SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – FTGGG Racing’s graded stakes-winner Masqueparade breezed a half-mile in 49.23 seconds over a fast main track Friday in preparation for the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on July 31 at the Spa.
The Al Stall, Jr.,-trained son of second crop sire Upstart has made a gradual climb up the ladder since being elevated to first via disqualification from his fourth career start on March 20 at Fair Grounds.
Masqueparade followed with an 11 ¾-length optional-claiming win going nine furlongs at Churchill Downs before defeating graded stakes winners King Fury, Keepmeinind and Promise Keeper in the nine-furlong Grade 3 Ohio Derby on June 26 at Thistledown.
“He’s an improving 3-year-old mentally, physically and figure wise and that’s why we’re taking our chance in a race like the Jim Dandy,” Stall, Jr. said. “He’s easy on himself. He won’t grab the bit and go down there in 47 and change and gallop out in a minute, which is good at this point in time. It might help his longevity.”
Stall, Jr. said he had considered the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 17 at Monmouth Park and the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby on 7 at Mountaineer, but decided the Jim Dandy provided the best opportunity.
“I think with natural selection they’ll sort themselves out,” Stall, Jr. said of the 3-year-old crop. “There’s plenty to choose from. The Haskell will tell us a lot, the Jim Dandy will tell us a lot, West Virginia might tell us something moving forward. The Haskell came up too close, but honestly, we just want to give this horse a chance to improve. He keeps on moving forward, so he belongs in this group.”
A $180,000 purchase from the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Masqueparade is out of the Any Given Saturday mare Cry War Eagle. She has a 2020 colt by Collected and a 2021 filly by Cairo Prince.
Jockey Miguel Mena, who has piloted Masqueparade in all six of his lifetime starts, will retain the mount for the Jim Dandy.
Stall, Jr. added that Bal Mar Equine’s Dalika is possible for the Grade 2, $250,000 Glens Falls on August 7 at Saratoga.
The gray or roan German-bred mare earned her first graded stakes triumph last out in the Grade 3 Robert G. Dick Memorial on July 10 at Delaware Park. She will return to the Spa after recording stakes efforts the past two seasons, finishing second in the Riskaverse in 2019 and fifth in the Caress last year.
“She’s kind of hard to ride against because if you have a horse lengths ahead of you, it takes so much to catch up to her,” Stall, Jr. said. “She got overaggressive in the Caress and she’ll do that. She’s the type of horse that you cannot fight her. You’ve got to let her do her thing. That’s why Miguel [Mena] fits her so well. We don’t send her one inch, she just trains that way.”
Saratoga Week 2 stakes probables
Thursday, July 22
Probable: Miss Alacrity [Ward], Ready A.P. [Clement], Shesawildjoker [David Donk], Sue Ellen Mishkin [Jorge Abreu]
Friday, July 23
G3 $150,000 Lake George
Probable: Alda [Graham Motion], Amy C [Chad Brown], Demodog [Rodolphe Brisset], Fluffy Socks [C. Brown], I Get It [Casse], Jouster [Todd Pletcher], Minaun [C. Brown], Navratilova [Rusty Arnold], Nevisian Sunrise [C. Brown], Runaway Rumour [Abreu], Tobys Heart [Lynch]
Saturday, July 24
G1 $500,000 CCA Oaks
Probable: Clairiere [Steve Asmussen], Crazy Beautiful [McPeek], Malathaat [Pletcher], Maracuja [Rob Atras], Rockpaperscissors [Brisset]
Possible: Army Wife [Maker], Tabor Hall [Kenny McPeek], Town Avenger [Lynch]
G3, $200,000 Caress
Probable: Caravel [Elizabeth Merryman], Flower Point [Shug McGaughey], Jakarta [Maker], Robin Sparkles [Bruce Brown]
Possible: Madeleine Must [Clement], Toffen [Lynch]
Sunday, July 25
G2, $200,000 Shuvee
Probable: Antoinette [Bill Mott], Crystal Ball [Brisset], Dunbar Road [C. Brown], Liberty M D [Ian Wilkes], Point of Honor [McGaughey], Royal Flag [C. Brown], Swiss Skydiver [McPeek]
Possible: Water White [Rudy Rodriguez]
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Masqueparade won the Ohio Derby at Thistledown June 26, 2021. (JJ Zamaiko Photography)