07/28/2009 11:00PM

Charitable Man eyes rebound

Barbara D. Livingston
Charitable Man will make his first start since the Belmont Stakes in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though Charitable Man failed to live up to expectations in the Belmont Stakes, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin hasn't lost any faith in his 3-year-old colt.

In Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, McLaughlin hopes to see the same Charitable Man that was so impressive winning the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in May.

Charitable Man drew post 5 among the seven horses entered for Saturday's Jim Dandy, which is the local prep for the $1 million Travers Stakes to be run here Aug. 29. In three of the last four years, the Jim Dandy winner has returned to capture the Travers.

The Travers was made the long-term goal for Charitable Man after he was forced to miss the Kentucky Derby. Charitable Man, who won his debut here by 11 1/2 lengths last summer, had knee surgery last fall and did not make it back to the races until the Blue Grass on April 11. He finished seventh, in a race run over Keeneland's Polytrack.

After rolling to victory in the Peter Pan, Charitable Man was a popular pick in the Belmont, but he was beaten 6 3/4 lengths by Summer Bird. McLaughlin is pinning his hopes on the fact that the 1 1/2 miles of the Belmont was simply too far.

"We feel like he's still ranked there in the Top 5 [among 3-year-olds], especially at a mile and an eighth," McLaughlin said. "We hope to see that Peter Pan-type performance on Saturday. I would think he's the horse to beat, and we'll go to the Travers with an excellent chance.''

Alan Garcia will ride Charitable Man.

McLaughlin also will send out longshot Flat Bold, who comes off a four-length victory in a nonwinners-of-two-lifetime allowance event at Belmont on July 11. He'll break from post 2 under Ramon Dominguez.

"It's probably not the ideal spot, but with a 3-year-old doing as well as he's doing . . . they're only 3 once," McLaughlin said.

After successfully stretching out from seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles in the Dwyer, Kensei will try two turns and 1 1/8 miles for the first time in the Jim Dandy. He worked a strong half-mile in 47.90 seconds Monday and appears to be coming into this race in fine fashion. He'll break from post 3 under Edgar Prado.

Convocation and Warrior's Reward, the second- and third-place finishers from the Dwyer, also were entered in the Jim Dandy. Saratoga Sinner, winner of the Holy Bull in January, and Miner's Escape complete the field.

The Jim Dandy will go as race 10 on the 11-race card, with the Grade 1 Diana slated for race 9.

The Jim Dandy will be the only 3-year-old stakes on the card as the $70,000 Curlin, an overnight stakes for 3-year-olds that have not won a stakes, had only four entrants and failed to fill. Stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes said the racing office will try to make the race go for Sunday.