Graeme Hall, Red Bullet Out of Travers
Photo: Associated Press/New York Racing Association, Adam Coglianese
Graeme Hall, with Jerry Bailey aboard, captures the Jim Dandy Stakes on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2000, at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
The field for the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (gr. I) continues to dwindle, with trainer Todd Pletcher reporting that Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) Graeme Hall has a hairline fracture of his left knee that will require the colt to be rested in his stall for 60-90 days. "Obviously, we're really disappointed," Pletcher said. "The fracture is very small. It took a few days (after the Jim Dandy) before we could notice it. He should be okay though and we look forward to his 4-year-old season." Pletcher confirmed that Dogwood Stable's Impeachment, third in both the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness, will contest the "Midsummer Derby."

Frank Stronach's racing manager Danny Vella had earlier said Belmont Stakes winner Red Bullet will also bypass the Travers, with the stable trained by Joe Orseno being represented in the race by Haskell Invitational third-place finisher Milwaukee Brew. "Joe thought he could make it, but he spoke to Mr. Stronach and myself and said he just doesn't have him where he wants him," Vella said. "But at least we're very lucky to have a horse like Milwaukee Brew waiting in the wings."

On Friday, Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) winner Postponed breezed five furlongs in 1:02 over the main track at Saratoga in preparation for the Travers. "That's exactly what we were looking for," said Randy Schulhofer, assistant trainer to his father, Hall of Famer Scotty Schulhofer, who won last year's Travers with lemon Drop Kid. "A horse passed him at the eighth pole and he came back to finish in front of him at thee wire. Considering we didn't plan on having a horse run next to him, this workout couldn't have gone any better. He galloped out strongly.

Another confirmed Haskell starter, Godolphin Racing's Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Curule, breezed four furlongs at Saratoga Thursday. The Saeed bin Suroor-trained son of Go for Gin covered the distance in :48 3/5 with exercise rider Lee Roebuck in the irons. "We didn't want to over do it because he is the type of horse who can get away on you," said assistant trainer Eric Coatrieux. "I had him clocked in 1:00 3/5 for five furlongs, but he could have probably gone in :58."

Other probable starters in the $1-million race are Belmont Stakes winner Commendable, Haskell winner Dixie Union, Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner Albert the Great, Peter Pan runner-up Unshaded, and Country Coast, third in the Illinois Derby (gr. II) and El Camino Real Stakes (gr. III).

Most Popular Stories