Fine win for Mystic Guide in G2 Jim Dandy Stakes
Progressive three-year-old Mystic Guide secured a first Graded-race victory when coming from last to first in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes over nine furlongs at Saratoga, USA, on Saturday, 5 September.
The Michael Stidham-trained colt, wearing blinkers for the first time after finishing third in the G3 Peter Pan Stakes over the same course and distance in July, broke on terms and was switched off at the rear of the six-strong field by Jose Ortiz.
Mystic Guide started to take closer order after the first half-mile and moved up to a close fifth behind the leaders leaving the back straight. After progressing to third between horses at the top of the lane, the son of Ghostzapper stayed on powerfully to hit the front approaching the final furlong before galloping out well to prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Michael Stidham said: “You always worry if you are making the right choice but I felt pretty confident that blinkers would help Mystic Guide and it worked out. Jose Ortiz gave the horse a great ride and racing over a mile and an eighth and further is certainly what he wants to do.
“Once he got through horses turning for home, I felt really good because I know that he has a big kick. He put himself in a better spot today and gave himself a chance. It’s a pleasure to win a race like this at Saratoga.
“The G1 Preakness Stakes is certainly a race that we will look at. We are not a definite [runner] but it is something that we will be looking at, for sure.”
Jose Ortiz said: “I rode Mystic Guide last time and called Mike right after the race to say that I would like to see him with some blinkers on. He agreed 100 per cent, so we went ahead, put them on and it paid off. I was planning to be a little bit closer but I think the blinkers helped him to go between horses and finish his race.”