08/08/2012 5:17PM

Saratoga: Wilkes shooting for Whitney-Travers parlay

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Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Neck 'n Neck won the Matt Winn and ran second in the Jim Dandy.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Ian Wilkes will attempt to complete a rare and very prestigious double, winning both the Grade 1 Whitney and Travers during the same meet, when he sends out Neck ’ n Neck in the Grade 1 Travers on Aug. 25.

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Wilkes is already halfway home after his Fort Larned upset the Whitney here last weekend. The steadily improving Neck ’ n Neck figures to be among the favorites in the Travers off his second-place finish behind Alpha in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy earlier in the session.

Neck ’n Neck worked for the first time since the Jim Dandy over the main track on Wednesday morning, breezing an easy half-mile in 48.47 seconds, completing his final quarter in 23 seconds and change before galloping out five-eighths in 1:01.53 and pulling up six furlongs in 1:14.99.

“Just a maintenance work this morning, let him stretch his legs a little today, and I was happy with him,” said Wilkes. “He keeps getting better and better, which he’ll need to for the next one.”

Wilkes said pulling off the Whitney-Travers double would be very special.

“I don’t know how many times it’s been done, if ever, but it would mean an awful lot to me to be able to accomplish something like that here this summer,” said Wilkes.