Essential Quality can solidify his spot as the top 3-year-old in the country and establish himself as the horse to beat in next month's Travers Stakes when he leaves the starting gate in the 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. This son of Tapit has lost only once in seven career starts and validated the high expectations placed on him with last month's victory in the Belmont Stakes. With a win, Essential Quality would enter the Travers as the favorite to win the historic race known as the Midsummer Derby.
For Saturday Essential Quality is listed as the 1-2 morning-line favorite in the 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes odds. The Al Stall Jr.-trained Masqueparade is getting 4-1 odds in the six-horse 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes field. Post time for the $600,000 race is 5:39 p.m. ET. With an accomplished field expected to enter the starting gate, you'll want to see the horse racing predictions from handicapping champion Jonathon Kinchen before making any 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes picks.
Kinchen is one of the nation's most successful and recognizable horseplayers. An analyst for Fox Sports' America's Day at the Races and co-host of the In the Money Players' Podcast, Kinchen won the National Horseplayers Championship Tour in 2015, a demanding, yearlong series of handicapping events across the country. That same year, he became the only player in history to have both of his entries qualify for the final table of the National Horseplayers Championship.
In addition, Kinchen has scored huge on some of racing's biggest days. In November, he finished second out of 418 contestants in the prestigious Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge, which earned him $215,000 in prize money. After factoring in his profit during the 14 Breeders' Cup races, he took home more than $366,000 on the day.
It's no fluke, either. At the 2015 Kentucky Derby, he cashed for $150,000 after nailing the Pick 6 and a Pick 3 that paid $50,000. Anyone who has followed him is up big.
Now with the 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes lineup set, Kinchen is sharing his picks and predictions at SportsLine. Go here to see them.
Top 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes predictions
One shocker: After closely studying every horse in the race and breaking down the pace scenario, Kinchen is fading Keepmeinmind, who is one of two horses listed at 6-1 on the morning line. A son of up-and-coming stallion Laoban, Keepmeinmind is a late-running closer who would benefit from a hot early pace. However there is not much speed in Saturday's race, so the pace dynamics may not suit him.
In addition, Keepmeinmind's patented late kick always seems to come up short. "The problem is that this horse does not like to have his picture taken; he has one win in nine starts," Kinchen tells SportsLine. Kinchen is not using Keepmeinmind on any of his tickets.
How to make 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes picks, bets
Kinchen's top pick is a horse who will be "tough to beat" on Saturday. He also is high on another horse who "is trending in the right direction" and could pull off an upset. Kinchen is including these horses in his 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes bets, and so should you. He's sharing this analysis at SportsLine.
Which horse wins the Jim Dandy Stakes 2021? And which huge underdog is a must-back? Check out the latest 2021 Jim Dandy Stakes odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Kinchen's picks, and find out.
2021 Jim Dandy Stakes odds, post positions