Updated on 09/15/2011 1:54PM

Squirtle Squirt headlines Travers undercard


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Squirtle Squirt proved he's back atop the ranks of 3-year-old sprinters with an impressive wire-to-wire win in the grade 1, $200,000 King's Bishop at Saratoga.

Squirtle Squirt, the favorite in the field of eight trained by the red-hot Bobby Frankel, set blazing fractions of :22 and :44.32 while clear on the lead.

The winner was seriously challenged only once in the seven furlong event when second-choice City Zip came to him at the top of the stretch. However, Squirtle Squirt found another gear, turned on the juice, and spurted clear through the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:21.97.

City Zip, trained by Linda Rice and ridden by Jorge Chavez, was coming off three straight wins, but could not match Squirtle Squirt and ended up tiring to third behind late-running Illusioned under Pat Day.

Squirtle Squirt paid $5.00 to win.

* A half-hour before the King's Bishop, 6-1 shot Dr. Kashnikow burst through a crowd of horses in mid-stretch to win the grade 2, $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Dr. Kashnikow, trained by John Kimmel and ridden by John Velazquez, sat in a good position early behind an unrealistic early pace set by Where's Taylor. The leader, after setting fractions of :22.2, :45, and 1:09, predictably tired badly at the same time that Dr. Kashnikow was then guided into clear sailing in mid-stretch. Dr. Kashnikow then shifted gears to hold off longshot Tubrok by three-quarters of a length on the wire.

Tubrok, trained by Mohammed Moubarak, had rallied up the rail under Jean-Luc Samyn, but had to settle for second by just a neck ahead of fast-closing Aly's Alley.

Dr. Kashnikow ran the 1 1/16 miles in a time of 1:39.50 and paid $15.40 to win. He also keyed a $346.00 exacta with Tubrok, who paid $26.80 to place.

The win was an important one for jockey John Velazquez, who climbed back to within four victories of Jerry Bailey atop the rider standings. After winning four on the card including the King's Bishop, Bailey now leads Velazquez 43-39 in the Saratoga jockey standings.