Updated on 08/22/2010 11:47AM

Five work with eye to Travers

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Barbara D. Livingston
Super Saver works five furlongs at Saratoga Saturday under Patti Barry.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – When it comes to readiness for the Travers, Tony Dutrow believes A Little Warm is already there, Todd Pletcher says Super Saver is getting there, and Kiaran McLaughlin doesn’t know yet if Trappe Shot is going there at all.

Jim Dandy winner A Little Warm, Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Haskell runner-up Trappe Shot were three of five Travers horses to put in workouts Saturday morning. That trio worked at Saratoga as did Afleet Express, the third-place finisher in the Jim Dandy. First Dude, the Preakness runner-up, put in a workout at Churchill Downs.

A Little Warm, Super Saver, and Trappe Shot worked out within minutes of each other on the main track on a glorious sunbathed morning at Saratoga.
A Little Warm, with exercise rider Tessa Bisha in the irons, went five furlongs in 1:02.95. Daily Racing Form timed her in fractions of 13.09 seconds, 25.94, and 37.51, and got his last quarter in 25.44 seconds.

“We feel he’s there, and we’re kind of keeping him where he’s at,” trainer Tony Dutrow said. “He galloped out full of run. Tessa said she had horse all the way. We talked about it and said speed was not going to be our friend today.”

Super Saver, in his first work since running fourth to Lookin At Lucky in the Haskell on Aug. 1, worked five furlongs in 1:02.30, but went quick early and slow late. Under exercise rider Patti Barry, Super Saver, who left the five-furlong pole with his head up in the air before settling down, went in fractions of 12.32 seconds, 24.10, and 36.08, meaning he got his last quarter in 26.22 seconds.

“I thought he went fine. He’s a little bit aggressive on his own in the beginning, and then he idles a little bit,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He’ll probably work back in company next time. He’s doing well out of the race, his weight is good. I was originally going to go a half, but he’s doing so well we went five-eighths.”

Pletcher is hoping Super Saver shows the same pattern of improvement he has previously in his career, with his second start off a layoff being better than his first.

“I think a race does move him forward, I’m hoping we don’t need three races to get to his very best,” Pletcher said. “But we’re also on a schedule that probably lands him after the Travers in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and back at Churchill, which is obviously his favorite surface, so I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

Trappe Shot, who finished second in the Haskell and who has yet to commit to the Travers, went four furlongs in 48.97 seconds in company with the stakes-winning sprinter Taqarub. Alan Garcia was aboard Trappe Shot, who is under consideration for both the Travers, at 1 1/4 miles, and the King’s Bishop, a Grade 1 seven-furlong race the same day.

“Just a maintenance work. He’s fit – he just ran a mile and an eighth,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “We’re keeping him on all systems go. He’s doing great.”

McLaughlin said he wants to evaluate the competition in both the Travers and King’s Bishop before determining which race to run in. McLaughlin said he is not leery of the 1 1/4 miles of the Travers.

Afleet Express, who finished third in the Jim Dandy, worked five furlongs in 1:01.00 over the Oklahoma training track.

First Dude may get blinkers for Travers

At Churchill Downs, Preakness runner-up and Belmont Stakes third-place finisher First Dude went five furlongs in 1:01.40 over the main track. He was equipped for the work with blinkers, equipment he may wear for the first time in the Travers.

“He was aggressive start to finish,” Romans said from Louisville where he was on hand to supervise the work. “A lot of times he loafs. Today, he dragged Tammy [Fox] around there.”

Romans said he anticipates shipping First Dude to Saratoga in time to get a work over the main track next Saturday.

Champagne d’Oro to Gallant Bloom

Test winner Champagne d’Oro will make her next start in the Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 25, trainer Eric Guillot said. That will be her only prep before the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

“She just ran three bang-up races in a row. You can only got to the well so many times,” Guillot said. “It only makes sense to take on olders for the first time with a fresh horse. The timing’s just right, and the 6 1/2 furlongs is a good progression to the Breeders’ Cup,” which is seven furlongs.

Champagne d’Oro won the Grade 1 Acorn over Belmont’s main track on June 5 before finishing second in the Prioress, also at Belmont

Wine tasting to benefit Old Friends

A wine tasting to benefit Old Friends at Cabin Creek, a retirement facility just outside of Saratoga, will be held Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the store Crush and Cask, 170 South Broadway, in Saratoga.

The suggested donation is $20, with the proceeds going to the recently opened Old Friends facility that houses 12 retired Thoroughbreds, including 1992 Jim Dandy and Travers winner Thunder Rumble, as well as 1996 Travers winner Will’s Way.

The farm is located in Greenfield Center, N.Y. about five miles outside of Saratoga. Tours of the farm are available on Tuesdays through Fridays. More information on the farm is available at OldFriendsEquine.org.

On Wednesday, Saratoga will host a Thoroughbred Retirement Day that will include the New York Racing Association donating $5,000 checks to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Old Friends, and the Exceller Fund. Those three groups as well as other retirement and rescue organizations will have informational fliers and be colleting donations in the community outreach booth and the area in front of the jockey’s room.

* Jockey Rajiv Maragh was fined $500 by the stewards for inappropriate use of the whip during Friday’s second race. The stewards deemed that Maragh used the whip excessively on Wing Glider around the far turn of a 5 1/2-furlong maiden claiming race on dirt.