08/21/2007 11:00PM

Street Sense draws post 4 for Travers


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense drew post 4 and was installed as the 3-5 morning-line favorite for Saturday's $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Provided nothing goes wrong between now and Saturday, Street Sense will be the first Kentucky Derby winner to run in the Travers since Thunder Gulch, who won both races in 1995. In 2003, Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide entered the Travers, but was scratched.

As expected, a field of seven was entered in the Travers, including Jim Dandy runner-up C P West, who was made the 5-1 second choice, and Peter Pan winner and Jim Dandy third-place finisher Sightseeing, who was made the 6-1 third choice. Grasshopper, Loose Leaf, Helsinki, and For You Reppo complete the field.

Carl Nafzger, the trainer of Street Sense, said the post position draw was inconsequential, but nonetheless liked his starting spot.

"I loved 4 because you're out from the rail but you're inside, but I would have loved 7 too because of the Derby," said Nafzger, noting that Street Sense won the Kentucky Derby from post 7. "Who cares? I'm not superstitious. If this horse had a particular quirk about him I'd say, you know, we have to be outside, we have to be inside. But with this horse, just ride your race."

If there were any doubt as to who would set the pace in the Travers, it was likely removed on Wednesday when C P West drew post 2. Grasshopper, who attended the pace winning a two-turn allowance race here on July 30, will likely try to stalk from post 5 under Robby Albarado.

C P West beat the gate and broke extremely sharp in the Jim Dandy, a race in which he set fractions of 23.48 seconds, 47.13, 1:11.30, and 1:36.23 under Cornelio Velasquez before giving way grudgingly to Street Sense in the final sixteenth.

"The main thing is, I'm hoping he has the same dynamic start as last time," said Nick Zito, the trainer of C P West and longshot Helsinki. "If he breaks as sharp as he did, that'd be good. Hopefully, he'll break good and go from there."

Zito said the rail draw for Helsinki was fine since "he'll be last and make his run." Helsinki will be running with blinkers off.

Sightseeing, the only other graded stakes winner in the field, will break from post 7.

"That's fine with me, it keeps him from being in any jam-ups going into the first turn," said trainer Shug McGaughey, who has won the Travers three times. "If he comes away from there wanting to run a little more, then he can drop in behind those horses and stuff and won't get caught wide."

The Travers will go as race 9 on a 12-race card that begins at 12:45 p.m. The Travers will be the third leg of an all-stakes pick four that has a guaranteed pool of $1 million. It is also the final leg of a grand slam wager that has a guaranteed pool of $100,000.

The Travers, as well as the King's Bishop and Bernard Baruch, will be broadcast live on ESPN during a two-hour show beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern.

* The Travers field in post position order with jockeys and morning-line odds: Helsinki, Julien Leparoux, 20-1; C P West, Cornelio Velasquez, 5-1; For You Reppo, Garrett Gomez, 20-1; Street Sense, Calvin Borel, 3-5; Grasshopper, Robby Albarado, 8-1; Loose Leaf, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; and Sightseeing, Edgar Prado, 6-1.