Supergirl and Underdog are both out of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga this year, leaving a small field with little star power.
Rachel Alexandra, clearly the best horse of the current crop of three-year-olds, is being pointed at the Woodward Stakes, and if she wins, she'll be the first filly in history to take it. It looks like a done deal to me (but I've said this before; remember Big Brown?).
Mine That Bird has been sidelined after having surgery on his epiglottis, and his connections are now hoping to run him in the Breeder's Cup Classic in the fall.
Here are the seven starters for the Travers, with post positions and morning line odds:
1 - Hold Me Back, 15-1
2 - Charitable Man, 8-1
3 - Warrior's Reward, 8-1
4 - Quality Road, 8-5
5 - Our Edge, 15-1
6 - Summer Bird, 3-1
7 - Kensei, 7-2
The most interesting horse in the race is morning line favorite Quality Road (shown above), who was a strong contender for the Kentucky Derby but was kept out of the race with hoof problems. He made his comeback in the G2 Amsterdam Stakes on August 3 at Saratoga. Not only did he win, but he broke a 30-year-old track record for 6.5 furlongs with a final time of 1:13.45.
The second choice is Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird, but like his pop, Birdstone, he seems to do his best work at longer distances.
The win, place and show horses from the Jim Dandy are all coming out as well: Kensei, Warrior's Reward and Charitable Man, respectively.
Tune in Saturday night for the No Hassle at the Castle recap.