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Atigun Breezes for Jockey Club Gold Cup

31 January 2009: Trainer Ken McPeek at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.

Atigun, who was fourth, beaten just over a length, in the Grade 1 Travers, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 this morning at Saratoga as he readies for the TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup.


“Atigun is doing super,” reported trainer Ken McPeek, who also sent out Golden Ticket, who dead-heated with Alpha to win the Travers, for a five-furlong move in 1:00.68. “It was a nice, maintenance work for both of them.”


Owned by Shortleaf Stable, Atigun was three, four and five wide throughout the 1 ¼-mile Travers, coming up a length short of third-place finisher Fast Falcon after a solid stretch run.


“He didn’t have the cleanest of trips,” said McPeek of Atigun, who prior to the Travers was sixth over a sloppy, sealed track in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and third in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes. “Who’s to say he wouldn’t have won?”


McPeek said he most likely will send Golden Ticket to the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby on September 22, partly because he wants to keep his two 3-year-olds apart and partly because he believes the 1 ¼ miles of the Jockey Club Gold Cup suits Atigun better than the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby.


“Both horses are doing extremely well,” he said. “I think Golden Ticket will improve a little bit off the Travers, and Atigun is improving, too.”



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