​2022 Jim Dandy Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

The 2022 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga offers a purse of $600,000. It is the premier local prep for the Travers Stakes (G1), The Spa’s flagship race for three-year-old dirt routers.

The 2022 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga offers a purse of $600,000. It is the premier local prep for the Travers Stakes (G1), The Spa’s flagship race for three-year-old dirt routers. Though the 2022 Jim Dandy only drew a field of five horses, the group is long on talent. The second- and third-place finishers in the Kentucky Derby (G1), Epicenter and Zandon, line up. So does Early Voting, the Preakness (G1) winner. Tawny Port, the Ohio Derby (G3), also steps up in company. And, though Western River is not yet a graded stakes winner, he is bred to be a good one: he is a full brother to 2016 Belmont (G1) winner Creator.

Keep reading to get to know the Jim Dandy contenders, learn the historical trends in this race, and find out how to bet the race online!

Jim Dandy Stakes 2022 Information

Race Date: Saturday, July 30, 2022
Track: Saratoga
Post Time: 5:37 p.m. Eastern time
Distance: 1 1/8 miles on dirt
Age/Sex: 3-year-olds
Where to Watch: FOX,
Where to Bet: and FanDuel Racing

Jim Dandy Stakes Odds

The Saratoga racing office drew the field for the 2022 Jim Dandy Stakes on Wednesday, July 27. Live odds will fluctuate all the way until post-time since the payoffs are based on the actual amount of money people bet on each horse. However, the morning line odds often give a good idea of where that betting action will swing. These are the Jim Dandy entrants in post-position order, including morning-line odds, trainers, and jockeys.

1Western RiverRodolphe BrissetRicardo Santana, Jr.20-1
2EpicenterSteve AsmussenJoel Rosario3-2
3Tawny PortBrad CoxIrad Ortiz, Jr.8-1
4Early VotingChad BrownJose Ortiz9-5
5ZandonChad BrownFlavien Prat2-1

Since prices do drift until post time, it is a good idea to watch the odds on as the start of the race approaches. The tote board can give you useful betting clues. It can tell you if you are getting an overlay, meaning that the betting price on the horse is better than you think their real chance to win is. It can also let you know if a horse who you are expecting to be bet heavily is not, or a horse you were expecting not to take much money is taking a lot of betting interest. These can all provide clues for you to make the smartest bet possible.

Jim Dandy Stakes Prep Results

Many horses come to the Jim Dandy out of Triple Crown races, Kentucky Derby preps, or other graded stakes races for three-year-old company. In this year’s field, four of the five horses competed in the Triple Crown. Epicenter was second in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and has freshened since Baltimore. Zandon most recently ran third in the Kentucky Derby, and Early Voting most recently overhauled Epicenter to win the Preakness. Tawny Port finished seventh in the Derby, though returned June 25 to win the Ohio Derby.

The only horse in the Jim Dandy who did not contest a Triple Crown race is Western River. His only graded stakes attempt came in the Peter Pan (G3) two starts ago, where he stumbled at the start. He was beaten 10 ½ lengths by We the People, though only finished a neck out of second despite the poor start. He stretched out to a mile and a half for an allowance at Churchill June 18, came away better, and won by 5 ¼ confident lengths.

Jim Dandy Stakes Contenders

Western River: The only horse in the field who has yet to win a graded stakes, Western River cuts all the way back from twelve furlongs to nine for this. A better start could put him in a more tactical position than he had in the Peter Pan two back, though he does have to improve to face the best of his class and his pedigree suggests that nine furlongs may be short. Note that he is cross-entered in Friday’s Curlin Stakes as well.

Epicenter: After valiant seconds in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, he cuts back to a mile and an eighth, a distance at which he won confidently in the Risen Star (G2) February 19. He is a better horse than he was back then, having proven his ability to come from off the pace and win. He also broke his maiden first off a lay, suggesting he should be primed.

Tawny Port: At 80-1, he ran a better-than-expected seventh in the Kentucky Derby after grabbing 20 last-ditch points in the Lexington, then continued his ascent with a length victory in the Ohio Derby. Though second-place White Abarrio disappointed next-out in the Haskell, third-place Classic Causeway switched to turf and stole the Belmont Derby (G1) next out. Tawny Port also gets Irad Ortiz, who has started the meet riding hot.

Early Voting: His path looks a lot like fellow Chad Brown charge Cloud Computing’s did: in the money in the Wood in his third start, went straight to the Preakness for his fourth, won it, and now he’s in the Jim Dandy. However, Cloud Computing then ran last in a field of five at a short price. That said, Early Voting does have tactical speed, and may even be the controlling speed in a short field.

Zandon: The other Chad Brown, he looked smart winning the Blue Grass, and ran a good third in the Kentucky Derby after moving too early into a nuclear pace. Zandon won the Blue Grass after a freshening, was able to close into a modest pace in that race, and showed the ability to be even more tactical last year. That gives him options from the outside gate.

Jim Dandy Stakes Past Winners Past Performances

In the last ten years, all of the Jim Dandy winners have last raced in Triple Crown races. Interestingly enough, it is usually the Belmont. The last winner to come straight from the Kentucky Derby was Alpha (2012), and no winner in the last ten years has last raced in the Preakness. However, five of the last ten winners came out of the Belmont Stakes. Other races that have been last-out starts of Jim Dandy winners in recent years include the Dwyer (G3) and the Belmont Derby (G1), though no Jim Dandy starter comes out of either of those in 2022.

Jim Dandy Stakes Undercard

The Jim Dandy Stakes is the ninth race on an 11-race card that also features the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1), an older-horse sprint that features the return of divisional leader Jackie’s Warrior. The card also features a pair of maiden races for 2-year-olds, races that often have graded-stakes and even Breeders’ Cup implications as the year goes on. With top-class horses and some overflow fields throughout the day, Saturday at Saratoga abounds with great betting opportunities.

Saratoga Race Course

Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Saratoga Race Course is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. John Hunter, who became the first chairman of The Jockey Club, and William R. Travers built the horse racing track in 1864.

Saratoga has two popular nicknames—The Spa, named for the nearby mineral springs, and the Graveyard of Favorites, named for the historic upsets recorded there in years past. Perhaps most notable is Man o' War’s only defeat in 21 starts, Secretariat’s loss to Onion after winning the Triple Crown, and Rachel Alexandra losing there in her four-year-old season.

There are three separate horse racing tracks at Saratoga: a main dirt track; an outer turf track known as the Mellon Turf Course, and an inner turf horse racing track. The main dirt track has a 1 1/8 mile circumference, the Mellon Turf Course is a 1-mile turf track and the inner turf track is 7 furlongs. Additionally, there is the Oklahoma Track, used for morning training.

Jim Dandy Stakes FAQ

Q: When is the Jim Dandy Stakes?
A: Saturday, July 30, 2022, at 5:37 p.m. Eastern time.

Q: Where is the Jim Dandy Stakes?
A: It takes place at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Jim Dandy Stakes?
A: Trainer Todd Pletcher has the most Jim Dandy Stakes wins, with six. Pletcher does not have an entrant in this year’s edition. Among trainers who are running in the 2022 Jim Dandy, Steve Asmussen leads with two winners. He sends out Epicenter this year.

Q: Who is the favorite for the Jim Dandy Stakes?
A: Epicenter is the 3-2 morning line favorite in the 2022 Jim Dandy Stakes. However, two others are a short enough price on the morning line that they may be close to favored come post time: Early Voting is 9-5 and Zandon is 2-1.

Q: Who is the best Jim Dandy Stakes jockey?
A: Eddie Maple, Jerry Bailey, and John Velazquez all have four wins in the Jim Dandy. Among jockeys who are riding in the race this year, Jose Ortiz has the most wins, with two. He won in 2016 with Laoban and 2020 with Mystic Guide.

Q: Who won the Jim Dandy Stakes in 2021?
A: Essential Quality won the 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes. His trainer, Brad Cox, saddles Tawny Port for the 2022 version.