TRAVERS HEADLINES SPA WEEKEND
The $1 million Travers S. (G1), the centerpiece of the Saratoga meeting, will be held on Saturday, one of five graded stakes to take place. A fine field is set to take place for this all-important sophomore test, which goes a long way to determine championship honors in this division. Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Coil has risen from maiden winner to Grade 1 winner in a short time and could go off favored in here for Bob Baffert. The talented son of Point Given should enjoy the added ground to work with in here.
Haskell second Shackleford, the Preakness S. (G1) winner, was a game second last time and should be a forward presence in the very least in this one for trainer Dale Romans. The son of Forestry is proven at this kind of trip. Stay Thirsty dominated the Jim Dandy S. (G2) and is rounding into his best form over an oval he thrives upon.
Jim Dandy third Dominus has excellent early speed and could be especially dangerous if left alone early for Steve Asmussen. He bagged the Peter Pan S. (G2) at Belmont two prior. Belmont S. (G1) victor Ruler on Ice, the late-blooming Rattlesnake Bridge and Arthur’s Tale, second in the Wood Memorial S. (G1) when last seen, add to the quality of this historic race.
The Travers undercard is loaded as usual, with the $250,000 Ballerina S. (G1) among the leading supporting stakes. Multiple Grade 1 vixen Sassy Image was more than impressive in rallying for a win in the Princess Rooney (G1) last time when appearing dead turning for home, and the surging Dale Romans trainee will be tough to handle after a sparkling recent work.
Dual Grade 1 queen Champagne d’Oro was 3rd in the Honorable Miss (G2) in preparation of this and can’t be ignored over an oval she’s proved an affinity for. Speedy multiple Grade 2 victress Hilda’s Passion and Grade 3 winners Devil by Design and Tamarind Hall, are also likely for this affair.
Champion Uncle Mo, who has been off since the spring after suffering his first career setback, could return in the $250,000 King’s Bishop S. (G1) in here for Todd Pletcher. The otherworldly son of Indian Charlie has been training well up here and would help highlight an already huge day.
A top field awaits the champion if he makes it here, with Grade 2 speedster Flashpoint, Amsterdam S. (G2) winner Caleb’s Posse, Haskell fourth J J’s Lucky Train, impressive allowance winner Saddleranch, Amsterdam third Wine Police and Dwyer S. (G2) third Cool Blue Red Hot, among the top foes.
The $200,000 Ballston Spa H. (G2) and $100,000 Victory Ride S. (G3) will also be contested during this fine day or facing.