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Barbara D. Livingston

Street Sense Readies for Travers; Curlin Works

Street Sense and Curlin prepare for upcoming stakes.

Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Street Sense galloped 1 1/8 miles over Saratoga’s main track Aug. 20, and weather permitting, will perform a five-furlong work tomorrow in preparation for the 138th running of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 25.

Trainer Carl Nafzger said the 3-year-old son of Street Cry will work between 6:30 and 7:00 tomorrow morning.

“The way the track was this morning, it was a little deep,” Nafzger said. “He will have a nice work. I figure a 1:01 or 1:02; if it is a little faster, he’ll work a minute and change or 1:01 and change. I shouldn’t say that because he might work something else, but it will still be a perfect work. Everything is good and we’ll be on top of it. He’ll jog, walk, gallop and run.”

After taking off all Aug. 20 mounts due to a case of laryngitis, regular jockey Calvin Borel will work Street Sense tomorrow.

In other Travers news, trainer Nick Zito is still expected to enter both C P West and Helsinki. Runner-up to Street Sense in the Jim Dandy (gr. II), C P West will probably begin as the race’s distant second choice.

C P West will get Saratoga’s leading rider, Cornelio Velasquez, while Helsinki, a son of Distorted Humor , will have Julien Leparoux aboard.

“Like everybody else, we’ve got to get past Street Sense,” said Zito, who won the Travers three years ago with Birdstone .  “You just hope that Street Sense has somewhat of an off day and you have a good day.  You always got to beat them all, but on the other hand, I got two nice horses and it’s good to be in there anyway. We’ve got a fighting chance.”

A decision on whether Stonestreet Stable’s Tiz Wonderful will start in the Travers will be made tomorrow, said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. Tiz Wonderful, who was a distant sixth in the Jim Dandy, worked six furlongs over the Oklahoma Training Track on Aug. 20. His time was 1:13.87.

Blasi also had Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin out for a work Aug. 20, his first effort since finishing third in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) three weeks ago. Curlin breezed the five furlongs in 1:03.64.

“He worked beautifully,” Blasi said. “I liked what I have seen in him. It was his first work since the Haskell and he’s in great shape.

“I don’t think his race was puzzling in the Haskell. He was coming off a two-month layoff. Any Given Saturday was set up perfectly for it. He was coming out of the Dwyer after four weeks. Against good horses, you can get beat under those circumstances.”

Curlin is being pointed for the $750,000 Jockey Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Sept. 30. A meeting with Street Sense in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge (gr. I) could follow in October.

“Our goal is the Breeders’ Cup Classic and we’re going to take the best possible route to get there,” Blasi said. “The timing is very good for us. Having Curlin do so much in such a small period of time and having him run peak performances in the Triple Crown races, I think it is asking too much of any horse to keep them at a peak level from August to the end of October. If he ran back in the Travers and then another prep, what we would be asking him to do is a lot.

“We have to have his best interests in mind all of the time. As much as I would like to lead him over (for the Travers), you have to do what is right.”