07/29/2006 12:00AM

Travers next stop for Hesanoldsalt


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Saturday's third race was designed to propel a 3-year-old to the $1 million Travers on Aug. 26. That 3-year-old just wasn't expected to be Hesanoldsalt.

But as 3-5 favorite Corinthian sputtered in the stretch, Hesanoldsalt pulled away from Take the Bluff to win the second-level allowance race by three-quarters of a length. It was another 5 1/2 lengths back to Corinthian in third.

It was the first victory for Hesanoldsalt since he won a first-level allowance race over Sunriver in January at Gulfstream Park. Hesanoldsalt then went winless in five consecutive stakes. Trainer Nick Zito said he would definitely consider the Travers for Hesanoldsalt, a son of Broad Brush.

"I'm glad Corinthian was in this race," Zito said. "Of course, if he had won they'd be thinking of the Travers. We'll see how the Jim Dandy shapes up today. But you got to think about it. If he has a good month, why not? Right or wrong?"

Zito said he believes the key to Hesanoldsalt's victory was having jockey Eibar Coa put him into the race. Hesanoldsalt stalked Take the Bluff through six furlongs run in 1:12.84. He hooked Take the Bluff turning for home and outfinished him. Hesanoldsalt covered the 1 1/8 miles over a good track in 1:50.26. A driving rainstorm began while the horses were entering the first turn.

Meanwhile, the connections of Corinthian have some decisions to make regarding the Travers. Corinthian was making his first start since finishing first but being disqualified and placed third in the Fountain of Youth. He suffered a small fracture to a hind ankle in March and then developed a severe case of skin disease while training toward a comeback.

Javier Castellano, who believed the inside was not good Saturday, gave up his inside position and put Corinthian in the three-path entering the first turn. Corinthian stalked the two speed horses, and Castellano appeared to have horse until he asked Corinthian to run and there was no response.

"I think I had a beautiful trip, a dream trip; the two horses went to kill each other, but they never stopped," Castellano said. "I think he came up a little empty at the top of the stretch. It was a phony track today. It's not a fast track, it's not wet. There's still a little water on the ground."

Round Pond working toward return

While no horse will be able to replace Barbaro in trainer Michael Matz's heart and mind, one horse who could quickly return Matz to the spotlight is Round Pond, last year's Acorn winner. Owner Rick Porter transferred Round Pond from John Servis to Matz in the spring. Round Pond has not run since winning the Azeri Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn for Servis in March.

After Matz took care of some foot issues, Round Pond has resumed breezing, working twice at Fair Hill, including a four-furlong move in 48.40 seconds on Wednesday over the dirt surface.

"We did some work on her feet, changed some things around," said Matz, who noted that Round Pond will get larger shoes than she had previously. "I'm real pleased with her right now. She worked good the last time."

Matz said he is hopeful to get Round Pond back to the races by the end of August, and that his major goal is to get to the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"We're going to try to aim for something near the end of August," Matz said. "Obviously our main goal is to try to get her to the Breeders' Cup."

Wilko, Andromeda's Hero in allowance

Wilko, winless since taking the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, and Andromeda's Hero, runner-up in the 2005 Belmont Stakes, landed in the same third-level allowance race on Monday's card.

Wilko, now trained by Mark Hennig, comes out of a last-place finish in the Suburban Handicap. Andromeda's Hero finished third in that race. Andromeda's Hero is 0 for 6 this year, after ending his 3-year-old season with a victory in the Grade 3 Fred Hopper Handicap.