SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Zenith Racing’s Long Range Toddy will return to stakes company against Champion Male Sprinter Jackie’s Warrior in Saturday’s Grade 1 $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga Race Course. The 6-year-old son of Take Charge Indy enters from a third in a 5 1/2-furlong allowance sprint at Churchill Downs earlier this month.
In May, Long Range Toddy took on reigning Jackie’s Warrior and 2021 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Aloha West in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard and finished sixth.
Trainer Dallas Stewart said he believes his horse is capable of turning the tables.
“It’s a really tough race running against Jackie’s Warrior but we think we fit in against some of them,” Stewart said.
Long Range Toddy arrived in Saratoga last week and breezed a half-mile over the Oklahoma training track in 49.60 seconds on July 23.
“He’s had one work over the training track that went well,” said Stewart.
Long Range Toddy, with morning line odds of 15-1, will emerge from post 5 in the six-horse field under jockey Luis Saez.
The Estate of James J. Coleman, Jr.’s graded stakes-winning Chess Chief is looking for his first win of the year in the nine-furlong $135,000 Alydar for older horses who have not won a sweepstake in 2022 other than a state-bred, at Saratoga Race Course on August 4.
The 6-year-old son of Into Mischief breezed five-eighths in 1:01.80 over Saratoga’s main track Thursday.
Chess Chief started the year with a trio of sixth-place finishes, the first two coming over the winter when he competed in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park in January and in his Grade 2 New Orleans Classic title defense in March at Fair Grounds. A three-month layoff saw him return in an allowance race going 1 1/16-miles on June 25 at Churchill Downs.
Stewart said he believes that Chess Chief is ready to step up off the layoff.
“The three-month layoff was by design,” said Stewart. “He was freshened up one time at Churchill and should be on target.”
A lifetime winner of over $878,000, Chess Chief sports a record of 33-5-4-4.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Long Range Toddy as a three-year-old (Coady Photography)