Saturday August 24, 2002

The 133rd Travers Stakes
10th @ Saratoga
All carry 126


1. Shah Jehan...Velasquez...Last out might have been a bit of a non-effort as he broke poorly. He really doesn't seen to want this distance though. He backed up in the Long Branch after carrying the lead. He backed up in the Sir Barton after carrying the lead. The Withers and San Felipe as well. He probably will soften-up Medaglia by pressuring early, but I doubt he'll end up the winner, or even 2nd here. Lukas having an off meet. 3rd, at best.

2. Quest...J.J. Castellano...Looks like he may be ready for an off-effort. He got leg-weary chasing Medaglia in the Jim Dandy, and that was 1/8 shorter. Now he'll pick up 11 pounds and try again. No thanks! While he should be improving, I just can't see it happening here.

3. Like A Hero...Pincay...He could be making a move forward here, but will it be enough? He won't have Magic Weisner to contend with this time, but that still doesn't make him a logical winner as he failed to gain any ground late in the Haskell. Nothing much to crow about in the mornings as of late either. The last time he came back this quick off of a decent effort he got drilled by 17 in the Belmont. Hard to make a case for.

4. Repent...Prado...The long awaited return and what a place to make it! You'd think they could have gotten a bit of a tightener in him but in he goes. If this race were 4 weeks after his last I would say he could ace this. As it is, I'm sure Kenny will take a good ITM finish. He may be capable, but I wouldn't like him at the odds he'll likely be, especially off the shelf and recovering from the injury. Works have been solid, but there are only 4 showing. Even if he runs his "A" race off the shelf, he's still behind Medaglia.

5. Medaglia D'Oro...Bailey...Does he bounce off of that effort here? Was it as huge as it appeared? Many questions and, for now at least, a shortage of answers. Those who subscribe to the monster theory will say he should crush this field. He just might. The bounce candidates will say a huge one is in order. I'm on the fence, but I can't really see anyone beating him unless Shah Jehan just runs him into submission on the front. Since that one will be setting up camp at the 1/8 pole, that leaves Medaglia all alone on a track that is not conducive to catching-up.

6. Gold Dollar...Chavez...Doesn't appear fast enough to be a top-three factor. All 3 of his forays into graded competition have led to him being soundly defeated. Though he was elevated to 2nd in the Jim Dandy, he was still in the next area code. I doubt there will be a 17 length differential between 1st and 3rd here. Another who hasn't shown any signs that he can be effective at this distance. Crafty Prospector on the dam-side nullifies Seattle Slew's influence as the sire as far as distance is concerned.

7. Saint Marden...Smith...Matz and Smith have teamed up for some nice scores and a healthy positive ROI. He might make some noise, but I doubt he can win this. He made the jump from maiden winner at Delaware to allowance winner at Saratoga quite handily, but he's a possible bounce candidate here as he comes back quickly off of a career best effort.

8. Nothing Flat...Santos...Not quite sure he's ready for this. He had a rough trip in the Jim Dandy and was taken-up in the stretch, but he was already 6 lengths behind at this point. That being said, he is a closer and hadn't finished worse than 2nd before the Dandy. That includes the Dwyer. He has bore-out the last two times as well. Not really a good sign. His last two works though look solid. At the price he is likely to be, it might be wise to use him at the bottom of the tri and super if you are willing to forgive the Jim Dandy.

9. Puzzlement...Samyn...Had quite an eventful day on Thursday as his work had to be aborted by an injured exercise rider on the track. Jerkens says he's still go, but doesn't know his plans for the rest of the week. That sounds like a 3f drill coming. He looks as though he could be poised to move forward here, but the troubled work might prevent it. He's had 3 good efforts at 9 furlongs including the 2nd place finish in the Peter Pan.



       I really can't see anyone putting the slip on Medaglia D'Oro here. His last was such a nice effort that even if he bounces (some) he should still win.

      I'm thinking that Shah Jehan will pressure, then fold which should set it up for Puzzlement to pick up the pieces for 2nd.

     Another that could clunk up for a piece is Nothing Flat. He'll be double-digit odds and if you throw out the last, he looks very tempting for a piece.

     Repent probably needs this and there is the question of coming back from the injury. He'll be too short to use on top, and if he finishes 2nd the exacta will pay about $5.


1. Medaglia D'Oro

2. Puzzlement

3. Nothing Flat

4. Repent


Good luck and enjoy Travers Day 2002!

2002 bBra