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2010 Travers Stakes: Entries, Post Positions and Odds (Updated)

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The draw for this Saturday's Grade 1 Travers Stakes took place at Saratoga this morning.  Eleven three year old colts drew into the mile and a quarter race let by 7/2 morning line favorite A Little Warm.  

Grade 1 Travers Stakes
Saratoga
1 1/4 miles
Three year olds
Purse: $1,000,000
Post time: 5:45 EDT

PP

Horse

Jockey

Odds

1

Miner's Reserve

Cohen, D.

12/1

2

Trappe Shot

Garcia, A.

4/1

3

Admiral Alex

Desormeaux, K.

12/1

4

First Dude

Dominguez, R.

8/1

5

A Little Warm

Velazquez, J.

7/2

6

Ice Box

Leparoux, J.

10/1

7

Afleet Express

Castellano, J.

7/1

8

Fly Down

Lezcano, J.

8/1

9

Friend or Foe

Maragh, R.

15/1

10

Afleet Again

Valasquez, C.

30/1

11

Super Saver

Borel, C.

6/1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A look at the field below the jump.

1-Miner's Reserve: Finally broke through with a solid performance in a graded stakes race when he finished second to A Little Warm in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy after lackluster performances in the Florida Derby and the Derby Trial this spring.  He's got a good amount of early speed in his corner and should be out contesting the lead right out of the gate.

2-Trappe Shot:  Received a lot of attention heading into the Haskell after he ripped off four wins in a row.  His second place finish to Lookin At Lucky wasn't a bad effort but it also wasn't an eye-popping performance of any kind.  Most of his siblings have excelled at running sprint distances with the exception of half-sister Miss Shop (Deputy Minister) who was 4-for-14 going two turns, and half-brother Looking Around (Crafty Prospector) who won twice out of 17 tries routing.  For me, the mile and a quarter distance is a bit of a question mark with this colt.

3-Admiral Alex: This colt, the owner of just a maiden win at Saratoga, is another that is a bit of a mystery as to how he'll handle ten panels.  His sire, Afleet Alex, could run all day long but his dam, Madam Logonza, has produced nothing that has excelled at running a route on dirt.  His most successful sibling is half-brother Woodlander (Forestry), who was a solid 5-for-19 on the lawn.  Admiral Alex displayed a nice ability to stalk the pace in that Maiden Special Weight score at Saratoga on July 31st but this race is going to ask a lot more of him.

4-First Dude: This horse has been consistent even if he hasn't been able to find his way to the winner's circle.  Third in the Haskell and the Belmont, second in the Preakness, third in the Bluegrass, and fifth in the Florida Derby - that's the summary of First Dude's last five races.  He's been the half mile leader in each of his last three events but Dale Romans obviously feels this colt needs more focus as he's going to throw the shades on for the Travers. 

5-A Little Warm: With a top-two finish in each of his last seven races, including his 1 ¾ length victory in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, A Little Warm has been a bastion of consistency during 2010.  He's going to have a good amount of company on the front-end in this race but if he can display the stalking style that he's shown in his last two runs he'll be tough to deny.

6-Ice Box: With the presence of Miner's Reserve, First Dude, and A Little Warm in this field the early pace should finally be something that Ice Box can appreciate.  In the Haskell the leaders went the first six furlongs in 1:12+ which just isn't fast enough to set things up for a deep closer like Ice Box.  This race, however, should be a much better situation for him and he might represent excellent value when post-time comes around.

7-Afleet Express: The second of three Afleet Alex colts in this race, Afleet Express finished a decent third behind A Little Warm and Miner's Reserve in Jim Dandy and won the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth in mid-June.  If you were to simply look at this colt's running lines you'd think that he would want a bit of pace on the front end so to soften up the leaders heading into the stretch.  A bit closer examination, however, indicates that his colt has run his best races when the early pace has been average or slow.  He's probably not going to get such a situation in this race and seems to be up against it.

8-Fly Down: Finished a disappointing 5th as the 2/1 favorite in the Jim Dandy but he didn't get the best of trips that afternoon.  After lagging at the rear of the field for much of the race, Fly Down began to make his move as he rounded the far turn only to take up a bit at the top of the lane when things got a bit tight.  It's tough to tell whether the trouble cost him the race but it also seems likely that with a clean trip and an extra quarter of a mile in the Travers he could run a much better race. 

Fly Down can be a bit deceiving as he's a closer that generally doesn't produce fast final fractions.  In the Jim Dandy he ran the final 1/8th of a mile in 12.92 while he navigated the final quarter of the Belmont in 26.12.  When he won the Dwyer Stakes, however, his final 1/8th was a solid 12.18. 

9-Friend Or Foe: Another graduate from that Jim Dandy race where he finished fourth, just ahead of Fly Down.  He was a bit wide during most of the race and he traded paint with Afleet Express in the lane but he didn't strike me as a colt that was ever going to threaten the winners.  He clicked off an opening half mile in :47+ in the Jim Dandy and if he were to run that fast in the early going on Saturday I would expect that he would be part of the pace battle.

10-Afleet Again: The third of the three Afleet Alex colts, Afleet Again won the Grade 3 Withers back in late April and has since muddled through three stakes at Monmouth, including the Haskell where he finished fifth.  Just a cursory glance at the pedigree suggests that the distance shouldn't be a problem; his sire had an abundance of stamina and his dam, Lucky Again (Wild Again) has produced a couple of other two-turn winners.  The question is whether he measures up on class.

11-Super Saver: The Derby winner returns following a pretty flat effort in the Haskell where he faded to 4th after stalking the early speed.  Super Saver made his career debut at Saratoga last summer where he finished second to Discreetly Mine in a Maiden Special Weight on August 22nd.  Since then, he's won three races in his career and all three occurred over either a sloppy track or at Churchill Downs.  I'm not sure he's a play in this spot unless the skies open up.