How does one make money betting on a match race? Not easily. That is more or less what lies ahead with Saturday’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga. Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (1-1) and Preakness winner Cloud Computing (6-5) are the morning-line choices, and while a case might be made for two of the other three horses in this race, the small field makes it foolhardy to look away from the big two. Both colts have been off since the Preakness, where jockey John Velázquez and Always Dreaming got locked into a speed duel with Classic Empire. With only two weeks off from his Derby win, Always Dreaming faded to finish eighth. All the while Javier Castellano bided his time on Cloud Computing and poached the victory by a head from Classic Empire. If Velázquez wants the lead again this time he may have to fight maiden winner Pavel (6-1) for it, and that is the mystery of this race. Pavel has never gone two turns let alone two races. But never mind all that. Cloud Computing may have been late to the Triple Crown party for trainer Chad Brown, but he looked ready for it all along. There were more than a few respected handicappers who saw his maiden win during the Aqueduct winter and said that he would be the best 3-year-old this year. The play here is Cloud Computing as part of a bigger ticket. If there is faith in Pavel, put Cloud Computing on top of him in an exacta. If not, put him in the middle of a Pick 3 with Ascend (8-5) singled in the Grade 2 Bowling Green beforehand and then Durable Goods (3-1), Wake Island (9-2), Freedom (5-1) and Length (12-1) in the maiden finale.
Play of the Day: Use Cloud Computing in an exacta or the Pick 3.
Saturday's Saratoga stakes race in handicap order from e-ponies.com