Saturday August 23, 2003

The 134th Travers Stakes
11th @ Saratoga
All carry 126


2. Congrats...Luzzi...Regally bred son of AP Indy is coming around nicely. He closed strongly in the Jim Dandy at 30-1 and picked up the show. Now he'll pick up 11 pounds and chase Strong Hope again. He'll likely enjoy the stretch-out, but I don't know if he's quite ready for this. He would need the pace all his own way, and it does figure to be honest. If you think he can take another step forward while adding the weight, you'll be rewarded by a square price. As for myself, I'll wait on him.

3. Strong Hope...Velasquez...There are so many 1's in his pp lines it's frightening. But he looks as though he could be on the way down in his form cycle, a bad place for that to happen. Plus, the distance just might be his undoing. Sure, Pletcher is winning every thing not nailed down, but that's no guarantee he'll score here. I see him getting caught in the last 1/8. By how many, is the question.

1. Peace Rules...Bailey...Bobby's second-stringer (alleged) looks very dangerous here. He'll press Strong Hope into submission. The only question will be the distance. He's never won at greater than 1 1/8, and in fact lost ground late in the Derby and the Preakness. Freaky effort off the shelf in the Haskell which could spell trouble as well. I'll peg him for 2nd, at best.

4. Ten Most Wanted...Day...Here lies an enigma. This year's Perfect Drift. Was all out in the Swaps at odds-on and just couldn't get it done. This after a 5 week rest after the Belmont. In the Belmont it looked like he was just going to cruise right by Empire Maker at the head of the stretch, until  he figured out that meant he would have to win, either that or Empire Maker dug in. Take your pick.  Lone win besides maiden remains the Illinois Derby.

1a. Empire Maker...Bailey...SCRATCHED

5. Wild And Wicked...Sellers...McPeek was very high on this horse before the Haskell and he was no match for the top two. Now he'll pick up 8 pounds and try again. First time lasix may get him a piece. Not sure if he can win this, but could be worth watching down the road.

6. Funny Cide...Santos...SCRTACHED

7. Sky Mesa...Prado...Make no mistake, Ward has been pointing for this race all year. He seems ready and has been inching forward in his only 2 starts this year. Pressing style will fit well here with PR and SH battling it out on the front. Expect him to pick up all the pieces at the 1/8 pole. The most likely winner.2 for 2 over this track.


       Sky Mesa has very few negatives and he's been pointed to this all year. I learned not to second-guess Ward after Monarchos bounced down the lane in Louisville.

      I't's a toss-up between Peace Rules and Ten Most Wanted  for 2nd.


1. Sky Mesa

2. Ten Most Wanted

3. Peace Rules


Good luck and enjoy Travers Day 2003!

2003 bBra