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Saratoga: Wilkes shooting for Whitney-Travers parlay
By Mike Welsch
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.
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.
Neck n Neck poised to win the Travers, even more if Hansen is entered.
So, the obvious question is, has the Whitney-Travers double ever been pulled off by a trainer? And how many Travers winners have come back to win the Whitney in subsequent years? Could we have a little research and answer to this?
Ian Wilkes is a fine horseman indeed. I do feel the need to comment on the biased opinion of posters here though. Anytime a trainer from the east is mentioned (with the exception of Rick Dutrow) they are always praised,but when trainers from the west are mentioned they are called cheats and accused of all kinds of secret activities(i.e. Baffert, Oneill..etc.)It really does shed a dim light on the intelligence of the comments.
Very nice colt who is more than capable of winning The Travers. He ran agood second to Alpha on a sloppy track in The Jim Dandy. His two prior to that were 100+ beyer victories. And his trainer doing right by the colt. Good horseman and a talented colt.
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