A well-focused Ten Most Wanted and jockey Pat Day took advantage of a torrid pace duel to register an easy victory in the 2003 Travers Stakes (gr. I) before a Travers Day record 66,122 at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
After two months of hype, the much-anticipated rematch between Funny Cide and Empire Maker in Saturday's Travers (gr. I) fell through. With his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner still feeling the effects of an illness contracted after the Haskell Invitational Aug. 3, trainer Barclay Tagg declared Funny Cide out of the $1 million race Friday morning.
A field of eight passed the entry box Wednesday morning for the $1 million Travers Stakes. How many will run is another story. The big news was Funny Cide entering after two weeks of "doubtfuls" and "highly unlikelys," from trainer Barclay Tagg.
Trainer Barclay Tagg acknowledged that Funny Cide is unlikely to make it to Saturday's Travers (gr. I). The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner spiked a temperature on Aug. 4, the morning after he finished a well-beaten third in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) and hasn't had a workout. Tagg said this week that he didn't like the results of a blood test and that the horse hasn't been eating all his food.
It is still unknown if the Aug. 23 Travers Stakes (gr. I) will result in the much-anticipated meeting of Empire Maker and Funny Cide, but that race isn't the only graded stakes scheduled for that weekend at Saratoga.
A special two-hour "SportsCenter at Saratoga," featuring live coverage of the grade I, $1 million Travers Stakes from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., will air from 5-7 p.m. (ET) on August 23 on ESPN, the network, the New York Racing Association and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Monday.
Saratoga Notebook: Funny Cide 'Feeling Good'; Jetsetter Bobby Frankel; Odds On at Spa; During Stays in New York
Trainer Barclay Tagg was smiling Wednesday when he talked about Funny Cide. "He's feeling good today," Tagg said. "He's still on some medication, but he's acting real good, bouncing around, pretty happy."
Grade II winner Ten Most Wanted worked for the first time since his runner-up finish in the July 13 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) at Hollywood Park, logging a bullet half-mile in :47 4/5 over a fast Santa Anita main track Sunday morning . Trainer Wally Dollase caught the son of Deputy Commander in :11 for the final eighth.
Uncharacteristically, trainer Kenny McPeek was a man of few words Wednesday as he talked about Ohio Derby (gr.II) Wild and Wicked's work over the Oklahoma training track.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, both grade I, returned home to Saratoga Springs on Tuesday. The Sackatoga Stable-owned gelding, who was foaled at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, is stabled in trainer Barclay Tagg's Saratoga barn.
- By Steve Haskin
Edmund Gann's Midas Eyes, breezed 5 furlongs in a sharp 1:00 1/5 Monday morning, in preparation for next Sunday's grade II Dwyer Stakes, which is shaping up to be a classy, competitive race.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- A Travers with Funny Cide and Empire Maker is almost certain to attract a record crowd to Saratoga.
Having just completed a very successful Belmont Stakes Day despite very unfavorable weather conditions, the New York Racing Association is looking forward to a potentially huge day Aug. 23 when the grade I Travers Stakes is run at Saratoga.
Shortly after it was announced Thursday that Atswhatimtalknbout would not contest the June 7 Belmont Stakes, the classic lost another starter when Team Valor's Colita was withdrawn from the 1 1/2-mile race at New York's Belmont Park.
Unshaded reinjured a tendon this week and has been retired. The gelding's immediate plans are uncertain.
Victories last weekend by Came Home in the Pacific Classic and Medaglia d'Oro in the Travers, combined with War Emblem's sixth-place finish in the Pacific Classic, have tightened up the 3-year-old division, with the Eclipse Award now up for grabs.
Medaglia d'Oro holds off Repent in the Saratoga slop to win the Midsummer Derby by a half-length.
Joseph Shield's Puzzlement breezed three furlongs in :36 1/5 on the main track at Saratoga Racecourse Friday morning in preparation for Saturday's $1-million, grade I Travers Stakes.
Saratoga Notebook: Setting the Travers Line; The Mig Pays Price; Rice Beginning to Cook; A Future Star?
The way Don LaPlace sees it, the other eight horses are running for second place Saturday behind Medaglia d'Oro in the Travers.
Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) winner Medaglia d'Oro has been installed the odds-on 2-5 morning line choice to win Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Puzzlement's scheduled final breeze for the Travers (gr. I) ended abruptly near the top of the stretch Tuesday morning when jockey Jean-Luc Samyn was forced to stop the colt quickly to avoid colliding with two horses and a man on the track at Saratoga.
Several horses were out Monday morning in their final works for Saturday's $1 million Travers (gr.I), Saratoga's showpiece event. Both Nothing Flat and Quest breezed for trainer Nick Zito, and each was clocked in 1:03 2/5 on the Oklahoma Training Track in separate moves.
The Nick Zito-trained pair of Quest and Nothing Flat each breezed five furlongs in the identical times of 1:03 2/5 over Saratoga's Oklahoma training track on Monday in preparation for Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes. Also working Monday were Shah Jehan and Like a Hero.
War Emblem will have his final preparation for next Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic when he breezes over the Del Mar main track Tuesday morning at approximately 9 a.m.
Repent, a four-time graded stakes winner who finished second in the Illinois Derby (gr. II), is on target for the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) on Aug. 24.
Twenty horses, including Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner War Emblem and Jim Dandy winner Medaglia d'Oro have been nominated to the Aug. 24, $1-million Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
Like many straightaway races in England, the race for the $1 million Travers Stakes has divided into two small groups – one opting for the big bucks and grade I status of the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park and the other preferring to have a race over the track in the grade II, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes. Both races will be run on Aug. 4.
Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Buddha will not start in either the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) on Aug. 4 or the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
New Phoenix Stable's Sarava, who upset War Emblem's Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80 Saturday at Churchill Downs
New Phoenix Stable's Sarava, who paid $142.50 as the longest priced Belmont Stakes winner ever, flew out of New York and back to Kentucky at about 8:30 a.m.Sunday morning.
Repent, who suffered a chip in his left front ankle in the Illinois Derby, will undergo arthroscopic surgery Monday, and trainer Kenny McPeek is hopeful he'll be ready for the Travers Stakes.
Leading Horse of the Year candidate Point Given has been retired because of a strain to the suspensory tendon of his left foreleg, trainer Bob Baffert announced on Friday. The strain was detected on Thursday morning, when Point Given had been expected to return to the track for the first time after his victory in last Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. "I've had to retire a lot of good horses, but I never felt like this," Baffert said. "We were just beginning to tap into his greatness."
It was a Travers Day like no other at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. Saratoga and the Travers were never more popular through their long, storied history.
The horse nicknamed "The Big Red Train" rolled through Saratoga Saturday, solidifying his chances at a championship season with his fourth straight grade I victory in the $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I).
We don't need studies. We don't need committees. We don't need advisory boards. We don't need commercials. We don't need round tables. We don't need junior committees. We need stars. Simple as that. Point Given is here and the world has followed.
Harrisand never has raced on the dirt, but his two Travers Stakes workouts at Saratoga have his connections thinking he at least likes it.
Bob Baffert said Monday that all systems are "go" for The Thoroughbred Corp's Point Given to ship to New York for the Travers Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday. The big Thunder Gulch colt worked five furlongs at Del Mar on Monday morning, getting the distance in :59 1/5 under exercise rider Dana Barnes.
Risen Star Stakes winner Dollar Bill worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 over the main track at Saratoga on Sunday, completing his preparations for next Saturday's $1-million Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Jeanne G. Vance's Postponed and Godolphin Racing's Curule each put in works over the fast main track at Saratoga Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's $1-million 1 1/4-mile Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Impeachment and Postponed worked at Saratoga Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s $1-million Travers Stakes.
Likely Travers Stakes (gr. I) starters Albert the Great, Impeachment, and Milwaukee Brew were in action at Saratoga Sunday morning in workouts preparing for Saturday’s $1-million race.
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.
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.
Stronach Stable's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet worked five furlongs over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Thursday morning.
Preakness Stakes winner Red Bullet will not run in Aug. 6 Haskell.
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