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Aug 27, 2010

Travers is wide-open Mid-Summer Derby


Travers is wide-open Mid-Summer Derby

Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Saturday's $1 million Travers Stakes has attracted an evenly matched field of 11 three-year-olds. Saratoga's Mid- Summer Derby will be conducted over the main track at 1 1/4-miles.

Local winner A Little Warm, the 7-2 favorite, will try to sweep the two major races for three-year-olds at the track. Trained by Tony Dutrow, the colt is coming off an eye-catching victory in the Jim Dandy Stakes last month.

"He had a big effort in Delaware and four weeks after that he came up here and had another big effort in the Jim Dandy," said Dutrow.

A Little Warm, owned by Edward Evans, will start from post five with John Velazquez riding. Velazquez has been aboard the colt the last two races and won the 2005 Travers with Flower Alley.

Early this year the three-year-old won the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park and followed with second-place finishes in the Hutcheson and Louisiana Derby. He returned to racing in June with an allowance win at Delaware Park.

A Little Warm has lifetime earnings of $608,880 in nine starts with four wins and four seconds.

The 4-1 second choice is Haskell Invitational runner-up Trappe Shot. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, the chestnut colt will break from post two with rider Alan Garcia.

"We're all happy right now," McLaughlin said. "We came to a conclusion, and we're going to enter Trappe Shot in the Travers. The prestige of the Travers is very important to the (owners) Bradys and to the McLaughlins. The Travers is wide-open. It looks like there are seven horses who could win the Travers. He's fit and he's ready to go."

Owned by Nicholas and Jim Brady, Trappe Shot won Monmouth Park's Long Branch Stakes leading into the Haskell. The colt has won four of six lifetime starts for $387,050.

Jockey Calvin Borel will once again be aboard Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver on Saturday. Three years ago Borel guided Derby champ Street Sense to victory in the Travers.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Super Saver will break from the far outside post for owner WinStar Farm. The colt is 6-1 in the program along with Afleet Express, who was third in the Jim Dandy.

Super Saver is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Haskell Invitational behind Preakness champ Lookin At Lucky. 'Lucky' is out of the Travers after having a fever following his Monmouth Park victory.

"I believe the Haskell has moved him forward," said Pletcher. "And I would expect an improved performance from him in what appears to be a wide-open race."

Super Saver has earned more than $1.8 million in nine career starts with three wins. Along with the Run for the Roses victory this year he was third in the Tampa Bay Derby, second in the Arkansas Derby and eighth in the Preakness.

Here is the full field in post position order for the 141st Travers: Miner's Reserve, David Cohen, 12-1; Trappe Shot, Alan Garcia, 4-1; Admiral Alex, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; First Dude, Ramon Dominguez, 8-1; A Little Warm, John Velazquez, 7-2; Ice Box, Julien Leparoux, 10-1; Afleet Express, Javier Castellano, 6-1; Fly Down, Jose Lezcano, 8-1; Friend Or Foe, Rajiv Maragh, 15-1; Afleet Again, Cornelio Velasquez, 30-1 and Super Saver, Calvin Borel, 6-1.

Post-time on Saturday is scheduled for 5:46 p.m. (et).

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