SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Good Samaritan did not stop to help anyone on Saturday.
With the other four horses in the Jim Dandy field stuck in formation shoulder-to-shoulder at the rail, the son of Harlan’s Holiday roared down the middle of the stretch from last place and won the Grade II feature at Saratoga Race Course by 4 3/4 lengths to spoil a much-anticipated rematch between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners.
After six career starts on turf with pretty good success, 8-1 long shot Good Samaritan won in his first try ever on dirt and also burst out of a birthday box for trainer Bill Mott, who turned 64 and added another chapter to his legacy of winning a race at Saratoga on his big day. In 21 years with a starter on July 29, Mott has won a race 16 times.
It usually isn’t a stakes race.
“Well, this is a pretty good one. You know what, every birthday you hit is a good one, I guess,” he said with a laugh.
The Jim Dandy was billed as duel between Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing, and a crowd of 38,547 was on hand to see if Always Dreaming could turn the tables in his first start since finishing eighth in the Preakness.
Always Dreaming was the controlling speed early without snapping off particularly taxing fractions, with Cloud Computing stalking and closing ground as they headed into the second turn.
By the time they straightened in the stretch, long shots Giuseppe the Great and Pavel, making just his second career start, had joined them, with Good Samaritan and jockey Joel Rosario, well out of the picture for the entire race until then, making a…
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