Travers Post Position Draw Quotes

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Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Alpha (No. 6, 5-2 odds): “I’m very happy with the draw. I’m not happy with the loading process. I was hoping No. 6 would be the last one in, but No. 11 is the last one in. With the double load, it’s 1 and 5, 2 and 6, but it’s great to be in the middle of the field.”


“I’m sorry Hansen’s out for [his] connections. It’s tough; those bad news items aren’t fun for a trainer, owner, or connections, but it does help us on the front end, I think, and now we’ll probably be a lot closer [to the pace], even on the lead.”


Christina Jelm, bloodstock advisor to Green B. Smith, Jr., owner of Nonios (No. 10, 4-1): “The minute he walked into the back walking ring [at the sales], he just had a presence that was amazing, and I knew I had to have him. I think we lost a little ground at one point [in the Haskell], but he ran a great race, and he came out of it really well and he’s improving.”


Ian Wilkes, trainer of Neck ‘n Neck (No. 8, 9-2): “I know Kiaran [McLaughlin] is going out there [on the lead with Alpha]. Like Questing, he is going to put a lot of speed out there. The rider has to judge his race. He’s got to judge the pace and ride his race. I would like to see a dry track, to be honest. There were no excuses the last time. He handled it [the off track], but we were second best. Ramon [Dominguez, aboard Alpha] rode a good race. So, you have to give them all of the accolades. I’d like to see a fast track [for the Travers]. He has done very well since the Jim Dandy. I’m very pleased with him. He hasn’t missed a beat.”


About his improvement since early spring and summer: “It’s maturity. He’s just grown up. If you watched him early on, he was playing around like he was a teenager. He thought it was time to go out and party and have a good time. It’s like the light bulb has gone on and he has put everything together.”


Chad Brown, trainer of Street Life (No. 5, 5-1): “I drew in the middle, which is fine by me. I’m happy to be in the middle. At the end of the day, it will all be up to Jose [Lezcano]. Hopefully, we’ll get some pace to run it. We’re taking the same approach we’ve taken all meet with all of our horses – keep them happy, healthy and sound and try to run them in the right spot. The Travers is the right spot for this horse.”


Jim Barnes, assistant to Bob Baffert, Hall of Fame trainer of Liaison (No. 9, 8-1): “They went 1:14 [in the Jim Dandy]. The track was sloppy, there was no pace to run at at all, and considering that he finished very well. They walked around and he finished. There should be more speed in the race, so it should be a different scenario.”


Ken McPeek, trainer of Atigun (No. 7, 12-1): “The Belmont [Stakes] was a really good race for him at a mile and a half. He needs every inch of ground he can get, and he needs pace in the race, which he didn’t get in the Jim Dandy at all. We’re going to give Mike Smith a test drive on him and see if we can get a piece of it. I thought he should have been a lot closer [to the pace] last time [in the Jim Dandy], but there were seven horses in the race that probably could have been closer to Alpha, but all of that is out of our hands once we leg ‘em up.”


Norman Casse, assistant to Mark Casse, trainer of Stealcase (No. 4, 15-1): “After the Haskell, he’s trained extremely well. We worked him twice over the main track and couldn’t have been happier with those two works. Two weeks ago, we put a real big work into him. I’ve probably never been as happy as I was for that work.


“We decided to run in the Travers after it was official Paynter was out. Had we broke better [in the Haskell] we would have been more forwardly placed going into the first turn, which would have been quite significant. I don’t want to say we could have finished second, but we do feel we would have run a much better race in the Haskell.


“We are excited about going a mile and a quarter.”


Anthony Bonomo, Jr., assistant to trainer Dominick Schettino of Five Sixteen (No. 2, 15-1): “Since the Belmont, and then the Curlin, his races are getting better and better, number-wise. I think he’s coming into his own right now. He’s getting better and better each day and on Travers Day, he’s going to be all right. I’m going to let Rosie [Napravnik] ride her race, because when the gates open, everything changes. I’m hoping she breaks good, breaks sharp. He can be in front, he can be behind. He’s a horse that whatever it is, he can run his race for you, whatever he wants to do.”


Ken McPeek, trainer of Golden Ticket (No. 3, 20-1): “Golden Ticket is a very fast horse. He’s thrown out down a bunch of bullet works in a row, and I’ve never seen him better physically. He ran well in the Tampa Bay Derby, and it’s a bit of a flyer, but we entered him in an allowance race the week before last and they had only two entries, and then we had him geared up for the Bernardini and it only had three, so that race died on the vine. So we were kind of stuck. We’ve got a horse sitting on tilt, and we kind of feel like there’s a chance for him.”


Nick Zito, Hall of Fame trainer of Fast Falcon (No. 11, 20-1): “He’s going to be coming from behind anyway, so I hope it works out [leaving from the outside]. Normally you like to save ground. Alpha ran a nice race last time [to win the Jim Dandy]. We think we fit pretty well, so we’re going to give it a whirl.”


Gary Contessa, trainer of Speightscity (No. 1, 30-1): “We’re a long shot, but we got the rail. Most trainers don’t want the rail. I don’t really want the rail, but it was the hand I was dealt, and we’re going to the lead. Hansen’s not in here. I was kind of thinking about whether I wanted to go the lead or not, or whether I wanted to go head-and-head with Hansen or not, but from the rail, if all goes well, we will be on the lead. And he won here last year at two turns at a mile and an eighth.


“He ran second to Alpha [in the Withers] in his last start. He wrenched his knee. After the race, I thought, ‘Wow,’ I thought for sure he broke his knee, and we just dodged a bullet. We had to give him about 40 days off. The biggest question is, is he fit enough? I’m not sure. We were pointing for the Bernardini Stakes, the race didn’t go, and here we are in the Travers. But it’s exciting. He’s won two turns on this track, and he looks like he’s ready.


“He schools quite often because in his first start as a 2-year-old he blew his mind in the paddock here, and it definitely cost him the race, but he’s cool, calm and collected and it’s good to see.”





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Older Comments about Travers Post Position Draw Quotes...

It's Alpha/Nonios's Race to loose. I don't see any of the others throwing a real fight. Now that all the A classes horses are gone, I guess it's time for the B class horses to shine. What a shame.

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