Updated on 09/02/2010 8:31AM

Trappe Shot's connections opt for Travers

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trappe Shot will stretch out to 1 1/4 miles in Saturday's Travers rather than shorten up to seven furlongs in the King's Bishop.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trappe Shot is in. So is Miner’s Reserve - for now. Perhaps fittingly, Super Saver, the somewhat forgotten Kentucky Derby winner, is on the extreme outside for Saturday’s $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

That trio, as well as Jim Dandy winner A Little Warm, were among the 11 3-year-olds entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 141st Travers, run at 1 1/4 miles. If the field holds, it will equal the second-largest since 1993, when Sea Hero won in a field of 11. The 2008 Travers, won by Colonel John, had a field of 12.

The connections of Trappe Shot chose the prestige and tradition of the Travers − not to mention the $1 million purse − over Saturday’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop, a $250,000, seven-furlong race that has been known to stamp many a stallion prospect. Owners Jim and Nicholas Brady, who race under the name Mill House; racing manager Steve Young; and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin announced their decision to run in the Travers at 9 a.m., two hours before the post draw.

“They’re two pretty even races,” said Nicholas Brady, the former Secretary of the Treasury. “Kiaran and Steve thought we’d have a pretty good chance in the Travers. I go back to the Ridan-Jaipur, Affirmed-Alydar days. It’s a wonderful race. We’re pretty lucky to have a horse that would be well regarded in both races. Now we’ll find out if we’re right or not.”

Trappe Shot, who finished second in the Haskell to division leader Lookin At Lucky, drew post 2 and was installed as the 4-1 second choice behind A Little Warm, whom New York Racing Association linemaker Eric Donovan made the 7-2 morning-line favorite. A Little Warm drew post 5.

“He had all kinds of trouble against Lookin At Lucky, and he’s not in there,” McLaughlin said. “A mile and an eighth to a mile and quarter isn’t a big deal. Turning back [in distance] has been successful for many people out of the Haskell, but we’d like to take a shot. That was what the decision was. It was a close call, but we decided to take a shot in the Travers.”

Trappe Shot could find himself breaking from the rail if the connections of Miner’s Reserve opt not to run. Trainer Nick Zito said he and owner Robert LaPenta would like to evaluate the field before deciding whether to run. Zito and LaPenta also entered Ice Box, the Florida Derby winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up. Zito also entered Fly Down, the Dwyer Stakes winner and Belmont runner-up, for owner Richard Pell.

“We entered, and we’ll go from there,” said Zito, who is also considering Miner’s Reserve for the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Philadelphia Park on Labor Day. “The three horses actually all qualify. You don’t like to run three horses if you don’t have to.”

Super Saver is the fourth Kentucky Derby winner in the last 20 years to run in the Travers. The last three to do so − Sea Hero (1993), Thunder Gulch (1995), and Street Sense (2007) − all won.

Super Saver landed in post 11, but his trainer, Todd Pletcher, said he doesn’t view that as a negative.

“Sometimes 11 might be a little further out than you’d ideally like, but I think at a mile and a quarter it’s OK,” Pletcher said. “You get a decent run to the first turn, so Calvin should have the option to survey everything inside and see who’s using their horse and kind of fall in to a cozy spot.”

Pletcher believes much of the speed is drawn inside. First Dude, who figured to be the main speed and who will get blinkers for the first time, will break from post 4 under Ramon Dominguez.

The Travers will go as race 12 on a 13-race card that begins at 11:35 a.m. The card includes the $250,000 King’s Bishop, $250,000 Ballerina, $200.000 Ballston Spa, and the $100,000 Victory Ride.

Saturday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high temperature of 80 degrees with no chance of rain, according to weather.com.