The Spa Spot: Travers prospects bounce out of works
Travers candidates Street Life and Neck 'n Neck came out of their Tuesday works in good order, their trainers said Wednesday.
NYRA said that the Travers could see as many as 13 runners, one of the biggest fields in its 143-year history, with Alpha, Atigun, Cogito, Five Sixteen, Hansen, Liaison, Neck ‘n Neck, Nonios, Stealcase and Street Life all targeting the “Mid-Summer Derby,” and Fast Falcon, Quick Wit and Teeth of the Dog questionable, according to stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes.
The largest field to go postward was 14 in 1977, when Jatski won by disqualification. More recently, the Travers drew 12 when Colonel John won in 2008 and 11 when Afleet Express took the 2010 running.
Curlin winner Street Life, trained by Chad Brown of Mechanicville, went five furlongs on the main track in 1:01.04. The Ian Wilkes-trained Neck n’ Neck, the runner-up in the Jim Dandy, covered the same distance on the main track, in 1:00.29, the second-fastest of 21 at the distance.
“He came out of his work really well and he’ll work once more, maybe on Monday,” Brown said.
In the Curlin, Street Life stayed closer to the pace than in his previous race before making a five-wide move to win by 1¾ lengths.
“He’s been very consistent since the Curlin, and that’s all I’m really looking for, to maintain where he is," Brown said.
Both Brown and Wilkes will have representatives in Travers Week filly races, with Brown sending Book Review to make her stakes debut in the Travers Day Grade 1 Test for 3-year-old fillies and Wilkes pointing Island Bound to the Grade 1 Ballerina next Friday.
Book Review, a Giant’s Causeway filly bred and owned by Gary and Mary West, broke her maiden on May 20 at Belmont Park in her third start and went on to post identical 98 Beyer Speed Figures as runner-up in a one-mile optional claimer on June 24 at Belmont and the winner of a seven-furlong allowance on July 20 at the Spa.
Island Bound, who will be making her ninth start of 2012 in the seven-furlong Ballerina, was most recently second by a neck to C C’s Pal in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss at six furlongs.