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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Wicked Strong Breezes for Travers (Video)

Wicked Strong wins 2014 Jim Dandy.
Photo: Adam Mooshian, NYRA

Both trainer Jimmy Jerkens and Centennial Farms owner Donald Little, Jr. expressed satisfaction Saturday morning after their Grade 2 Jim Dandy winner Wicked Strong breezed six furlongs over the main track in preparation for Saturday's Grade 1 Travers.

 

Wicked Strong, who is expected to vie for favoritism in the Travers with Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, went out shortly after 9 a.m. and covered the distance in 1:13.15 under regular exercise rider Kelvin Pahal.

 

"I thought he worked like he usually does," said Jerkens. "It looked like the track was very, very fast, so I knew he would skip right along. Kelvin looked up at me at the quarter pole. I didn't wave him on any. I didn't want him to go too fast because he's already a little more on the bridle with the blinkers on."

 

Little said he was impressed not only with the move, but with how the Hard Spun colt has blossomed at Saratoga.

 

"Looking at him now, I think he's even put on 15, 20 pounds," said Little. "He's handled it really well. This morning's breeze, it just looked like he was galloping along nice and easy. That's what good horses do: they make it look easy."

 

Wicked Strong, who won the Grade 1 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial in April at Aqueduct Racetrack prior to fourth-place finishes in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, likely will have a short blowout on Thursday before the race, said Little.

 


 

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