GI Kentucky Derby hero Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) and GII Jim Dandy S. winner Good Samaritan (Harlan's Holiday) will be among a handful of contenders for the Aug. 26 GI Travers S. to breeze this weekend as the field for the Mid-Summer Derby begins to take shape.
Always Dreaming, the convincing Derby winner, backed up to finish eighth in the GI Preakness S. and set the pace before fading to be third in the Jim Dandy July 29. He will be joined on the worktab this weekend by GI Belmont S. winner Tapwrit (Tapit) and Curlin S. victor Outplay (Bernardini) as trainer Todd Pletcher hopes to make a more informed decision about which of his charges he should enter in the Travers.
“I think that'll help clarify things,” Pletcher told the NYRA notes team. “I'll work those two and Outplay probably at the same time and continue them all on a path that could lead to the Travers.”
Pletcher also reported that 'TDN Rising Star' Patch (Union Rags) exited his fourth-place finish in the GIII West Virginia Derby “fine,” saying, “We'll give it a couple weeks and see where we're at. I wouldn't say [he's] completely out of consideration [for the Travers], but I would think he's maybe more likely for the [GII] Pennsylvania Derby or something like that.”
Good Samaritan, the upsetter of the Jim Dandy, has continued to train well since that effort and is on course for the Travers, according to trainer Bill Mott.
“He's been good and we will probably work over the weekend,” Mott said. “But he's been galloping every day. He went to the gate today, stood well and backed out.”
“I'm not sure where either of them will go yet. They'll both breeze here this week and hopefully it'll bring us closer to a decision,” Brown said before adding that GIII Dwyer S. winner and GI betfair.com Haskell Invitational third Practical Joke (Into Mischief) remains on target for the seven-furlong GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial on Travers day.
In non-Travers news, Christophe Clement said Wednesday that his MGSW Frostmourne (Speightstown) will not make his expected trip to Arlington Park for this Saturday's GI Secretartiat S. after missing a planned workout earlier this week.
“The horse is doing just fine, I just thought he wasn't training as well as he should be,” Clement offered. “So, he missed the work and he won't be able to go to the Secretariat. He's having an easy week and then we'll regroup sometime this weekend to decide what to do.”
The dark bay colt, who has annexed the GIII Penn Mile and GIII Kent S. so far this season, could instead be pointed to the GIII Saranac S. at Saratoga Sept. 2, the next major stake for 3-year-old turf horses on the calendar.
“At the moment, everything is a possibility as long as the horse is fine,” Clement said. “We'll just see how he is during the week and go from there.”