Though concerned that the 1 1/8 miles of tomorrow’s Grade 2,
$600,000 Jim Dandy might be too short for Atigun,
trainer Ken McPeek said that the Istan colt didn’t have to win to move on
to the Grade 1, $1 million Travers on August 25.
“We’d like to see him come running late,” he said of
Atigun, most recently third behind Union Rags and Paynter in the Grade 1,
½-mile Belmont Stakes. “And if he doesn’t win, as long as he’s
competing and gaining ground late, that’s fine.”
McPeek said he was unconcerned about the potential pace dynamics in the
“I never try to guess,” he said. “I’ve seen
races where you expected a ton of pace and there was none, and races where you
didn’t think there’d be any and there was plenty.
We’re going to let him run his race and if it sets up for him,
McPeek added that Atigun has been doing well since the Belmont Stakes
on June 9.
“It was a good, solid race,” he said. “He came out of
it fine and easy, no problems.”