After running on turf with mixed results throughout his young career, three-year-old Good Samaritan was finally put on dirt in the 2017 Jim Dandy Stakes. Let’s just say it was a decision that paid off for trainer Bill Mott.
Always Dreaming shot out of a canon to open the race, and the even money favorite took the lead while being flanked by the 6/5 second choice Cloud Computing. Almost immediately, the race took on the shape everyone was hoping for with a showdown between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners.
Pavel was third as an 8/1 third choice while Giuseppe The Great was fourth with his own 14/1 mark while Good Samaratin was well behind and far off the pace. All eyes focused in on Always Dreaming who seemed to open a perilously massive lead as he barrelled down the backstretch in :24.13.
Cloud Computing closed the gap right at the top of the pole with Pavel inching up to give Always Dreaming a run as well, but the the completely unexpected happened. Good
Samaratin exploded around the far outside to bury the competition and win the 2017 Jim Dandy with the remainder of the field tightly bunched together.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he ran,” said trainer (and birthday boy) Bill Mott. “It was a terrific race for him. The pace was a little bit slower than I thought it would be. I was a little concerned when they were going down the middle of the backside and they hung up the slow fractions. I was a little concerned about that. They did start to pick it up leaving the half-mile pole. He ran into a very slow pace and ran well.”
The optimal place was a nice introduction for 2017 Jim Dandy winner Good Samaritan who was undeniably impressive in his dirt debut.”Last week we came to the conclusion we should try this race. Initially it was going to be the Travers and then, the way this was coming up, it looked like we were going to have a decent pace in this race and the horse was doing so well that we decide to make this choice.”
Beating two champions like Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing is a massive statement for Good Samaritan who is more than likely to find himself running in the Travers Stakes on August 26th. Giusseppe The Great was officially the second place horse, with Always Dreaming taking third, but the other four contenders in the 2017 Jim Dandy finished so close together in the end that it’s of no real consequence.
What is a big deal is the launch of yet another big name three-year-old in what is either a very even generation of runners, or a supremely competitive one.