08/06/2013 3:20PM

Saratoga: Oxbow’s injury eliminates Travers bid

Barbara D. Livingston
Oxbow, injured in the Haskell Invitational, where he finished fourth, is now being considered for the Pennsylvania Derby.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - D. Wayne Lukas made official on Tuesday what had been widely speculated for the last week - Preakness winner Oxbow will not run in the $1 million Travers Stakes here on Aug. 24.

Thus, the anticipated showdown between this year's three Triple Crown winners will have to wait for another day, if it ever happens at all.

Oxbow suffered an ankle injury in finishing fourth in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 28. The day after, Lukas indicated that a start in the Travers was doubtful, but he didn't rule it out. On Tuesday, he did.

"I pretty much resolved that we're not going to try and make the Travers," Lukas said. "We may look at the Pennsylvania Derby [on Sept. 21] or something like that. That's more realistic."

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On Tuesday, Lukas said the ankle is "looking better every day" but he doesn't want to push the issue. Oxbow is being hand-walked twice a day and could resume light training next week.
"I've got enough athletic background in me to know that sometimes they look better, but then you push a little bit and it reoccurs," Lukas said. "I've got a good X-ray and a good ultrasound. I don't want to create something if I don't need to."

Though he won't have Oxbow to run against Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice in the Travers, Lukas will still be represented by Jim Dandy runner-up Will Take Charge in the race.

On Tuesday, Will Take Charge worked an easy four furlongs in 51.02 seconds over the Oklahoma training track.

"We'll get a little more serious with the next one," Lukas said. "He's right on target. He's had a really good couple of weeks up here. He eats better and does better up here."
Others pointing to the Travers are Verrazano, Moreno, Transparent, Romansh, and Java's War.