08/22/2005 11:00PM

Bellamy Road to run in Travers

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Bellamy Road, winning the Wood Memorial, will start next in the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - will make his highly anticipated return to the races in the $1 million Travers Stakes Saturday at Saratoga, trainer Nick Zito confirmed Tuesday morning.

Zito chose the 10-furlong Travers over the seven-furlong King's Bishop for several reasons including the presence of the undefeated Lost in the Fog in the King's Bishop. Zito said if for some reason Lost in the Fog did not enter the King's Bishop on Wednesday, he could very well change his mind. Entries for both the King's Bishop and Travers will be taken on Wednesday.

The Travers will be Bellamy Road's first start in 112 days, or since he finished seventh as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby on May 7. He came out of that race with an injured splint bone and needed three weeks off the track. He began training in June and had his first breeze on July 16. He will run in the Travers off six published workouts.

"Right now, he's ready to run, he looks absolutely beautiful and I'm going to take my shot," said Zito, who last year's Travers with Birdstone off a 12-week layoff. "That's my story and I'm sticking to it."

Zito believes that the Travers may actually be a better race to build on for the future for Bellamy Road than having to run a hard seven furlongs against Lost in the Fog, arguably the best sprinter in the country.

"That's what we're thinking too," Zito said. "Which race really builds? I'm thinking in a way if he comes out of that race good and everything so be it, we just keep going forward. The Breeders' Cup Classic [on Oct. 29] is still our main thing."

Zito also cited the recent career-ending injury to Roses in May and the tragic breakdown of the undefeated 2-year-old What a Song in deciding to run in the Travers.

"I know it's a hard, hard thing to do, obviously, coming off the Kentucky Derby to do this," Zito said. "The way the business has been taking its toll on horses you never know what a day may bring forth."

Bellamy Road came to the forefront this spring when he won an allowance race at Gulfstream by 15 3/4 lengths and the Wood Memorial by 17 1/2 lengths. In the Wood, Bellamy Road equaled a 32-year-old track record by running nine furlongs in 1:47.16.

"You got to have the horse; if he pulls it off its all Bellamy Road," Zito said. "We don't have much to do with this."

Thus, the Travers field is expected to number seven. With riders, they are: Andromeda's Hero (Corey Nakatani), Bellamy Road (Javier Castellano), Chekhov (Gary Stevens), Don't Get Mad (Edgar Prado), Flower Alley (John Velazquez), Reverberate (Jose Santos), and Roman Ruler (Jerry Bailey).