08/28/2008 11:00PM

You and I Forever unlucky at draw


Trainer Bill Mott elected to skip the Travers Stakes with You and I Forever and point to Monday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park in part because he thought it might be an easier spot.

While there may not be a Grade 1 winner among the 14 horses entered for the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, it came up an ultra-competitive affair. You and I Forever’s task was made even tougher when he drew post 14.

“It can be disastrous, without a doubt,” Mott said of the post draw. “You could get lucky, though. You see things unfold where a horse gets over and doesn’t lose much ground at all. That can happen.”

Actually, in 2005 Sun King won the Pennsylvania Derby from post 14.

The Pennsylvania Derby will go as race 10 on an 11-race card that begins at 12:05 p.m. and also includes the $250,000 Turf Monster at five furlongs.

Smooth Air, winner of the Ohio Derby, drew post 6 and was installed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite for the Pennsylvania Derby, run at 1 1/8 miles. Smooth Air won the Grade 2 Hutcheson at seven furlongs, and finished second to Big Brown in the Florida Derby. He ended up 11th in the Kentucky Derby before taking the Ohio Derby. This will be his first start since that May 31 race.

Smooth Air will carry co-high weight of 122 pounds along with Ready Set, who comes off a head victory over Web Gem in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby. Ready Set will break from post 2 under Julien Leparoux.

Stones River has won four consecutive races for trainer Larry Jones, including the Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware. He breaks from the rail. Tiz Now Tiz Then won the Iowa Derby and finished third in the Jim Dandy. Two Step Salsa won the Grade 3 Laz Barrera and Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap before finishing second to Tres Borrachos in the Swaps at Hollywood. In the Swaps, Two Step Salsa finished a head in front of Colonel John, who came back to win the Travers.

No rider was named for Alaazo as jockey Alan Garcia backed out of his commitment to ride that horse in order to ride at Saratoga. Mott, the trainer of Alaazo, can name a rider on race day.