Paynter still in Travers picture
SARATOGA SPRINGS The $1 million Travers remains an option for Haskell winner Paynter, who arrived at Belmont Park on Friday.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will monitor the Awesome Again colt, who spiked a fever two days after his win at Monmouth Park, after which he was sent to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Ringoes, N.J.
“I sent him there as a precaution,” Baffert told the New York Racing Association. “They gave him fluids and antibiotics. We didn’t want to just leave him in the barn. He was sick; he had a temperature. He needed a lot of fluids. He had just run.”
Unsure still when he may work Paynter or when he may be able to make a decision on the 11⁄4-mile Travers, Baffert will keep an eye on Paynter and play it by ear.
“Our main concern is to make sure the sickness didn’t go really bad on him,” he said. “It was precautionary. He’s doing fine now.”
Street Life, who won the Curlin here after a third in the Belmont, got a Travers workout Thursday morning for trainer Chad Brown, going four furlongs in 50.93 in company with Vivo.
“Street Life will work two more times before the race,” said Brown, a Mechanicville native. “I thought he handled himself very well in the Curlin. He adapted and got himself involved a little earlier in the race, which we had been trying to get him to do, and I think it worked out pretty well. He’s maturing. I think Jose [Lezcano] rides him very well, and they’re getting to know each other. He has confidence in the horse. I’m excited about his chances.”
INSOLVENT IN THE SLOP
Insolvent broke her maiden in the fifth race on the card, originally slated for 51⁄2 furlongs on the turf but moved to the main track after rain showers doused the tracks. Trainer and Saratoga Central Catholic graduate Teresa Pompay left the 2-year-old daughter of Big Brown in the race after it was moved to dirt, figuring she could handle it.
Her last time out, she was third in her debut after running on the lead and fading to third by nearly seven lengths.
“It was a new experience for her the last time, she just needed it, and she got tired,” Pompay said. “This time, I wondered about the slop. I really wanted to try her on the turf, but I figured with her pedigree, she’d probably like the slop, and she’s pretty quick and light on her feet. She proved it.”
Jockey Javier Castellano had good news for Pompay when he got to the winner’s circle. Insolvent had led by 61⁄2 lengths through the first quarter-mile and three-eighths, then Runway Ready, Miss Mischief, Elusive Fate and Girl Code started to gain. Castellano had enough horse under him still to hold them off and win by 13⁄4 lengths.
“She opened up, and I still wanted to know if she could finish. He said when he called on her, she finishes,” Pompay said. “They were coming, but he said he had horse, and that made me happy.”
Pompay said she will have to talk to Klaravich Stables about what to do next with the filly, but odds are she’ll land in an allowance race.
“Turf, so we can go either way if it comes off. We’ll probably try to do something like that with her, we probably won’t jump right into a stakes race,” Pompay said. “We’ll see how her numbers come up and how she compares to some of the other babies.”
ONE PREP IN WORKS
Brown said undefeated Awesome Feather will get a start sometime between now and the Breeders’ Cup.
“She’s in a unique situation,” he said. “You have a horse that’s undefeated, and you hate to put her in a situation where she would be vulnerable and put a blemish on her record. Off a layoff could prove to be a challenge for her. We try to manage her the right way. We’re brave enough to run her — we’ve done it three times already — and she can overcome a lot. I want to make sure I make the right move.
“I really think that if I can get her to Santa Anita sound and doing as well as she’s doing right now, she’s the horse to beat. The most important piece of the puzzle is she’s doing well right now. The rest will fall into place.”
In her fourth published work at Saratoga, Awesome Feather covered four furlongs in 50.65 on the Oklahoma Training Track.
B SHANNY RETURNS
B Shanny, one of the most promising maiden winners of the 2011 meet at Saratoga, returns for his second start of the year in Sunday’s fifth race, a 51⁄2-furlong optional-claiming race for New York-breds.
Owned by former NYRA president and CEO Barry Schwartz and trained by Michael Hushion, the 3-year-old son of Street Cry debuted last July at Belmont Park and finished second in a race that produced four next-out winners.
B Shanny was one of them, breaking his maiden last Aug. 20 at Saratoga, running seven furlongs in 1:24.03 while defeating subsequent graded stakes winner El Padrino.
Unfortunately, B Shanny suffered a bone chip in his knee while preparing for the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.
In his comeback on June 16 at Belmont, B Shanny was beaten by a nose by Notmyfirsttime in a six-furlong race that went in 1:10.41.
HERE AND THERE
When 22-1 long shot Luigi P won the opener, it marked the third straight day the first flat race was won by a horse not using lasix. . . .
Even-money favorite Saratoga Snacks, owned by former NFL coach Bill Parcells, won the eighth race after drifting out in the stretch as jockey Ramon Dominguez momentarily lost his left rein, hanging on to edge Recurring Dream.