Saratoga Springs, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Trainer Jimmy Jerkens will be represented in next week's $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga by Jim Dandy champ Wicked Strong with a strong possibility of starting Curlin Stakes winner V. E. Day.
Friday at Saratoga, V. E. Day put in a seven-furlong workout ahead of the 1 1/4-mile "Mid-Summer Derby" to be run Saturday, Aug. 23. With exercise rider Kelvin Pahal in the saddle, V. E. Day went the seven furlongs in 1:30.17 over Saratoga's main track.
"He was finishing good, so I was happy with that. I wouldn't have minded him going in 1:28 and change, something like that, but who knows," Jerkens said. "The track might have been on the deep side. When they harrow it during the rain, sometimes that makes it a little deep. I watched him when he turned for home down the backside and when (Pahal) asked him, he really took off. I was happy with that. It looked like he galloped out real strong, so he had to go a mile in 1:43, at least, or 1:42 and 3, something like that because he was galloping out every bit as strong as he was finishing.
"We're still teetering with running him (in the Travers) or running him in the Saranac (1 1/8 miles on the turf Sept. 1) instead. We're leaning toward the Travers. We're like 75-25, I'd say, to run."
Along with Jerkens' pair of 3-year-olds, other probable Travers starters include: Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, second in the Jim Dandy; Haskell winner Bayern; Prince of Wales Stakes champ Coltimus Prime; Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve; Belmont Derby winner Mr Speaker; Dwyer winner Kid Cruz and Curlin runner-up Charge Now.
The 145th Travers was won last year by eventual Breeders' Cup Classic runner- up and Eclipse Award winner Will Take Charge.