08/01/2010 5:43PM

Winslow Homer gives Tony Dutrow a second Travers candidate

Barbara D. Livingston
Winslow Homer wins Sunday's Curlin Stakes at Saratoga.


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Save two spots in the Travers starting gate for trainer Tony Dutrow.

One day after A Little Warm earned his way into the $1 million Travers by winning the Jim Dandy, Dutrow sent out Winslow Homer to an emphatic nine-length score in Sunday’s $75,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga to punch his ticket to the Mid-Summer Derby as well. The Travers will be run here on Aug. 28.

“That earns him a start in the Travers in our camp,” said Dutrow, who trains Winslow Homer for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm.

Westshore, who pursued Winslow Homer from second, finished second by three-quarters of a length over Winaholic. Regal Warrior, So Elite, and Quiet All American completed the order of finish.

Breaking from the rail under Robby Albarado, Winslow Homer made the lead around the clubhouse turn and was able to set moderate fractions of 23.63 seconds for the quarter, 48.14 for the half-mile, and 1:13.41 for six furlongs, while being chased by Westshore and Winaholic.

At the five-sixteenths pole, Winaholic actually put a head in front of Winslow Homer and there were five horses abreast at the quarter pole. Turning into the stretch, Albarado asked Winslow Homer for more and the colt responded by running away from the field in a visually impressive performance.

“They sprinted home,” Albarado said. “Tony said he’s a little lazy so beware when they come to him, be ready to ride hard. Under mild encouragement he took off, got away from them and he sprinted home. He came home nice.”

Winslow Homer, a son of Unbridled’s Song, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.69 and returned $4.70 as the favorite.

Dutrow said the way Winslow Homer finished the Curlin lead him to believe the 1 1/4 miles of the Travers will suit his colt.

“He’s dying for a mile and a quarter,” Dutrow said. “He’s bred for the distance and I think he proved today that the distance was a friend.”

Winslow Homer, who began the year with a victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream in January, was making his second start following surgery to repair a fractured knee. He had finished third in the Iowa Derby in June.

Naturally, Dutrow is elated to have two horses to run in the Travers.

“I’ve never experienced anything likes before,” he said. “Right now, I’m feeling really good because these horses are going into this race really good.”