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Aug 24, 2007

Street Sense to face six in Travers Stakes


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense will take on six rivals in Saturday's $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Street Sense will try to become the 10th horse to win the "Run for the Roses" and the "Mid-Summer Derby". Thunder Gulch was the last to do it in 1995.

Street Sense, trained by Carl Nafzger, is coming off a win in the Jim Dandy Stakes last month here after a second place finish in the Preakness. The colt will be ridden by Calvin Borel who last week teamed with Nafzger to win the Alabama Stakes with Lady Joanne.

"This is unbelievable," said Borel. "It's like a roller coaster ride. If these two horses (Street Sense and Lady Joanne) stay sound, they may be the best horses right now."

Owned by James Tafel, Street Sense has won five of 10 career starts, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, for more than $3.4 million. This year, along with the Kentucky Derby and Jim Dandy, he won the Tampa Bay Derby. He was second in both the Blue Grass and Preakness Stakes.

"One down, three to go," said Nafzger after the Jim Dandy. Nafzger plans to run Street Sense in Belmont Park's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 30 and finally, the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on October 27. Tafel and Nafzger are seeking their second Travers victory; they won it in 2000 with Unshaded.

Street Sense is the overwhelming 3-5 morning-line favorite and will start from post four.

Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito has two three-year-olds entered in the Travers, Jim Dandy runner-up C P West and Helsinki. C P West will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez from post two and Helsinki will break from the inside post with Julien Leparoux in the saddle.

"Like everybody else, we've got to get past Street Sense," said Zito, who won the Travers three years ago with Birdstone. "You just hope that Street Sense has somewhat of an off day and you have a good day. You always got to beat them all, but on the other hand, I got two nice horses and it's good to be in there anyway. We've got a fighting chance."

C P West is winless in five starts this year with a second in the Withers, a fourth in the Preakness and a fifth in the Belmont Stakes. Owned by Robert LaPenta, the colt has earned $228,400 this year and $306,600 overall. C P West is the 5-1 second choice in the morning-line.

Helsinki has just six lifetime starts, all as a three-year-old. He has earned $59,260 for owner Four Roses Thoroughbreds. The colt was fifth in the Dwyer Stakes and fourth here in the Lemon Drop Kid Stakes. Helsinki is 20-1 in the program.

The 6-1 third choice for the Travers is Peter Pan Stakes winner Sightseeing. The colt will break from post seven with Edgar Prado riding.

Shug McGaughey trains Sightseeing for the Phipps Stable. The three-year-old was third to Street Sense in the Jim Dandy following a similar finish in the Dwyer to Any Given Saturday.

Sightseeing has two career wins in 11 starts for $413,730. Earlier this year he was second to Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Wood Memorial.

Here is the complete field for the Travers in post position order: Helsinki, Julien Leparoux, 20-1; CP West, Cornelio Velasquez, 5-1; For You Reppo, Garrett Gomez, 20-1; Street Sense, Calvin Borel, 3-5; Grasshopper, Robby Albarado, 8-1; Loose Leaf, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1 and Sightseeing, Edgar Prado, 6-1.

The Travers will be televised on ESPN with a post-time of 5:40 p.m. (et).

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