08/19/2011 3:31PM

Saratoga: Rattlesnake Bridge has fast work for Travers

Barbara D. Livingston
Rattlesnake (left), working in company with Fact, went five furlongs in 1:00.64 on Friday in preparation for next week’s Travers.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. − When Rattlesnake Bridge runs in next Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga he will have had seven weeks between races. So trainer Kiaran McLaughlin wanted to make sure the colt’s final workout before the 1 1/4-mile race was a fast, solid move.

McLaughlin got what he was looking for Friday morning, when Rattlesnake Bridge drilled five furlongs in 1:00.64 over Saratoga’s main track. Rattlesnake Bridge worked in company with the 3-year-old maiden Fact, starting a length behind that horse and finishing a length in front at the wire.

Exercise rider Danny Wright was asking a lot of Rattlesnake Bridge to finish in the stretch, and he got his final quarter in 24.53 seconds. Rattlesnake Bridge galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.47 and pulled up seven-eighths in 1:29.69. The final time for five furlongs was the third-fastest of 15 at the distance.

“We wanted a good work,” McLaughlin said back at his barn. “I think that’s a very good time. He finished well, and he was wanting to rear up when he got back here. He’s happy, he’s really doing well. He’s had a good program since his last run.”

Rattlesnake Bridge, a son of Tapit owned by Nicholas Brady’s Mill House, is coming off a hard-fought nose victory in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park on July 9. He made an early move down the backside and circled four wide around the turn and needed every inch of the Monmouth stretch to run down All of the Above at the wire.

With the option of running back in a Travers prep such as the Haskell Invitational on July 31 or the Jim Dandy here July 30, McLaughlin decided to give his colt more time. Last year, the McLaughlin-trained Trappe Shot won the Long Branch and ran back in the Haskell − in which he was second to Lookin At Lucky − before finishing ninth as the favorite in the Travers.

The distance may have been more of a factor for Trappe Shot than anything else, but McLaughlin said he feels Rattlesnake Bridge will benefit from the seven weeks between starts. McLaughlin said he is hoping Rattlesnake Bridge will appreciate the distance.

“The mile and a quarter, you think, would be right up his alley,” McLaughlin said. “You never know because he hasn’t done it, but we feel like it’s going to be a plus because we’re going to be coming from [far] back.”

John Velazquez, who won the first four races on Friday’s card and is the leading rider at this meet, will be aboard Rattlesnake Bridge in the Travers.

Arthur’s Tale, who has not run since finishing second in the Wood Memorial on April 9, worked five furlongs in 1:01.63 over the main track Friday. Trainer Tom Albertrani has not ruled out running that horse in the Travers.