08/14/2012 3:37PM

Saratoga: Neck ’n Neck preps for Travers

Barbara D. Livingston
Neck 'n Neck gets in a five-furlong workout Tuesday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jim Dandy runner-up Neck ’n Neck went five furlongs in 1:00.29 Tuesday morning at Saratoga under exercise rider Tracey Wilkes, wife of trainer Ian Wilkes.

Working by himself, Neck ’n Neck went in fractions of 13.09 seconds, 24.87, 36.25, and came home in 24.04. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.55 and seven furlongs in 1:28.47.

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“I told her to come to the five-eighths with a strong gallop into it and the main thing I want to see was him finishing in hand and running, and I think he did everything I wanted today,” Ian Wilkes said. “He pulled up good. I’m very pleased.”

Neck ’n Neck, who won the Matt Winn Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths, chased a loose-on-the-lead Alpha all the way around track in the Jim Dandy. Wilkes said he believes his horse has taken a step forward in his training since that race.

“He has to go forward, because it’s going to be a little tougher,” Wilkes said. “I like everything I’m seeing.”