07/25/2012 8:48AM

Monmouth: Gemologist to run in Haskell instead of Jim Dandy

Barbara D. Livingston
Gemologist hasn't raced since finishing 16th in the Kentucky Derby.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Though he would have been the favorite in Saturday’s Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga, Gemologist will return to the races in Sunday’s Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, his connections said Wednesday.

Elliott Walden, president of WinStar Farm, which owns Gemologist, said the Grade 1 status of the Haskell was a factor in choosing that race over the Jim Dandy.

“The Jim Dandy is a very, very nice race but the Haskell is one of the top races for 3-year-olds,” said Walden, whose WinStar Farm won the Haskell in 2006-07 with Bluegrass Cat and Any Given Saturday. “It’s still a marquee race for the summer. He deserves a chance.”

Gemologist, trained by Todd Pletcher, won his first five races including the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. He was sent off the third choice in the Kentucky Derby but finished 16th. He emerged from the Derby with a bruised foot that forced him to miss the Belmont Stakes.

In the Haskell, Gemologist will face Paynter, the Belmont Stakes runner-up who will most likely go off the favorite Sunday.

“Paynter’s a very nice horse, ran very well in the Belmont,” Walden said. “This horse is 5 for 6. The only time he got beat was in the Kentucky Derby and came out of it with a bruised foot.

“We were very disappointed that day, felt like he had a great chance; also felt like he was our best chance to win ever going into the race. He was as good a horse as we ever brought there.”

WinStar won the Derby in 2010 Super Saver and finished second in 2006 with Bluegrass Cat.

Post positions for the Haskell will be drawn Thursday. In addition to Paynter and Gemologist, others expected to run are Dullahan, Nonios, Handsome Mike and Stealcase. Teeth of the Dog is possible.

Post positions for Saturday’s Jim Dandy were to be drawn later Wednesday.

Favoritism in the Jim Dandy will now be between Alpha, Teeth of the Dog - if he enters - and Neck n Neck, winner of the Matt Winn in his last start.

Kiaran McLaughlin, the trainer of Alpha, who was beaten a neck by Gemologist in the Wood, was not sorry to hear that Gemologist was Jersey bound.

“I hope he wins the Haskell," McLaughlin said. "We’ll stay here for the Jim Dandy. Good luck to Todd. One less very nice horse to beat.”

Others expected for the Jim Dandy include Prospective, Fast Falcon and Liaison.

McLaughlin also said that Le Bernardin, winner of the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth on June 17, will run in the West Virginia Derby on Aug. 4 at Mountaineer.

Benjamin Ricciardi More than 1 year ago
payntor 5 of 6 except for the derby? didn't he lose in the belmont to rags?
Ian Salon More than 1 year ago
Joe More than 1 year ago
Too many good races in the same weekend mean chalky finishes and small fields. Makes no sense.
Irene Davis More than 1 year ago
Both Paynter & Gemologist will put on a good show in the Haskell. However, it appears to be a rather small field with few "A" contenders; rather disappointing.
Paul Patane More than 1 year ago
Nonios is a major player in here. He's building a nice resume, and his bred sneaky good. Of course, the biggest question is mark is will he transfer his speed & talent to the East coast, with the obvious surface change. I'm curious to see who scheduled to ride him, but too me he can get the distance in his sleep, and his only improving.
Don Passidomo More than 1 year ago
Wow, thanks the quick update DG. This will really make this Grade-1 super exciting, Gemologist is set to run a huge race and will have to beat the best, I feel he has the ability is he stays healthy and will be my key, the time of this race may be record setting as well
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
Can't win. The pace will eat him up. Look for a tired horse the last 1/16
Don Passidomo More than 1 year ago
Sorry Steve, I lost the word Can't when it comes to horse racing years ago, and as far as this race goes to throw out any horse, talented upcoming 3yr olds, is such a dead end philosophy, I told you my thoughts about my selection for this race, if you have any yourself, please share, if JC rides him the way he wants no one will run down this guy or catch him in the stretch for home, distance is not a problem, he has the ability and the intelligence, try to think more like can rather than can't if pays alot better at the window as well, which I have learned and smiled about many times, as I said, should be a really exciting race, let us hope no injuries for all
Beatrice Shidebuckle More than 1 year ago
Steve, I said the same thing about Court Vision in the Breeders Cup Turf Mile.Can't possibly win! Now I know what the "all" button is for.....Good luck
Jerry More than 1 year ago
after running behind the pace,dullahan and nonios are going to be rolling....should be a heck of a horse race coming down the stretch...going to be won on the wire....
Holdouts More than 1 year ago
Yes I like Dullahan and he is going to pay.