Trainer Ian Wilkes declared Neck 'n Neck ready for the Aug. 25 Travers Stakes (gr. I) after the Jim Dandy (gr. II) runner-up breezed five furlongs in 1:00.09 at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 20 in New York.
Just as he did when winning the Count Fleet Stakes a month earlier, Alpha easily defeated an overmatched field to take the $200,000 Withers (gr. III) by 3 1/4 lengths Feb. 4 at Aqueduct.
Alpha is the heavy favorite for the $200,000 Withers (gr. III), which replaces the Whirlaway Stakes as the first of three New York preps leading up to the Triple Crown. The Feb. 4 race is now at two turns on the inner track.
Several for the Nov. 26 Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at nine furlongs have strong black-type pedigrees. The 2-year-olds may need it--most are pretty light on experience.
Union Rags, a runaway winner of the Aug. 15 Three Chimneys Saratoga Special (gr. II), puts his unbeaten record on the line in the $300,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 10 at Belmont Park.
- By Vic Zast
Good racing comes to those who are patient. read blog
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