Top Contenders Gearing Up For Travers
Travers (gr. I) hopeful Friend Or Foe had his first work since a fourth-place finish in the Jim Dandy (gr. II), covering five furlongs on the Saratoga main track in 1:00.11 Aug. 13. Other top contenders for the "Mid-Summer Classic" will work this weekend.
Friend Or Foe, a New York-bred son of Friends Lake, was undefeated in three starts going into the Jim Dandy, including the Mike Lee Stakes which he won by 2 1/2 lengths.
“He went well, it was just what we were looking for,” said John Kimmel, who trains the colt for Chester and Mary Broman. “He was pretty sharp off the pole. Rajiv Maragh was in the irons, and he was pretty conservative through the early part of the stretch. I think if he had asked him, he would have gone down there faster than we wanted.”
Kimmel said that Friend Or Foe would work again next weekend for the Aug. 28 Travers, with the day depending on the weather.
Trainer Dale Romans departed Saratoga in the morning for Kentucky, where he will breeze Preakness (gr. I) runner-up First Dude on Aug. 14. It will be the big colt’s first breeze since he finished third behind Lookin At Lucky and Trappe Shot in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 1.
“We’ll probably come here with First Dude, and most likely go to the Travers,” Romans confirmed.
Working at Aug. 14 Saratoga for the Travers will be Jim Dandy winner A Little Warm and Afleet Express , who was third.
Haskell runner-up Trappe Shot is also scheduled to breeze in preparation for either the Travers or the King’s Bishop (gr. I) on the undercard, while Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Super Saver , who finished fourth in the Haskell, is set to breeze on Aug. 15, said trainer Todd Pletcher.
Owner and trainer Leon Blusiewicz said maiden winner Admiral Alex is still on target for the Travers following a five-furlong main track breeze in 1:02.67 Aug. 11 with jockey Kent Desormeaux up.
“It was just a maintenance work,” Blusiewicz said. “He wanted to go. He went the last eighth in :11 and change. The further this horse goes, the better he will be. That’s why I started racing him at two turns.”
It was the first workout for Admiral Alex since winning his debut on July 31 here at Saratoga. While Blusiewicz is hopeful about Admiral Alex, he knows the Travers will be a class test for his horse.
“He’s a good horse and we’re definitely going to the Travers,” he said. “He’s going to get a test because I know there are going to be good horses in that race.”
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