Travers Taking Shape; Curule Breezes

Travers Taking Shape; Curule Breezes
Photo: AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Exercise rider Lee Roebuck rides Curule during morning workouts in preparation for the Belmont Stakes
The field is taking shape for the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (gr. I), with two of this year's spring classic winners possible starters in the "Midsummer Derby." According to racing secretary Mike Lakow, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Commendable is a confirmed Travers contender, with Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet questionable. Red Bullet, who worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 on Aug. 10, will make the Travers if there are no more complications from a viral infection that knocked him out of the Haskell Invitational (gr. I).

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 confirmed starters for the $1-million race are Jim Dandy winner Graeme Hall, Haskell winner Dixie Union, Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner Albert the Great, Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) winner Postponed, Peter Pan runner-up Unshaded, and Country Coast, third in the Illinois Derby (gr. II) and El Camino Real Stakes (gr. III).

Listed as questionable Travers starters are Impeachment, third in both the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness, and Milwaukee Brew, who ran third in the Haskell.

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