Eyeing possible starts in the Grade 1, $1 million Travers on August 24, trainer Ken McPeek plans to work War Dancer and Java's War together on Saturday morning at the Oklahoma training track.
Photo: Chris 'Dark Horse' Sorenson
is co-defending champion in the "Mid-Summer Derby," having trained
Golden Ticket to a dead-heat victory with Alpha in 2012.
"We're likely to have one and possibly two horses in the race, yes," McPeek said. "They'll both be nominated."
in the meet, McPeek indicated he was considering a surface switch to
the dirt for War Dancer, winner of the Grade 2 Virginia Derby on turf,
for the Travers. The War Front colt is owned through McPeek's Magdalena
was pointing Java's War to the Grade 1 Secretariat on grass at
Arlington Park on August 17. Owned by Charles Fipke, the War Pass colt
won the Grade 1 Blue Grass on Keeneland's Polytrack on April 13, was 13th
in the Kentucky Derby, and fourth in his most recent effort, the Grade 2
Swaps over the all-weather track at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Fipke and I have discussed it, and he was inclined to try him on the
dirt again," McPeek said. "At this point, they're both doing well. We've
still got to do the math. We've got to look at the past performances,
we've got to see how the horses are training, make sure everybody's
hitting on all cylinders, that they're drilling the feed tubs; all the
War Dancer and Java's War, who McPeek said do not typically breeze together, will go out around 7:30 a.m.
"I just think it's a good maintenance breeze, and it sounds like a good idea for both horses," he said.