Street Sense Primed for Travers
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston
Street Sense on track at Saratoga on August 21st.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) champion Street Sense turned in a five-furlong breeze over Saratoga’s main track Aug. 21, his final work for the 138th running of the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I).

The 3-year-old son of Street Cry, out of Bedazzle, was timed in 1:00.14 under regular rider Calvin Borel, the second fastest work at the distance. The colt did not work in company.

“The work was really good,” said trainer Carl Nafzger. “He focused really nice and was completely in sync with Calvin. His coat came off good too.”

Street Sense will be the heavy favorite for the “Mid-Summer Derby”, to be run Aug. 25 at a distance of 1 ¼-mile. He is attempting to become just the tenth horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Travers. Thunder Gulch   was the last horse to accomplish the feat. Nafzger and Street Sense owner James Tafel won the Travers in 2000 with Unshaded.

“I’m not sleeping too good,” said Nafzger. “I really want to win this race. I’ve won it once and would like to win it again. It’s like winning The Derby.

“The Travers is when a 3-year-old has to step up. It’s a very strategically placed race. It’s the time when we see which horse is going to step up and join the four and five-year-olds.”

Most recently, Street Sense won the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga July 29 by a length-and-a-half. Nafzger said he expects his colt to “improve by three to five lengths” in the Travers. He again confirmed that Street Sense continues to be pointed towards the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge at Monmouth Park Oct. 27.

“If he is going to be Horse of the Year, he better win on Saturday and in the Breeders’ Cup,” Nafzger said.

Nafzger commented several times in an Aug. 21 interview that he expects Street Sense’s biggest challenge to come from Sightseeing, who won the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) and finished third in the Jim Dandy. Sightseeing is trained by Shug McGaughey.

"I know how Shug can take a horse and build him up to a certain race, and I know Shug's been looking at this race," Nafzger said. “He brought his horse along slow and he’ll be formidable on Saturday.

“Sightseeing was closing really strong (in the Jim Dandy) and we got another eighth of a mile to go.”

Post positions for the Travers will be drawn Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. EDT. A field of six to eight is expected, including C P West, Helsinki, Loose Leaf and Grasshopper, and possibly For You Reppo and Tiz Wonderful.

 

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