Updated on 09/15/2011 12:53PM

Point Given tops 9-horse Travers draw


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - For the first time sincebefore the Triple Crown, Point Given did not draw the far outside post in Wednesday morning's post position draw for the 132nd running of the Travers Stakes, which was held in the spacious paddock at Saratoga.

Preakness and Belmont winner Point Given drew post seven in a field of nine that will go to post in Saturday's grade 1, $1 million Travers. The Bob Baffert trainee will be ridden by regular rider Gary Stevens, and has been installed as the even-money morning-line favorite for the 1 1/4-mile mid-summer classic for 3-year-olds.

Baffert was not in attendance at the draw, but assistant Jim Barnes said that Point Given shipped to Saratoga without mishap and is a little more calm now than he was throughout the Triple Crown.

"Bob said he really didn't have him ready for the Haskell, but he's ready now," said Barnes, who also noted Point Given's foot is in "good shape." Point Given wore one bar shoe in his narrow victory as the Haskell's heavy favorite.

Morning-line 7-2 second-favorite E Dubai drew post six. He will again be ridden by Jerry Bailey after Bailey piloted him to victory in last month's Dwyer at Belmont. Assistant trainer Tom Albertrani said E Dubai should have no trouble with the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Travers despite the fact the colt has never before raced around two turns. He added the brief layoff since the Dwyer shouldn't pose a problem.

Other Travers contenders include Jim Dandy winner Scorpion, who drew post five and was put at 6-1 in the morning-line, and impressive allowance winner Volponi, who drew post 2 at odds of 15-1. Volponi will be ridden by Richard Migliore, who also had the opportunity to ride Free of Love (12-1), who drew post three.

The field will be rounded out by A P Valentine (8-1) from post one, Harrisand (15-1) from post four, Dollar Bill (10-1) from post eight, and longshot Hadrian's Wall (30-1) who drew Point Given's traditional spot on the outside. Dollar Bill will race with blinkers on.

The field for Saturday's Travers is as follows (all horses run at even weight):

1 A P Valentine 8-1 Velazquez
2 Volponi 15-1 Migliore
3 Free Of Love 12-1 Day
4 Harrisand 15-1 Prado
5 Scorpion 6-1 Mark Guidry
6 E Dubai 7-2 Bailey
7 Point Given even Stevens
8 Dollar Bill 10-1 Chavez
9 Hadrian's Wall 30-1 Davis