Bernardini Has Easy Breeze for Travers
by Steve Haskin
Date Posted: 8/11/2006 1:27:48 PM
Last Updated: 8/13/2006 1:41:51 PM

Bernardini, worked Friday at Saratoga in preparation for the Travers Stakes.
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston
Darley Stable's Bernardini, runaway winner of the Preakness (gr. I) and Jim Dandy (gr. II), breezed an easy five furlongs in 1:03 2/5 at Saratoga Friday in preparation for the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 26.

Bernardini is expected to go off as the solid favorite in the Midsummer Derby, with Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Bluegrass Cat and the undefeated West Virginia Derby (gr. III) winner Bright One his main opposition, along with one or two from the barn of John Ward.

"He did it very, very easily and galloped out six furlong in 1:16," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "He went off the first eighth in :14 and kept picking it up. He was very smooth throughout and was just galloping along. We'll have one more work, very similar to this one, maybe a shade quicker. There's no need to get real serious with him. We just need to keep him ticking over for the race.

"I guess Bluegrass Cat will run, which should add some interest in the race. But this horse doing so good now. He came out of the Jim Dandy better than he went in."

In addition to Bernardini, Bluegrass Cat, Bright One, and possibly Strong Contender, Minister's Bid or Dr. Pleasure, the Travers likely will lure Hesanoldsalt, winner of an optional claimer/allowance at the Spa, and Hemingway's Key, third in the Jim Dandy, both from the Nick Zito barn, and Bluegrass Cat's stablemate High Cotton, who was beaten a neck in the Ohio Derby (gr. II).

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