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Bernardini in Jim Dandy

Bernardini will be heavily favored to make it four straight wins when he takes on five other 3-year-olds in the $500,000 Jim Dandy today at Saratoga. The race is part of a pick six with a carry-over of $50,758.

Idle since his 5 1/4 -length victory in the Preakness on May 20 at Pimlico, Bernardini is using the Grade II at 1 1/8 miles as a prep for the $1-million Travers on Aug. 26.

Bernardini was fourth in his debut on Jan. 7 at Gulfstream Park, but hasn’t been challenged in three subsequent races. Before his win in the Preakness, which was marred by the career-ending injury to Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, Bernardini had beaten maidens by 7 3/4 lengths on March 4 at Gulfstream, then won the Withers, a Grade III, by 3 3/4 lengths on April 29 at Aqueduct.

Bernardini will be ridden by Javier Castellano and carry top weight of 123 pounds.

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The field is completed by Sunriver, who finished third in the Belmont Stakes in his last start on June 10, Oh So Awesome, Hemingway’s Key, and the John Oxley-owned entry of Minister’s Bid and Dr. Pleasure.

Race of the day: Attima, who finished last in the American Oaks on July 2 at Hollywood Park after winning her first two starts in the U.S., will cut back to a mile in the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar. Victor Espinoza will ride the 3-year-old Zafonic filly in the Grade II on turf, which is part of a pick six with a carry-over of more than $159,000.

One for the road: Play Dixie gets Lasix for her second career start and should improve enough to beat Illinois-bred maidens in the sixth race at Arlington Park.

Exotically speaking: A trifecta in the eighth with Place Cowboy on top, Captain Squire, We All Love Aleyna and Royal Place in the two hole and all in the third spot.

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Winners: (previous day/meet total): 2/25. Money: (previous day/meet total): $13.80/$135.40. Total money bet: $152.


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