08/16/2012 3:45PM

Saratoga: Reddam's Cogito a Travers wild card

Barbara D. Livingston
Paul Reddam, owner of Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another, sends European-based Cogito in next week's Travers Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. − Owner Paul Reddam said he doesn’t know what to expect when his European-based Cogito makes his North American and dirt debut in the $1 million Travers Stakes on Aug. 25 at Saratoga.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if he won, I wouldn’t be shocked if he was last,” Reddam said by phone Thursday from Southern California. “So I guess I’m not going to be shocked.”

At least not as shocked as Reddam was the day before the Belmont Stakes when he and trainer Doug O’Neill announced that I’ll Have Another, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, would not only miss the Belmont but would also be retired because of a tendon injury.

“The way the Triple Crown ended was kind of shocking for me,” Reddam said. “The day before, I watched the horse gallop, and he looked tremendous. The one thing that helped me was I never imagined winning the Triple Crown. The most I had thought ahead was running in the Derby.”

Reddam sold I’ll Have Another to Japanese interests, and he and O’Neill are already working on their next big horse in Know More, who won the Best Pal Stakes as a first-time starter.

As for Cogito, Reddam has owned him for more than a year after having to withdraw him from the equivalent of a 2-year-old in-training sale in Europe because of an ankle injury. Cogito, a Virginia-bred son of Giant’s Causeway trained by Brian Meehan, began his career in April, winning a seven-furlong maiden race at Newmarket in England. That was followed by a win in the Betfair Heron Stakes, a one-mile turf race in May.

Three weeks later, Cogito tried Group 1 company in the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, where he finished eighth, beaten 5 1/2 lengths.

“He had a trip similar to Union Rags in the Kentucky Derby,” Reddam said. “He broke a half-step slow and got hit from the left and right. He worked his way around there and got interfered with one more time. It was a bad trip.”

Reddam wanted to bring Cogito to the U.S. for the Jim Dandy, but he couldn’t make quarantine arrangements that would have gotten him here in time for the race. Instead, on July 22, Cogito finished second in a 1 1/4-mile turf race in France.

“We’ve been anxious to try the horse on the dirt,” Reddam said. “How good he is, I’m not sure.”

Reddam said Cogito would be flown to New York over the weekend and do his quarantine at Aqueduct before vanning to Saratoga on Tuesday. Joel Rosario will ride.

Castellano on Hansen, Smith on Atigun

Entries will be made and post positions assigned Wednesday for next Saturday's $1 million Travers at Saratoga.

It appears there will be a 10-horse field, led by Jim Dandy 1-2 finishers Alpha and Neck ’n Neck; Curlin Stakes winner Street Life; and Haskell runner-up Nonios.

Hansen, last year’s juvenile champion, is expected to work Saturday at the Trackside training center in Louisville before flying to New York on Monday, according to trainer Mike Maker. Maker confirmed that Javier Castellano, a three-time Travers winner, would ride Hansen, replacing Mike Smith.

Owner Kendall Hansen had expressed disappointment in Smith’s ride on Hansen in the West Virginia Derby, in which Hansen finished fourth.

Smith, a two-time Travers winner, has picked up the mount on Atigun, who was third in the Belmont and sixth in the Jim Dandy under Julien Leparoux.

Atigun is owned by John Ed Anthony’s Shortleaf Stable. In the 1990s, when Anthony raced under the Loblolly Stable banner, Smith won the 1993 Preakness for him aboard Prairie Bayou.

The remainder of the Travers field, with riders, is expected to be: Alpha (Ramon Dominguez), Five Sixteen (Rosie Napravnik), Liaison (Rafael Bejarano), Neck ’n Neck (Leandro Goncalves), Nonios (John Velazquez), Stealcase (Shaun Bridgmohan), and Street Life (Jose Lezcano).

Trainer Nick Zito is considering running Fast Falcon.