Shackleford, Ruler On Ice and Stay Thirsty Ready for Haskell, Jim Dandy
Preakness Stakes (G1) winner and Florida Derby (G1) runner-up Shackleford and Palm Meadows winter residents Stay Thirsty, Ruler On Ice, Pants On Fire and Brilliant Speed are all set to headline an exciting weekend of racing action at Saratoga and Monmouth.
The $250,000 Jim Dandy (G2), to be run Saturday at Saratoga, drew a field of seven including Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Stay Thirsty and Blue Grass (G1) winner Brilliant Speed, both winter residents of Palm Meadows. Meanwhile, Sunday’s $1 million Haskell (G1) at Monmouth drew a field of eight including Shackleford and Ruler On Ice.
Fans can watch and wager on both race programs from Saratoga and Monmouth as well as more than a dozen other tracks at Gulfstream Park and the Silks Simulcast Room. Silks opens daily at 11 a.m. Daily selections at Saratoga by Ron Nicoletti are available each day for free in Silks and at GulfstreamPark.com. Silks also offers $2 pizza and $2 hot dogs every day.
After shipping from Palm Meadows to New York in March to win the Gotham (G3), Stay Thirsty finished seventh in the Florida Derby and 12th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) before rebounding June 11 with a second-place finish behind Ruler On Ice in the Belmont.
“I thought he justified what we thought of him in the Belmont, although we were disappointed in the end,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of Stay Thirsty. “Nonetheless, it was a good effort and he’s trained well since.”
Brilliant Speed shipped to Gulfstream from Palm Meadows to finish second in the Dania Beach in January and Hallandale Beach in February before winning the Blue Grass. The son of Dynaformer enters the Jim Dandy off a third place finish in the Belmont.
Meanwhile, Shackleford, who spent the winter at Gulfstream before going on to win the Preakness, was made the 5-2 morning line favorite Thursday for Sunday’s 1 1/8th mile Haskell. The colt will be opposed by Belmont winner Ruler On Ice, Louisiana Derby (G3) winner Pants On Fire, and Illinois Derby (G3) winner Joe Vann.
Meanwhile, Ice Box, winner of the 2010 Florida Derby, comes off a nine-month layoff in Friday’s third race at Saratoga. Second in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, Ice Box will face five others including graded stakes winners Ron the Greek, Wilkinson and Anak Nakal.