Triple Crown Race Winners All Pointing Toward Travers at Saratoga

The Travers (G1) at Saratoga will likely include the winner of all three of this spring’s Triple Crown races. (Photo credit: NYRA)

For the first time since 1982, we have had three separate winners of the Triple Crown races and they all likely will meet up in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 26.

Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tapwrit are already committed to the race, and trainer Chad Brown will make a decision regarding Preakness (G1) winner Cloud Computing on Monday.

The decision on whether Klaravich Stable’s Cloud Computing will run in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers presented by NYRA Bets will have to wait until Monday, according to trainer Chad Brown.

The colt by Maclean’s Music breezed five furlongs on Saratoga Race Course’s main track Saturday morning, shortly before 9 with Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano in the irons. The pair stopped the timer in 1:01.65 over the track labelled fast.

“It went good, Brown said. “I won’t make any decision yet until I talk to the owners. I’ll be sure about what I’m doing Monday, I’m going to give myself until Monday, I want to see how the horse comes out of the work, take time to talk to the owners, and think about it. He couldn’t have worked any better. I was very happy with the work, and Javier was pleased.”

Castellano, a five-time winner of the Travers who rode Cloud Computing to an upset victory in the Grade 1 Preakness and a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 29, said the objective was to keep the horse happy and fresh.

“He felt great,” Castellano said. “I’m happy with the way he did it, the right way. [It was a] nice and easy work. We weren’t looking for anything more because we know he’s a good work horse. It was just something to maintain before he goes to the race.

“[He was] nice and comfortable, relaxed,” he added. “He just sat steady and galloped out beautiful. I didn’t overdo it because today the goal was just to maintain.”

Brad Grady’s Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Girvin left trainer Joe Sharp’s barn Saturday morning for his final serious work before next weekend’s Travers. On the Oklahoma training track at 5:30 a.m., the son of Tale of Ekati breezed five furlongs with jockey Robby Albarado in the saddle in 59.98 seconds.

Working in company with Barry and Joni Butzow’s stakes winner Line Judge, a last-out seventh in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby on July 7, the three-time graded stakes winner earned the bullet of 11 works at the distance. Sharp, aboard Line Judge and keeping a watchful eye on his stable star, was pleased with the move.

“He worked unbelievable today,” Sharp said. “He went in 59 and four and he out-worked Line Judge, who is no slouch and a stakes winner in his own right. He’s doing very well right now and was really moving out there.”

In seven lifetime starts, the dark bay colt has finished in the exacta all but once – when he was a troubled 13th of 20 in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on May 6. He returned seven weeks later to run second by a nose in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby to multiple graded stakes winner Irap. Last out, the fate of the nose photo fell his way with a victory in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational on July 30. Such was the first time Albarado, who has the return call in the 10-furlong Travers, was aboard the earner of $1,574,400. The $130,000 Fasig-Tipton yearling purchase enters in arguably the best form of his career.

“I think it’s just maturity with him,” Sharp continued. “He knows he’s good and he’s confident. He’s always been a talented horse and his feet are great right now. I’m really happy with how he’s coming up to the race.”

Grade 2 Jim Dandy hero Good Samaritan galloped Saturday morning in anticipation of putting in his final breeze before next Saturday’s Travers on Sunday morning, in the hopes that the extra day of sun should remove any lingering moisture in the track.

“He’ll breeze tomorrow, that’s our plan,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. “We should have great weather the way it looks.”

The Harlan’s Holiday colt last worked on August 11, breezing four furlongs in 48.84 seconds over the Oklahoma training track.

His 4 ¾-length victory in the Jim Dandy was his first try on dirt after six starts on the grass, beginning with his victory by a head in his career debut here at Saratoga last summer. The late-charging colt will make his eighth career start in the Travers, and look to become the first Travers winner for Mott, and second for majority owner WinStar Farm, who campaigned Colonel John to victory in the 2008 ‘Mid-Summer Derby.’

L and N Racing LLC’s Grade 1 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Leecontinues to please his connections. The consistent Steve Asmussen trainee, third last out in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby on August 5, will have his final breeze for the Travers on Monday around 6 a.m.

“He’s good right now,” said Scott Blasi, longtime top assistant to Asmussen. “He’s here at Saratoga and will breeze Monday in the second set, right after Gun Runner.”

In 13 lifetime starts, the deep-closing son of champion Lookin At Lucky has a mere pair of victories, but has finished fourth or better in five Grade 1 events, including the Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His last breeze on Monday, August 14, was an easy half-mile over the Oklahoma training track in 51.40 seconds.

Stable star Gun Runner, a rousing victor in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 5 last out for owners Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm, remains on target for a probable run in the Grade 1 Woodward on September 2.


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