There were two graded stakes contested at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday afternoon. 24,548 fans came out to the rain-soaked facility, with temperatures in the upper 70's, however the rains ended in time for the feature races.
The $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) is the major local prep for the Travers (G1) to be run 4 weeks later. A field of 8 three-year-olds contested this 1 1/8 mile main track test, with Withers (G3) winner Alpha sent off as the 9-5 favorite off a close second in the Wood Memorial (G1) and a 12th place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Neck 'n Neck, winner of the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, and 5-1 third choice Liaison, third in the Swaps (G3) at Hollywood.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent Alpha to the lead and he set fractions of 24.40, 49.30, and 1:14.03 while pressed by 6-1 Teeth of the Dog to his outside. Entering the stretch Teeth of the Dog tired as Neck 'n Neck moved up to issue a challenge through 1 mile in 1:38.19. However, Alpha easily turned him away, drawing off to win by 2 lengths in 1:50.47 over the sloppy track. It was another 2 lengths back to late-running 5-1 Liaison third.