The Jim Dandy is a Grade 2,
$600,000 race for 3-year-olds at a distance of 1 1/8 miles on Saratoga's dirt
course. It is named for the 100-1 upset
winner of the 1930 Travers, who beat the 1929 champion 2-year-old colt Whichone
and the 1930 Triple Crown winner and later 1957 Hall of Fame inductee Gallant
Fox. It was Jim Dandy's only win that
season, and Gallant Fox's only loss.
The Jim Dandy, originally run in
1964, is intended as a prep for Saratoga's
Grade 1 Travers. Although
Monmouth Park's Grade 1 $1,000,000 Haskell, is run the same weekend as the Jim
Dandy, some trainers prefer the latter because it gives their horses a race
over the Saratoga track. Arts and
Letters (1969), Willow Hour (1981), Carr de Naskra (1984), Thunder
Rumble (1992), Madaglia D'Oro (2002), Flower Alley (2005), Bernardini
(2006), Street Sense (2007), Stay Thirsty (2011) and Alpha (2012, in a dead heat with
Golden Ticket in the Travers) are horses who have won both the Jim Dandy and
the Travers. In 1978 Affirmed won
the Jim Dandy and finished first in the Travers, but was disqualified and his
arch rival Alydar was declared the winner.
Arts and Letters and Affirmed are
Hall of Fame inductees who have won the Jim Dandy
Other champions who have won the Jim Dandy are Personality (1970), Plugged
Nickle (1980), Conquistador Cielo (1982), Fly So Free (1991),
Favorite Trick (1998), Bernardini (2006), and Street Sense (2007).
Last year's winner, Palace
Malice, is the leading candidate for Horse of the Year honors for 2014.
Allan Carter, Historian
National Museum of Racing