Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) winner Dixie Union was installed as the moderate 5-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Travers Stakes (gr. I) when post positions were drawn Thursday for the $1-million race. Stronach Stable's Milwaukee Brew, third to Dixie Union in the Haskell, is listed as the 3-1 second choice for the 1 1/4-mile race.
"I am looking forward to running him at a mile and a quarter," said Milwaukee Brew's trainer Tino Attard. "The extra furlong will help us. If the Haskell was one furlong longer, I think we could have won it."
In the 1 1/8-mile Haskell, Milwaukee Brew closed determinedly in the stretch to finish third, a length behind Dixie Union. The Ohio Derby (gr. II) winner will be reunited with jockey Jerry Bailey in the Travers. In February, Bailey rode Milwaukee Brew to a second-place finish at Gulfstream Park in the colt's second start.
"He's such a smart horse," said Attard. "He has no trouble going inside or outside. With more experience, he's becoming better with each start."
Albert the Great will race without blinkers for the first time since April. The son of Go for Gin had been undefeated with blinkers before finishing last of seven in the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) earlier this month.
THE 131ST RUNNING OF THE TRAVERS (Presented by VISA)
Grade 1; $1 million; 3-year-olds; 1 1/4 miles
Saturday, August 26, 2000
Saratoga Race Course (NYRA)
Race 9 of 10
Post Time: 5:12 p.m. Eastern
Television: ESPN, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (EDT)
Stakes & Track Record: General Assembly, 2:00 (1979)
1--Country Coast (Thomas Amoss), Marlon St. Julien, 30-1
2--Curule (Saeed bin Suroor), Mike Smith, 6-1
3--Commendable (D. Wayne Lukas), Pat Day, 12-1
4--Milwaukee Brew (Tino Attard), Jerry Bailey, 3-1
5--Postponed (Scotty Schulhofer), Edgar Prado, 8-1
6--Unshaded (Carl Nafzger), Shane Sellers, 7-2
7--Dixie Union (Richard Mandella), Alex Solis, 5-2
8--Impeachment (Todd Pletcher), Richard Migliore, 12-1
9--Albert the Great (Nick Zito), Jorge Chavez, 8-1 All starters carry 126 pounds