Updated on 09/15/2011 12:54PM

Travers win would make meet for Zito


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - It would take only two minutes for trainer Nick Zito to want to remember what has been a forgettable summer.

If A P Valentine could win Saturday's $1 million Travers, it would more than make up for the fact that Zito is 1 for 47 at this meet.

"You're damn right, it makes the meet," said Zito, who ended Thursday on an 0-for-21 skid.

It made the 2000 meet for Carl Nafzger, whose only victory here last summer was when Unshaded defeated the Zito-trained Albert the Great by a head in the Travers.

Zito admits to being frustrated this summer, with his only victory coming when The Goo won on Aug. 6. Zito believes he has some bad racing luck, including in Sunday's seventh race, when Governor Hickel, a first-time starter owned by Mary Lou Whitney, finished third at 47-1.

"The straw that broke the camel's back was Sunday and Governor Hickel," Zito said. "He should have won. He had plenty of gait, plenty of horse, then he's blocked, checked, stopped."

Zito said there have been a handful of horses he felt should have won but may have been victimized by poor rides. One horse who wasn't victimized by a poor ride was A P Valentine, who finished a non-threatening fourth in the Jim Dandy.

That came off a two-month layoff after he had performed admirably in the Triple Crown, finishing second in the Preakness and Belmont after a troubled seventh in the Kentucky Derby.

Zito has often said that A P Valentine could be the best horse he has trained, but the colt's 3-for-11 record belies that opinion. Still, Zito stands by his statement.

Zito said A P Valentine was following Monarchos when he had trouble in the Derby, and that he could have been second with a clean trip. "Then that's not a bad record, placing in all three Triple Crown races and winning the Champagne," he said.

"Let's say, for argument's sake, he's second in the Travers to Point Given. He still may be considered a top horse because Point Given may be something else. So, he's getting a bum rap in my book."

Zito believes A P Valentine will bounce back in the Travers and challenge Point Given.

"That horse in the pen," said Zito, pointing to A P Valentine, "is going to give him all he wants. He's going to test him to the fullest."

Dual classic duds

Point Given is the 11th dual classic winner to run in the Travers. Of the other 10, only three have won the Midsummer Derby, including Thunder Gulch, the sire of Point Given, in 1995.

Before Thunder Gulch, however, dual classic winners Hansel, Alysheba, Pleasant Colony, Little Current, and Forward Pass, and Triple Crown winner Affirmed, were all beaten in the Travers.

If Point Given wins, he will join an elite list that, in addition to Thunder Gulch, includes Damascus, Whirlaway, and Gallant Fox.

Point Given figures to be odds-on in the Travers. The last three odds-on choices - Thunder Gulch, Holy Bull, and Easy Goer - all won. The last odds-on choice to lose the Travers was Affirmed, who was disqualified from first for interference.

Prado fine; colt euthanized

Jockey Edgar Prado, who fell when his mount in the second race Thursday, The Music Man, broke a leg in the stretch, was not seriously hurt and was expected to ride Friday. X-rays of Prado's neck, taken at the office of a local doctor, Rick Alfred, were negative. The Music Man was euthanized.

Two-year-old The Music Man, a $900,000 yearling buy, was near the lead when he took a bad step and Prado was flung to the ground. The rider was able to roll to the inside rail and didn't appear to be struck by any horses.

The Music Man was vanned back to trainer Scotty Schulhofer's barn, where a decision was made to euthanize the colt, who suffered a lateral condylar fracture of both his sesamoid bones in his left foreleg.

Pleasant Breeze injured

Bad luck continues to follow Pleasant Breeze, who finished seventh and last when attempting to defend his title in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup last Sunday.

Trainer Jim Bond reported that the 6-year-old gelding suffered a hock injury in the race, and Dr. Alan Nixon was scheduled to perform surgery at Cornell University on Thursday.

Last year, Pleasant Breeze came out of his victory in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup with an ankle injury, which sidelined him until earlier this year.

"He'll be back - it's not career ending," Bond said. "You'll see him next year."

Opportunity knocks for Imadeed

Steve Young is having a terrific Saratoga meet, having won four races from five starters, and things could get even better for him when he saddles Imadeed for Sunday's $250,000 Ballerina.

Young, 39, has 10 horses in his Saratoga barn, including the speedy Imadeed, an easy winner of a conditioned allowance race here earlier in the meet. Imadeed, who is owned by Claiborne Farm, led from start to finish in the six-furlong race, winning by 6 1/4 lengths.

The waters will get significantly deeper for the 4-year-old Imadeed in the Grade 1 Ballerina, which is expected to attract Dream Supreme, who is the defending champion, and Spain, last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff winner.

Imadeed has won five of 12 starts, but never a stakes. Last year, she finished seventh in a pair of Grade 1's, the Test and Acorn, and this year was sixth in the Grade 2 Genuine Risk and second in an overnight restricted stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

Young believes Imadeed has the goods to become a stakes winner.

"I think she has enough ability," Young said Thursday at his barn. "She's a good horse, but she needs to run one of her big races on a big day."

Will she or won't she?

A Friday work at Saratoga was to determine whether Truebreadpudding runs in Monday's $75,000-added Yaddo, which she has won the last two years.

Weights for the Yaddo, a New York-bred grass race for fillies and mares, were released Thursday. Shopping for Love, who is not expected to run, was assigned high weight of 123 pounds. Truebreadpudding received the next-highest weight, 122 pounds. Others pointing to the 1 1/8-mile Yaddo are Pearly White (116), Rhum (116), Bay Dragon (115), I Met Somebody (115), Wootie (115), Escorp (114), and Ransom's Pride (107).

* Jockey Jose Santos, out of action since suffering a broken wrist on May 12, will begin galloping horses this weekend at Belmont Park with an eye toward returning to riding on Sept. 7, opening day of the Belmont fall meet.

- additional reporting Karen M. Johnson

Go to Saratoga coverage.