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Eight graded winners in King's Bishop
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The Grade 1 King's Bishop and Grade 2 Fourstardave, two of the three supporting stakes on Saturday's Travers card, drew large and competitive fields when entries were taken Wednesday.
The $200,000 King's Bishop, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds, has a terrific 13-horse field that features eight graded winners. The field in post-position order, including riders, is Great Notion (Pat Day), Valid Video (Joe Bravo), Posse (Corey Lanerie), Private City (Jean-Luc Samyn), Halo Homewrecker (Richard Migliore), Scrimshaw (Jorge Chavez), Midnight Charlie (Heberto Castillo Jr.), Zavata (Jerry Bailey), Ghostzapper (Javier Castellano), During (Cornelio Velasquez), Eye of the Tiger (Alex Solis), Awesome Time (Edgar Prado), and Christine's Outlaw (John Velazquez).
Eye of the Tiger worked three furlongs on Saratoga's main track Wednesday and was given an official time of 36.12 seconds. Jerry Hollendorfer, Eye of the Tiger's trainer, said Jose Santos worked the horse as a favor to Solis, who will fly in from California for Saturday's race.
"We wanted to get [Eye of the Tiger] over the racetrack, and that's what we accomplished," said Hollendorfer, who was in California and expected to arrive in Saratoga on Thursday.
* The $200,000 Fourstardave, a 1 1/16-mile grass race, drew 11 older males and one main-track-only entry, Evening Attire. The field in post-position order is Quest Star, Union Place, War Zone, Tap the Admiral, Trademark, Tam's Terms, Finality, Rouvres, Political Attack, Patrol, and Rock Slide.
* The Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup, a Grade 3 for fillies and mares on the grass, begins the stakes action in the eighth race. Nine entered the 1 1/16-mile Ballston Spa, including graded winners Wonder Again, Snow Dance, Sea of Showers, Stylish, and Quick Tip. Nonsuch Bay is main track only.
* Twelve races will be run on Saturday, with the Travers going as race 11. A $1 million pick four, encompassing the stakes, begins in the eighth with the Ballston Spa. Saturday's pick six begins in the sixth and concludes with the Travers. Superfecta wagering, which requires eight betting interests, will not be offered in the Travers.
Midway Road done for year
Midway Road, who finished second to Funny Cide in the Preakness, will be sidelined for the remainder of the year after suffering a small fracture of the tip of the sesamoid bone in his right hind ankle, trainer Neil Howard said.
Howard said he noticed that Midway Road was off behind a few days after the colt returned to the track following his recovery from a quarter crack in his right front foot. Midway Road, who also finished third in the Ohio Derby, was to be sent to Bill Harrigan's Miacomet farm in Lexington, Ky., where he will convalesce.
"We'll give him 60 days of walking and get him back this winter and have him as a 4-year-old," Howard said. "We'll let the foot grow out, and he'll fill out, which won't hurt him."
Midway Road has three wins from nine starts this year.
Dynever likely for Pennsylvania Derby
After briefly toying with the possibility of entering Dynever in Saturday's $1 million Travers, trainer Christophe Clement decided against it. Clement is considering three races for Dynever's next start but is leaning strongly toward the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 1 at Philadelphia Park.
Dynever is coming off a second-place finish behind Soto in the West Virginia Derby, in which he was beaten only a neck.
"The horse came back really well and looks great," Clement said. "At that level, I don't like running back in two weeks. I think the Pennsylvania Derby is a more logical spot. I'll work him this weekend and go from there."
Clement said that if he doesn't run Dynever in the Pennsylvania Derby, he would look at the Woodward on Sept. 6 at Belmont or the Super Derby on Sept. 20 at Louisiana Downs.
Yell goes back to one turn for Ballerina
Trainer Shug McGaughey is going to try something different with Yell on Sunday when he cuts the filly back to one turn in the Grade 1 Ballerina. Yell, who won the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park in February, hasn't raced around one turn since last year, when she lost two maiden races at Aqueduct.
Since the Davona Dale, Yell has lost four starts in Grade 1 stakes. In her most recent race, Yell finished fourth in the 1 1/2-mile Coaching Club American Oaks on July 19.
McGaughey, who has won the seven-furlong Ballerina five times, said he began kicking around the idea of running in the Ballerina two weeks ago.
"She probably doesn't want to run as far as I've been running her," McGaughey said. "If you asked me that six weeks ago, I probably would have said she would go as far as you want her to. I think seven-eighths to a mile might be her best. She might get a little farther, but not on her best race."
Yell will be meeting older horses for the first time in the Ballerina and gets a break in the weights at 113 pounds. Yell's regular rider, John Velazquez, is committed to ride Smok'n Frolic, so Pat Day has picked up the mount. Yell worked three furlongs in 36.07 at the Oklahoma training track on Tuesday.
Stellar, a 3-year-old trained by Patrick Biancone, also is expected to run in the Ballerina. Stellar, who won a first-level allowance race on Aug. 3, worked Wednesday over the Oklahoma track and covered five furlongs in a bullet 59.43. Stellar will be ridden by Tony Farina and was assigned 109 pounds.
Shine Again, who has won the last two runnings of the Ballerina, and You were each assigned 120 pounds and are the highweights. Also expected to start are Gold Mover (118), Mandy's Gold (117), Smok'n Frolic (117), Willa on the Move (116), and Harmony Lodge (115).
Storm Flag Flying to return to Belmont
McGaughey reported that last year's champion 2-year-old filly, Storm Flag Flying, likely will rejoin his barn at Belmont Park in about two weeks.
Storm Flag Flying hasn't run since finishing sixth as the favorite in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont on June 6. Since then she has been in Kentucky, recovering from an injury to her right hind leg. McGaughey said the beginning of a small fracture could be seen in that leg but that no surgery was required.
"We gave her 60 days," McGaughey said. "I think she will come around pretty quickly when she gets back to training. It hasn't been too long since she ran."
Samyn unseated, but appears unhurt
Jockey Jean-Luc Samyn was taken to first aid at the track after his mount in Wednesday's seventh race, Vinthea, clipped heels at the top of the stretch and unseated the rider. Samyn, who bruised his nose, also was complaining of soreness in his legs.
The doctors who examined Samyn did not anticipate that he would need to go to the hospital for medical treatment.
- Sightseek, who has won three consecutive Grade 1 races, worked five furlongs in 1:00.64 Wednesday over Saratoga's main track. She is being pointed to the Grade 1, $300,000 Ruffian Handicap at Belmont on Sept. 13.
- Aldebaran, the Metropolitan Handicap winner, drilled six furlongs in 1:13.43 Wednesday in preparation for his start in the Grade 1, $250,000 Forego Handicap here on Aug. 31.
- additional reporting by David Grening