08/20/2007 12:00AM

Street Sense camp fears Sightseeing

Brandon Benson/NYRA
Sightseeing (left), trained by Shug McGaughey, wins the Peter Pan at Belmont Park

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - As the trainer of Kentucky Derby and Jim Dandy winner Street Sense, Carl Nafzger has every reason to be supremely confident entering Saturday's $1 million Travers. On Monday, he singled out one reason why he is not.

Of the six or seven rivals Street Sense will face on Saturday, Nafzger is most worried about Sightseeing, the Shug McGaughey-trained colt who won the Peter Pan and finished third to Street Sense in the Jim Dandy.

"I know how Shug can take a horse and build him up to a certain race, and I know Shug's been looking at this race," Nafzger said. "Sightseeing was closing really strong [in the Jim Dandy] and we got another eighth of a mile to go."

Entries will be taken and post positions drawn for the Travers, run at 1 1/4 miles, at a press conference on Wednesday morning. The six confirmed runners are Street Sense, Sightseeing, C P West, Helsinki, Loose Leaf, and Grasshopper. As of Monday, For You Reppo was probable while Tiz Wonderful was questionable.

Much like Nafzger mapped out a plan to get Street Sense to last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile and this year's Kentucky Derby, McGaughey has been pointing Sightseeing to the Travers since the son of Pulpit ran second in the Wood Memorial in April.

Believing his horse was too immature to handle the mental and physical grind of the Triple Crown series, McGaughey targeted the Travers as his major objective of the year for Sightseeing. The plan began simply enough when Sightseeing rallied from off the pace to win the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont Park by a nose.

While winning was nice, McGaughey wasn't all that tickled with how the horse, ridden by Edgar Prado, did it. So, in a move that he admits he usually opposes, McGaughey added blinkers to Sightseeing's equipment coming off a win when the horse ran in the Dwyer Stakes.

"It took him a while to get going, so I was trying to overcome that," McGaughey said of the Peter Pan. "I'm not too sure what major effect they've had on him. I was a little stumped after that race, and Edgar was, too, that we were there so easy the whole race and when he asked him it took him three, four or five jumps to get going."

Sightseeing was beaten nine lengths by Any Given Saturday in the Dwyer. McGaughey calls the Dwyer "a throw-out" because Sightseeing raced much closer to the pace than usual, and down the backside Any Given Saturday came over on him.

McGaughey was looking forward to the two races at Saratoga because both the Jim Dandy and Travers are run around two turns. In the Jim Dandy on July 29, Sightseeing was last early, made a three-wide move around the turn, and rallied well late to be beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Street Sense while galloping out past that rival after the race.

"The way he finished, he kind of kept going," said McGaughey, who has won the Travers three times. "I'm going to be really interested what the extra eighth of a mile is going to do too, really interested. It could be one of those things where it doesn't make any difference, but it could also make a big difference, like a major, big difference."

Sightseeing completed his Travers preparations with a five-furlong workout in 1:00.88 Sunday morning over the Oklahoma training track.

Also working on Sunday was Grasshopper, who went six furlongs in 1:13.86 under exercise rider Annie Finney.

"He went great, finished good, galloped out beautiful," said trainer Neil Howard, who will have Robby Albarado up in the Travers.

Grasshopper missed the early part of his 3-year-old season while recovering from a fractured tibia suffered late last fall. He is coming off a second-level allowance win by six lengths here on July 30.

On Monday, Tiz Wonderful worked six furlongs in 1:13.87 over the Oklahoma training track. Trainer Steve Asmussen was expected to have a conference call with Stonesteet Stable principal Jess Jackson and advisor John Moynihan before deciding whether Tiz Wonderful runs.

Meanwhile, trainer Helen Pitts said For You Reppo would probably run, with Garrett Gomez up. On Sunday, For You Reppo, who is also eligible for a first-level allowance race on Saturday's card, worked six furlongs in 1:01.69.