07/23/2011 4:09PM

Saratoga: Rattlesnake Bridge will skip Haskell, train up to Travers

Barbara D. Livingston
Long Branch winner Rattlesnake Bridge will skip the Haskell and go directly to the Travers on Aug. 27.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A year ago, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin took Trappe Shot to Monmouth Park to finish second behind Lookin At Lucky in the Grade 1 Haskell. But Trappe Shot was unable to repeat that effort four weeks later in the Travers, finishing a well-beaten ninth after encountering trouble at the break.

McLaughlin finds himself in a similar position this summer with another 3-year-old prospect owned by James Brady’s Mill House, Rattlesnake Bridge. This time, McLaughlin has decided to take a different route and has opted to skip the Haskell and train Rattlesnake Bridge up to the Aug. 27 Travers.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” McLaughlin said. “The Bradys are from New Jersey and love to race down there and the people at Monmouth have been good to us over the years. But we feel to give our horse the best chance to win the Travers we need to go straight into the race and not try to run him again before that.”

Rattlesnake Bridge, unraced at 2, showed promise right off the bat last winter at Gulfstream Park winning his maiden at first asking and finishing second behind Uncle Mo in the Timely Writer. He has continued to improve with each subsequent start, earning his first stakes victory by overcoming an eventful beginning to win Monmouth’s Long Branch by a nose on July 9.

“Running him in the Haskell would mean bringing him back in 22 days and that’s just a little quick,” said McLaughlin. “We did the same thing last summer with Trappe Shot and it proved too tough to do that and run well in the Travers. Hopefully by going in this direction we’ll have better results this year.”