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Aug 19, 2011

Travers' hopefuls work on Saturday



Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Preakness Stakes champ Shackleford and Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice both had Saturday morning workouts in preparation for the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The 1 1/4-mile Mid-Summer Derby will be conducted on Saturday, August 27.

At Saratoga, trainer Dale Romans supervised a six-furlong work by Shackleford with exercise rider Tammy Fox aboard. The colt went 1:14.15 on the main track and galloped out a mile in 1:44.

"This was an important work," said Romans. "This was more about endurance. I think he got a lot out of it."

Shackleford is coming off a second-place finish to Bob Baffert's Coil in the Haskell at Monmouth Park. Coil is also being considered for the Travers.

"He's sharp," Romans said earlier about the three-year-old. "He's trained very well over this track. He hasn't missed a beat all year. He hasn't missed a work. Nothing has been postponed, which is very rare for a horse that has been through this rigorous a campaign. He didn't come back here drinking a lot of water. All he wants to do is roll around and eat grass."

At Monmouth Park, Ruler On Ice, trained by Kelly Breen, went five-furlongs in 58 4/5 seconds with regular rider Jose Valdivia Jr. in the saddle. The time was the fastest of the morning.

"Tremendous," Breen said. "He started out five-lengths behind a couple of his stablemates and he finished four in front. He worked as good as a horse could work. It was visually very impressive."

Ruler On Ice was third in the Haskell for owners George and Lori Hall.

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