Grade I winner Liaison figures to be Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's lone representative in the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 25 as Zayat Stables' grade I winner Paynter has been declared from the race.
Baffert prepped Liaison Monday morning for the 1 1/4-mile Travers. The Indian Charlie colt worked five furlongs in 1:00.38 on Saratoga's main track.
"Liaison is doing well," Baffert said.
Liaison won last year's CashCall Futurity (gr. I) and the Real Quiet Stakes. He has placed in three graded stakes this year including the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga July 28.
Stealcase, who finished third to Paynter in the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) July 29 for owner John C. Oxley, breezed six furlongs in 1:12.53 on the Saratoga main track Monday. Regular rider Shaun Bridgmohan was aboard.
"We were looking for a big work, and he delivered that," said Norman Casse, son and assistant to trainer Mark Casse. "He went out three quarters in 1:12 and seven eighths in 1:25. You really can't work any better than that, so it seems like we're on track for the Travers at this point."
Also expected for the Travers are Jim Dandy winner Alpha and runner-up Neck n' Neck; champion Hansen, most recently fourth in the West Virginia Derby (gr. II); Street Life and Five Sixteen, first and second in the restricted Curlin Stakes at the Spa; Haskell runner-up Nonios; along with Atigun and possibly Teeth of the Dog.