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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:21 am 
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Quality Road was ranked as the number 1 horse on the Kentucky Derby list for much of the spring. He was on target for the Kentucky Derby as the horse to defeat; however nagging quarter crack issues prevented him from getting the chance. He missed the entire Triple Crown season recovering from his quarter cracks. On Saturday Quality Road will get his chance to win a derby, the Travers Stakes, also known as the Mid-Summer Derby. He will enter the gate as the much-deserved favorite.

Quality Road returned to the races with a blockbuster effort in the Amsterdam Stakes on August 3rd. He showed no ill effects from the quarter crack issues as he rumbled through the stretch with his long ground covering stride, winning in a track record time off the layoff. It was indeed a memorable performance. He has since sported two very sharp workouts. Quality Road is ready to win the Mid-Summer Derby and ready to make a statement as the best 3-year-old colt in the land. The bigger question is who stands the best chance beat him, or run well behind him?

Two horses in the Travers have every opportunity to get a piece of the pie with big efforts. Kensei is one of them. Jess Jackson owns Kensei, and in case you did not know, he also owns super filly Rachel Alexandra. The decision to not run Rachel Alexandra in the Travers was partly due to the fact Kensei is primed ready to go. Kensei is coming off two big wins in the Dwyer and Jim Dandy. He looked sharp in winning both. He has developed wonderfully over the summer. He will tackle the mile and a quarter Travers in solid form. Kensei figures to stalk the early pace in the race and will try to take over at some point before turning for home; his biggest issue will be the powerhouse colt Quality Road who will make his bold move. Kensei has a good chance to stay on and run a very good race here, and in all probability to hit the board. He will be trying a mile and a quarter for the first time, as most of the colts in the Travers are as well.

The only horse in the race that we know that should not have an issue with the distance is The Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, who has already proved he can get the distance. But is he fast enough to defeat Quality Road? He should once again make his sustained late bid in an attempt to get Quality Road in the stretch. Summer Bird was behind a solid pace in the Belmont Stakes and surged by Dunkirk and Mine That Bird. A similar fast pace can only aid his chances. The Travers has been a goal of the connections for quite sometime and on Saturday, they will get their chance to see if Summer Bird can do what his dad did, Birdstone, win the Travers. Summer Bird also sports two sharp breezes since his second place finish to the fabulous Rachel Alexandra in the Haskell on August 3.

Both Kensei and Summer Bird will look to try to defeat the brilliant Quality Road. Quality Road comes in the Travers, second off the layoff and has sharp drills, indicating he is charged and ready for a big effort. If he delivers that effort, as expected, he will win the Travers. And he could very well do it in dominating style. Quality Road is a very large muscular thoroughbred with a long ground-covering stride. He showed his ability right out of the gate in his maiden win back in November at Aqueduct. ThoroughbredZone immediately marked him down as a horse to watch. And here he is, getting ready for the Travers Stakes. He has broken two track records so far in his five career starts. The horse to beat-it is Quality Road. Some might question his ability to go a mile and a quarter, but this talented colt should have no issues doing it.

Other horses in the field include Hold Me Back trained by Bill Mott. Hold Me Back will come into the Travers making his first start since July 18, where he ran 5th in the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. He has had two career races on dirt and the other on a sloppy surface, and both were dismal efforts. However that may not a true gauge of whether he can run on dirt or not. The Kentucky Derby was a throw out race for many, and I would be willing to include Hold Me Back as well. He ran far behind Old Fashioned in the Remsen, but that was a long time ago. He is working well, but has a mammoth task in front of him in trying to win the Travers.

Charitable Man comes into the race after a gutsy third place finish to Kensei in the Jim Dandy. Charitable Man’s dad was also a winner of the Travers, that being Lemon Drop Kid. He comes in for super trainer Kiaran McLaughlin who should have him in tiptop shape. He should be close to the pace, and could be a factor much of the way. However his ability to go the distance is a concern. The final furlong could be a challenge.

Warriors Reward is an interesting prospect coming into the Travers. And guess what? His dad is a Travers Stakes winner as well, Medaglia d’Oro who won the race over a sloppy track over Repent. And it is expected to be a wet surface tomorrow. Warriors Reward ran a solid race in the Jim Dandy running right on a swift pace. He will be forwardly placed again in the Travers and will look to move forward off his Jim Dandy effort. Class is his biggest question mark at this point. He is bred to get the distance.

Rounding out the Travers field will be Nick Zito’s Our Edge. Our Edge enters the Travers riding a three race-winning streak, all in gate to wire fashion. He will face his biggest class test yet in the Travers. It will be a difficult task. However, Nick Zito does know a thing or two about huge upsets in big races. This one would certainly be a huge upset. He will once again go right out and attempt to dictate the pace all the way, that will not be easy in this Travers field.

An off track is expected for the 140th running of the Travers Stakes. Favorite Quality Road has never been on an off track, but all indications based on his breeding says he should not have an issue at all with it. He should relish a sloppy track. Kensei and Our Edge both have won over a sloppy track.

The Play

There is a guaranteed 1 million dollar pick 4 starting in race 9, and that looks to be a good betting opportunity. The Kings Bishop is a loaded race with several options. This is the key race and could offer a price horse that would make the pick 4 a decent payout. Going deep in this race. Quality Road is ready for a big win, and I will single him. In exactas or trifectas, will use over Kensei and Summer Bird.

Ballston Spa: Rutherienne, My Princess Jess and Cocoa Beach

Ballerina: Music Note, Informed Decision and Indian Blessing

Kings Bishop: Munnings, Capt. Candyman Can, Not For Silver, *Vineyard Haven, *Everyday Heroes, Despite The Odds and Big Drama

Travers: Quality Road

Total $54

*Will Run As An Entry

First Time Starter Alert:

Bob Baffert debuts Bulldogger in Race 8. Bulldogger is a son of Dixie Union who has been working gang busters over the synthetic surfaces at Del Mar and Santa Anita. Bullddoger was a $300,000 purchase. Bulldogger was set to debut a few weeks ago, but was scratched from that race. He breaks from the rail, which is not always the best place for a 1st timer, but his works a superb and he looks fit for a big try at first asking.

**The Travers Stakes will be televised on ESPN. Coverage begins at 4:30 PM EST…So get the VCR’s and Tivo’s ready.**

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 Post subject: Charitable Manr
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Look for Charitable Man to take the race. I believe the distance is a street too far for Quality Road, Summer Bird is north and will be heading south before it's over.

My play: key the 2 to win, box the 4,6,7 for the SF box. ($6.00)
Wheel 2 over all and all over 2 ($12.00)
$20.00 WP on Charitable Man

Post race: Damn I'm dumb somtimes.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:41 am 
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Bulldogger looked good in winning his debut...

Wet tracks stink...Nothing one can do.

Summer Bird was the only one we knew could get the distance and he did it again, and he showed he could run good over a sloppy track at Monmouth.

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