07/13/2006 11:00PM

Jazil to skip Jim Dandy

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Jazil, winner of the Belmont Stakes in June, will take on Bernardini in the Travers.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The showdown between 3-year-old classic winners Bernardini and Jazil will have to wait until the Travers.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Friday that Belmont Stakes winner Jazil will bypass the $500,000 Jim Dandy on July 29 and train right up to the $1 million Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 26. By electing to skip the Jim Dandy, Jazil will avoid meeting Preakness winner Bernardini twice in four weeks. Bernardini is being pointed to the Grade 2 Jim Dandy.

McLaughlin said he preferred the 1 1/4 miles of the Travers to the 1 1/8 miles of the Jim Dandy for Jazil, who rallied from last to win the Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles.

"He just needs a little bit more time between races, and the distance," McLaughlin said.

Two years ago, trainer Nick Zito won the Travers with Birdstone, who had not run since winning the Belmont Stakes over Smarty Jones. McLaughlin doesn't believe the 11 weeks between races is too much down time for Jazil.

"With this particular horse it's not a big deal," McLaughlin said. "He's a light-framed horse who doesn't need a lot of racing or training."

Jazil has worked only once since the Belmont, breezing four furlongs in 49.63 seconds on July 1.

"He won't work that often because he doesn't require a lot of work," McLaughlin said.

Skipping the Jim Dandy may not be such a bad move for Jazil. In the last 10 years only three Belmont winners have run in the Jim Dandy, and all lost. In 1996, Belmont winner Editor's Note finished fourth to Preakness winner Louis Quatorze. In 1999, Lemon Drop Kid finished second to Ecton Park while Empire Maker, the 2004 Belmont winner, lost to Strong Hope in the Jim Dandy.

Invasor will run in Whitney

McLaughlin also confirmed Friday that Invasor, winner of the Pimlico Special and the Suburban handicaps, will make his next start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 5.

McLaughlin had considered shipping Invasor to California for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 20 to keep Invasor running at 1 1/4 miles. The Whitney,

which will include Flower Alley, is run at 1 1/8 miles.

"The Whitney is probably a more prestigious race, and time-wise it works out well to skip the Woodward and go to the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup," McLaughlin said. "And, we don't have to ship."

McLaughlin said cutting Invasor back to 1 1/8 miles in the Whitney is a concern, as is the prospect of drawing an outside post should the Whitney draw a big field, which is unlikely.

"We have a lot of confidence in the horse that he can overcome a little bit of adversity," McLaughlin said. "He's been beaten once before and he could get beat again before his career is over."

Like Now sidelined with knee chip

Like Now, whom McLaughlin trained to win the Grade 3 Gotham in March, is sidelined indefinitely with a chip in a knee that will require surgery. McLaughlin said he discovered the chip shortly after the gelding worked four furlongs in 48.40 seconds at Belmont last Sunday. Like Now was being pointed to this Sunday's Leonard Richards at Delaware Park.

McLaughlin said that Like Now would be out of training for at least 60 days following the surgery, which has yet to take place. McLaughlin is hoping to get Like Now back to the races in late fall.

In addition to the Gotham, Like Now won the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes and also finished a game second to Showing Up in the Grade 2 Lexington. Most recently, Like Now finished seventh, beaten 26 lengths by Bernardini, in the Preakness.

Recurring tendon problem sidelines Tiger

Tiger has twice come back from bowed tendons to develop into one of the top sprinters on the East Coast. But the tendon in his left foreleg is bothering him again and Tiger is now out of action indefinitely.

"He had a little thickening of that tendon," trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "It looks like we stopped in time to where he has a chance to come back. It's the same leg but in a different spot."

Tiger, a 5-year-old son of Storm Boot, had come back from a second bowed tendon to run five races this year, winning three of them, including the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap. On Belmont Day, Tiger finished second to Anew in the True North.

Jerkens said Tiger is convalescing at the New Jersey Equine Clinic in central New Jersey.

Jerkens said that Corinthian, who was disqualified from first and placed third in the Fountain of Youth, lost two additional weeks of training time after developing a bad case of skin disease.

Corinthian had been sidelined since the Fountain of Youth with a small fracture of his left hind ankle. He resumed training in May and was aiming for the Dwyer when he developed the skin disease. Jerkens said the skin disease got to the point where he had to leave the tack off the horse for a couple of days. The horse has resumed training.

"He's training good, but I'd like to get that under control, though," said Jerkens, who hopes to find a race for Corinthian at Saratoga.

Magna Graduate back with Pletcher

Magna Graduate has returned to trainer Todd Pletcher's Belmont Park barn following time off due to an ankle injury.

Magna Graduate, who won the Clark Handicap last November at Churchill Downs, has not run since finishing fourth in the Dubai World Cup in March. He was later elevated to third following the disqualification of runner-up Brass Hat due to a medication positive.

Pletcher said he hopes Magna Graduate will return to the races this fall.

Usual suspects for Draw Shot

Golden Commander won the West Point Handicap at Saratoga in 2004. Dave won it last year. Sunday, those two and seven other New York-bred turf males will run in the $65,000 Draw Shot, a 1 1/8-mile race that serves as a prep for the $100,000 West Point, to be run at Saratoga on Aug. 13.

Golden Commander makes his third start off a layoff that was precipitated by a tendon injury. He finished a length behind Dave in the Kingston in May and was beaten a neck when third to the promising Ashkal Way in a third-level allowance race in June. He enters the Draw Shot off a best-of-17 five-furlong turf work in 59.60 seconds on July 2.

After the Kingston, Dave ran fifth, a neck and a nose behind Golden Commander in that June 14 allowance race.

Certifiably Crazy won the Ashley T. Cole last September and finished second to the multiple stakes winner Revved Up last out.