February 20, 2024

Classic-winning trio all confirmed for Travers

Saratoga opens for a 40-day meet on Friday (C) Adam Coglianese Photography

All three Triple Crown race winners were confirmed for Saturday’s $1.2 million Travers (G1) at Saratoga by trainers Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown on Monday.

Satisfied with Preakness (G1) winner Cloud Computing‘s recovery from a workout over the weekend, Brown has given the go-ahead for his colt to compete in the 1 1/4-mile “Midsummer Derby.”

“He couldn’t have worked any better,” said Brown of the five-furlong move in 1:01.65 on Saturday. “I was very happy with the work and [jockey] Javier [Castellano] was pleased, and he came out of his work well.”

Fifth and last in the Jim Dandy (G2) last out, Cloud Computing will have a rubber match with Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, whom he beat decisively at Pimlico. However, Always Dreaming clung to third in the Jim Dandy after setting a pressured pace in their second meeting.

Joining Always Dreaming from the Pletcher barn is Tapwrit, unraced since his victory in the Belmont S. (G1) in June. A decision on the Pletcher-trained Outplay, easy winner of the $100,000 Curlin on July 28, will be made on Tuesday.

This will be the first meeting between three Triple Crown race winners in the Travers since 1982. That year, Runaway Groom upset Kentucky Derby winner Gato del Sol, Preakness hero Aloma’s Ruler, and Belmont winner (and eventual Horse of the Year) Conquistador Cielo.

In other Travers news:

Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee, third in the West Virginia Derby (G3) last out, worked four furlongs under exercise rider Angel Garcia in :50.99 over the Oklahoma training track on Monday.

“The work went well,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “I didn’t get a time and it was pretty foggy, but he traveled well and Angel thought he went well. He came out of it good and we are very pleased with him.”

Lookin At Lee is winless since taking the Ellis Park Juvenile last August.

Grade 2 winner McCraken, recently second in the Haskell Invitational (G1), will have his final pre-Travers work on Tuesday.

“I’ll do something tomorrow morning at 6 o’clock [but] I want to see how he eats up tonight, look at him in the morning and decide,” trainer Ian Wilkes said.

“Obviously, it’s something that depends on the horse and the timing of where you’re at. He’s just coming off the last race and the timing coming into this race, I don’t need a lot, but I’ve got to do something. All you’re doing is a light work, setting them up for that race.”

The Travers post position draw will be held Tuesday night.