Jim Dandy horses target Travers Stakes
Saratoga Springs, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Now that the Jim Dandy Stakes is in the books, it's on to the Travers Stakes for the 2014 class of 3-year-olds.
Both the second- and third-place finishers from Saturday's Jim Dandy, Tonalist and Kid Cruz, will start in the 1 1/4-mile "Mid-Summer Derby" on Saturday, Aug. 23.
"The main thing is to focus on the future," Christophe Clement, Tonalist's trainer, said. "We've got four weeks. We've got two breezes, and we will do everything we can to have him at his best on Travers Day. He will walk today, walk tomorrow; then he will go back to the track Tuesday morning."
The Belmont Stakes winner was the 4-5 favorite for the Jim Dandy, but finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Wicked Strong.
"He was second best yesterday with the trip that he had," Clement had. "Wicked Strong ran a really nice race, and we live to fight another day. We will do everything we can to be back in the Travers."
Kid Cruz, trained by Linda Rice, had his second two-race win streak snapped Saturday.
"I thought there was a lot of risk in running him back in three weeks. He's supposed to 'bounce' and not move forward," Rice said. "But to train straight into the Travers, that wasn't very appealing to me, either. I don't think you can train the seven weeks and expect to win."
The colt won the Easy Goer and Dwyer Stakes after finishing eighth in the Preakness. Coming into the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Kid Cruz had won the Federico Tesio and Private Terms Stakes.
"I think this allows us to move into the Travers," Rice said. "I think that's what we were really looking for. I was hoping for a closing second, beaten a length and a half, but it is what it is. If we're going to have a trip that doesn't work out, I'm glad it was in the Jim Dandy and not the Travers."
07/27 15:44:29 ET