Stay Thirsty Works For Travers

Stay Thirsty works for Travers; J W Blue joins the fray

At Saratoga on Sunday, Travers S. (G1) candidate STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) got back to work for the first time since his four-length romp in the July 30 Jim Dandy S. (G2), touring a half-mile in :51 4/5 on the fast main track.

'He went a tick slower than we set out to do, but I felt better after seeing a group of horses work,' trainer Todd Pletcher said. 'The track was definitely on the slow side. We were looking for a maintenance half, and we'll come back and do something a little more serious with him next week.'

Also working for the Travers, Curlin S. runner-up RAISON D'ETAT (A.P. Indy) traveled five furlongs in 1:01 1/5.

'His work was good --very good,' trainer Bill Mott said of the royally-bred son of seven-time Grade 1 winner Sightseek (Distant View). 'All systems are 'go' right now.'

On the New York worktab

Blue Grass S. (G1) winner BRILLIANT SPEED (Dynaformer) took a half-mile spin in :49 3/5 over Saratoga's fast main track on Sunday. Third in the Belmont S. (G1) two back, the Tom Albertrani colt came back to finish a disappointing fifth in the Jim Dandy S. (G2).

Stablemate ARTHUR'S TALE (Bernardini), sidelined since his near-miss in the Wood Memorial (G1), traveled five furlongs in 1:02 4/5.

Undefeated Schuylerville S. (G3) heroine GEORGIE'S ANGEL (Bellamy Road), awaiting the September 4 Spinaway S. (G1), breezed four panels in :50 2/5.

Multiple Grade 2 scorer AIKENITE (Yes It's True) tuned up for the September 3 Forego S. (G1) by strolling in :51. The Todd Pletcher trainee wound up fifth in his course-and-distance prep in the James Marvin S.

Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) queen SUPER ESPRESSO (Medaglia d'Oro), a distant second in the Ruffian Invitational H. (G1), posted the exact same time for Pletcher. She's nominated to the August 28 Personal Ensign S. (G1).

El Camino Real Derby (G3) victor SILVER MEDALLION (Badge of Silver) recorded his first work since a fourth-place finish in the Lexington S. (G3), speeding three furlongs in a bullet :36 1/5. The Steve Asmussen pupil turned in the fastest of 10 moves at the distance.

ALL OF THE ABOVE (Iron Deputy), just edged by Travers S. (G1)-bound Rattlesnake Bridge (Tapit) in the Long Branch S., sped a half-mile in a bullet :47 4/5. The Tony Dutrow sophomore tied for the best of 51 trials at the trip.

DEVIL BY DESIGN (Medaglia d'Oro), successful in her seasonal reappearance in the Chicago H. (G3), exercised five panels in 1:01 1/5.

Comely S. (G3) vixen HOT SUMMER (Malibu Moon), third when stretching out to two turns in the Black-Eyed Susan S. (G2), clocked 1:02.

Transylvania S. (G3) near-misser GREAT MILLS (War Front), who collected his second stakes score in the recent Quick Call S., was caught in 1:03 3/5.

Multiple Grade 1-placed CRIBNOTE (Read the Footnotes), out of action since his third-place effort in the 2008 Champagne S. (G1), covered four furlongs in :50 2/5.

On the fast Oklahoma training track, cozy debut maiden winner OPTIMIZER (English Channel) toured a half-mile in :49 2/5. Trainer Wayne Lukas has sketched out a possible itinerary -- the September 1 With Anticipation S. (G2) at the Spa, the October 9 Bourbon S. (G3) at Keeneland and the November 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs.

Group 1 veteran MORYBA (Brz) (Hard Buck [Brz]), who chased Sidney's Candy (Candy Ride [Arg]) around the whole circuit in the Fourstardave H. (G2), finished up in :51. The August 26 Bernard Baruch (G2) is a possibility.

Grade 3 victress IT'S TEA TIME (Dynaformer), fifth in the Arlington Matron S. (G3) last out, went five-eighths in 1:03 4/5.

Grade 2-placed ASPHALT (War Chant), third in the Appleton S. (G3) two starts ago, strode four furlongs in :50 4/5.

Travers hopeful SHACKLEFORD (Forestry), who worked six furlongs in 1:14 on Saturday, came out of his work in good condition, trainer Dale Romans reported Sunday.

Romans set up the quietest, laziest day he could think of for himself on Sunday. The day happens to be Romans' birthday, and the Kentucky-based trainer said goodbye in the morning to his partner Tammy Fox and their children, Bailey and Jake, who returned home Louisville, Kentucky, to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Asked how he'll spend the day, he smiled and said, 'Watching the final round of the PGA (Championship) on my couch, drinking a beer.'

Asked how old he was as of Sunday, Romans said, 'Forty-five and holding.'

In other Travers news, trainer Tony Dutrow has decided to point multiple stakes-placed J W BLUE (Sky Mesa) toward the 'Midsummer Derby' on August 2

J W Blue has missed narrowly in his last pair at Delaware Park, beaten a head in the June 13 Floor Show S. and a neck in the July 9 Barbaro S. He would be making his third graded stakes start in the Travers, having finished fifth in the Rebel S. (G2) and sixth in the Arkansas Derby (G1) before coming off the Triple Crown trail.

'Every race that's come up we've had a different winner,' Dutrow said of the major stakes for three-year-olds this year. 'My horse has a great deal to prove, I'm totally aware of that. But I'm feeling like anything is possible, especially up here. Our horse is doing very well, and he may run well. A lot of things have to go real right for our horse to finish up and run well. But he's a big, strong colt and he may do something. It's as simple as that.'

J W Blue breezed five-eighths in 1:01 at Saratoga on Saturday.



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