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Sep 02, 2005

Flower Alley grabs Travers Stakes

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Flower Alley, who also won the Jim Dandy

 Stakes in late July, made it two straight wins at Saratoga, as he posted a convincing

victory in the $1 million Travers Stakes.

Flower Alley covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.76.

Even with the absence of Afleet Alex, a solid field of seven three-year-olds went

 postward in Saratoga's signature race. Known as the Mid-Summer Derby, the Travers

 Stakes is an important stop leading to the Breeders' Cup Classic, which takes place

later this year.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Flower Alley added $600,000 to his bankroll, which now

 totals more than $1.4 million. In addition to the Jim Dandy Stakes, Flower Alley

 captured the Lane's End Stakes in March. He then finished second to Afleet Alex in

the Arkansas Derby and ninth in the Kentucky Derby. The colt was also second in the

Dwyer Stakes on July 4 to Roman Ruler.

Flower Alley is owned by Eugene Melnyk and trained by Todd Pletcher.

The pace in the Travers was set by morning-line favorite Bellamy Road. Flower Alley

pressed the lead, followed by Roman Ruler and Andromeda's Hero.

The field maintained their positions around the turn for home and into the stretch.

 At the top of the stretch, Flower Alley, who went off at 3-1, joined Bellamy Road

on the lead. In deep stretch, Flower Alley gained the lead and went on to a 2 1/2 length

 win.

Bellamy Road, who was racing for the first time since going off as the Kentucky Derby

 favorite, finished second.

Haskell Invitational winner Roman Ruler proved no match for Flower Alley and finished

 third with Don't Get Mad fourth. Completing the order of finish was Andromeda's Hero, Reverberate and Chekhov.

Flower Alley returned $8.00, $4.00 and $2.70. Bellamy Road paid $4.10 and $3.00, and

 Roman Ruler paid $2.50 for show.



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