (c) Maryland Jockey Club

Belmont Stakes runner-up Tacitus and Preakness winner War of Will highlight a six-horse field in Saturday’s $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga. The 1 1/8-mile race serves as a prep for the $1.25 million Travers (G1) on August 24.

Hero of the Wood Memorial (G2) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) earlier this year, Tacitus looms as the probable favorite after placing in a pair of Triple Crown races. The Juddmonte Farms homebred rallied belatedly to finish fourth in the Kentucky Derby (elevated to third via disqualification) and missed by a length as the 9-5 Belmont Stakes favorite last out. By Tapit, the gray colt is out of the multiple Grade 1-winning dam Close Hatches and Jose Ortiz rides for Bill Mott.

War of Will was the only three-year-old to compete in every leg of the 2019 Triple Crown. After experiencing a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby, the Mark Casse pupil rebounded to win the Preakness by 1 1/4 lengths at Pimlico. The bay son of War Front came up empty in the stretch of the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, weakening to ninth, but War of Will should appreciate the cutback in trip Saturday and has the tactical speed to enjoy a favorable trip with Tyler Gaffalione.

A once-beaten son of Curlin, Global Campaign earned his first stakes win in the May 11 Peter Pan (G2) and was flattered when runner-up Sir Winston came back to win the Belmont Stakes. Stanley Hugh has freshened his charge 77 days and Global Campaign brings the top last-out BRIS Speed rating (102) into the Jim Dandy. Luis Saez will be up.

Grade 3 winner Tax exits a decent fourth in the Belmont Stakes and the hard-trying Arch gelding has won or placed in five-of-seven starts for Danny Gargan. He’s posted a 1-1-1 record from a trio of graded stakes attempts at the nine-furlong distance and Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call. Stakes winner Mihos will need to improve upon a fourth in the July 6 Dwyer (G3) to challenge and late-running longshot Laughing Fox rounds out the line-up.