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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – FTGGG Racing’s graded stakes winner Masqueparade breezed a 1/2-mile in 47.59 in company over a fast main track Friday in preparation for the $600,000 Jim Dandy (G2) on July 31 at the Spa.
Trainer Al Stall Jr. said the last-out Ohio Derby (G3) winner is coming into the Jim Dandy in fine fettle.
“We’re happy with the breeze. He’s right on track,” Stall Jr. said. “We’ll give him a chance to see how far he can take his talent. We were patient getting to where we got to with him. He’s got a good foundation underneath him. He’s a laid-back horse and real good about everything. He’s very easy on himself.”
A maiden winner by disqualification at fourth asking traveling 1 1/16 miles on March 20 at Fair Grounds, the Upstart bay followed with a dominant 11 3/4-length optional-claiming win at 9 furlongs on May 1 at Churchill Downs.
Sent to post as the mutuel favorite in the 9-furlong Ohio Derby on June 26 at Thistledown, Masqueparade posted a 1/2-length score over King Fury, who was a nose better than third-place Keepmeinmind.
The top three Ohio Derby finishers are all expected to start in the Jim Dandy, a field led by Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Essential Quality.
“There’s a bona fide 3/5 shot in there (Essential Quality), so we’ll see what happens,” Stall Jr. said. “Our horse is on the upswing, so if he keeps improving, he could be there or thereabouts. He deserves a shot. His last 2 races have been very good and he handled graded competition. The numbers are fine, but stepping up to those proven competitors is more a test to me than running against the clock. I think he deserves a chance.”
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