third in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, will be Hall of Fame trainer Bob
Baffert’s lone representative in the Grade 1, $1 million Travers as Zayat
Stables’ Paynter has been declared from the Mid-Summer Derby.
Paynter, second in the Grade 1 Belmont
Stakes to Union Rags, won the Haskell Invitational on July 29 at Monmouth Park and two days later spiked a fever.
Baffert had the colt examined at the Mid-Atlantic
in Ringoes, N.J.,
and later shipped him to Belmont
After Baffert consulted with owner Ahmed
Zayat, the decision was made this morning to skip the Travers.
“We talked yesterday and this
morning about it,” Baffert said from Del Mar. “It was going to be tough. I
wouldn’t be able to get a work into him, and it would be too much.
We’ll just get him right and get him back to full steam and nominate him
Baffert still has Arnold Zechter’s Liaison
on track for the 1 ¼-mile Travers. The Indian Charlie colt worked five furlongs
in 1:00.38 on Saratoga’s
main track this morning.
“Liaison is doing well,”
Expected for the Travers as well are Jim Dandy winner Alpha and runner-up Neck n’ Neck; Street Life and Five Sixteen, first and second in the Curlin; Haskell runner-up Nonios and third-place finisher Stealcase; and Hansen, most recently fourth in the Grade 2 West Virginia
Derby, along with Cogito, Atigun, and possibly Teeth of the Dog, according to NYRA stakes
coordinator Andrew Byrnes.
Five Sixteen breezed for the Travers this morning, covering five
furlongs in 1:00.35 over the main track, while Atigun went four furlongs in
48.55 over the Oklahoma