08/19/2008 11:00PM

Mott, Iavarone figure one's enough

Email

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - In Court Vision, both owner Michael Iavarone and trainer Bill Mott have a starter for Saturday's $1 million Travers Stakes. Neither saw the need to have a second one.

Thus, Iavarone decided not to enter Acai and Mott will leave You and I Forever in the barn Saturday when the 139th Travers Stakes is run at Saratoga. Both horses will be pointed to the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on Sept. 1.

Acai had won both of his starts since being bought by Iavarone's International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Stable and turned over to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

"I didn't want to run against my own horses if I didn't have to," Iavarone said. "I think a mile and a quarter is much better for Court Vision, and a mile and an eighth is much better for Acai. It works out best."

You and I Forever was coming out of a good second-place finish to Mambo in Seattle in the Henry Walton Stakes here on July 27. Mott, who trains You and I Forever for owner Edmund Gann, initially felt the Travers was a good spot to try the horse. But Mott was concerned if You and I Forever had the pedigree to be successful at 1 1/4 miles. He is by A.P. Indy out of You, who was more adept at sprint and middle distances.

"He doesn't have a tremendous amount of experience, and we know he'll get the mile and an eighth," Mott said. "We thought maybe it's going to be a better spot for us. He'll probably be a shorter price in the race in Pennsylvania than he'll be here. We're well represented here with Court Vision."

The only negative to all this is that Court Vision drew post 12 for the Travers.

Matz passing on main event

Trainer Michael Matz stood in the paddock late Wednesday morning schooling several horses, only half-listening as Tom Durkin announced the post position draw for Saturday's Travers.

Matz does not have a horse in this year's Travers, although he does have two 3-year-olds in his barn with enough credentials to merit a spot in the main event had he so desired. Instead, Matz has opted to pass the Travers with the West Virginia Derby winner, Ready Set, in lieu of the rich Pennsylvania Derby and to keep Visionaire around one turn to compete on the Travers undercard in the Grade 1 King's Bishop.

"Ready Set came back a bit quick, in just three weeks, in West Virginia, and I thought it was just better for him if we waited a little longer," explained Matz. "It took him a little longer to catch up with these horses in the Travers, and I believe his future is really ahead of him. I think he'll only get better with age."

Matz also believes Visionaire, who won the Grade 3 Gotham before finishing a troubled 12th in the Kentucky Derby, may be better suited to races at one turn than around two.

"It seemed like in some of his longer races he'd loom up like he'd go right by the leaders and then would just stay with them," said Matz. "Even when he won that allowance race earlier in the meet," Matz said, jockey Alan Garcia "had to hit him after he got to the lead because he thought he was stopping on him."

Despite being a Grade 3 winner and having competed in the Kentucky Derby, Visionaire figures to be somewhat overlooked in the wagering for the seven-furlong King's Bishop.

"Obviously our only chance is if there's enough speed, a fast pace, since he'll be rallying from near the back of the pack," said Matz

Matz said Visionaire and Ready Set were actually workmates early this season before their careers went in opposite directions.

"They worked together and were a good team. It was hard to separate them back then, and we always knew they were both really nice horses," said Matz. "Visionaire's temperament allowed him to mature quicker than Ready Set and now they've gone on completely different paths again."

Backseat Rhythm targets Garden City

Backseat Rhythm, the 3 1/4-length winner of the Lake Placid Stakes on Aug. 15, came out of her race so well that trainer Pat Reynolds will wheel her back in the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park on Sept. 6.

"You'd want a month in between, but it doesn't look like she had to get abused the other day," Reynolds said. "She's not knocked out by any stretch.''

Backseat Rhythm ran 1 1/8 miles over yielding turf in 1:50.69 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97, a career best. Running back in three weeks may make Backseat Rhythm susceptible to a bounce, or regression.

"The bounce [theory] is hard for even an experienced trainer to read," Reynolds said. "The good [horses] they make their own rules."

Matron or Frizette next for Persistently

When the Phipps family bred their mare Just Reward to the stallion Smoke Glacken, they were probably expecting to get a foal with some early speed. Well, Persistently doesn't have speed, but she certainly has a strong closing kick.

After rallying from well off the pace to be third in her debut, Persistently rallied from last on Sunday to win a seven-furlong maiden race by 1 1/2 lengths over a seemingly home-free Amanwella.

Persistently covered seven furlongs in 1:24.35 and earned a modest Beyer Speed Figure of 72. Trainer Shug McGaughey said Persistently would run next in either the Grade 2, $250,000 Matron at Belmont on Sept. 13 or the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette at one mile at Belmont on Oct. 4.

"I thought she ran really good. She's done well around here," trainer Shug McGaughey said. "She's a big filly, and the more time she has the better it'll be for her to grow into that big frame. There's no reason she shouldn't have a chance to be a good horse."

McGaughey said that Dancing Forever came out of his fifth-place finish in the Sword Dancer in good order. McGaughey said Dancing Forever floundered on the soft turf and would be pointed to the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont on Sept. 27.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch