Thursday, August 24, 2006
The Summertime Derby
The 137th running of the Travers Stakes takes place on Saturday at Saratoga in upstate New York. The best in this field is the best horse currently in training in North America, Bernardini. He devastated the field in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy over this racetrack and he and jockey Javier Castellano are now a perfect 3 for 3 when paired together. The two Todd Pletcher trainees come next and I'll put High Cotton in the place position. He and Garrett Gomez are 2 for 2 when running together and this colt's workout on August 19th was a blistering five-furlong bullet. Bluegrass Cat won the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on August 6th, but that came after almost two months off. I don't know if he will be as fresh as he needs to be to challenge the top pick. I'll round out the top four with Kip Deville, who is making the turf-to-dirt switch here and possesses plenty of early speed. He might get run into the ground by Bernardini, but if the pace is soft, he might hang in there for a piece of the action.