Thursday, August 25, 2016

Creator Looks to Pad Resume in Saturday’s Travers Stakes

Creator will try to continue on the Temperence Hill path in the $1.25 Travers Stakes (G1) for 3-year-olds Saturday at Saratoga. The 1 ¼-mile “Midsummer Derby” has attracted a field of 14, including division leader and 3-1 program favorite Exaggerator.

Creator (15-1) is scheduled to break from post 12 under Irad Ortiz Jr., who guided the gray son of Tapit to a nose victory in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) June 11 at Belmont Park.

Creator broke his maiden Feb. 27 at Oaklawn before winning its $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16.

In 1980, Temperence Hill broke his maiden at Oaklawn before winning the Arkansas Derby, Belmont – the final leg of the Triple Crown – and Travers en route to champion 3-year-old male honors.

A victory Saturday would be Creator’s third Grade 1 this year and put the late-running colt in the mix for year-end honors. He is coming off a sixth-place finish in the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) July 30 at Saratoga. He was never a factor in the Jim Dandy, the major local prep for the Travers, but gets an extra furlong and a likely faster pace to run at Saturday.

“The good news is that the Jim Dandy wasn't Creator's major target, but we were expecting it to be better,” admitted seven-time Oaklawn leading trainer and newly minted Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who is also looking for a rebound from Winchell Thoroughbred's three-time graded stakes winner Gun Runner, after that colt reaffirmed his distaste for off-going in the Haskell. “I don't think (the Jim Dandy) did anything for him. I just think he’s trained very sharp since. I think there should be a more favorable set up for him this time in this competitive of a field than there was in the Jim Dandy.”

Also entered in the Travers are Arrogate, American Freedom, My Man Sam, Governor Malibu, Forever d’Oro, Anaximandros, Destin, Gift Box, Connect, Majesto, Laoban and Gun Runner.

All starters carry 126 pounds.

Probable post time for the Travers, the 11th of 13 races, is 4:44 p.m. (Central).

Super Saratoga Saturday

Creator isn’t the only major Oaklawn stakes winner entered Saturday at Saratoga.

Forever Unbridled is entered in the $750,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Forever Unbridled won Oaklawn’s $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 15 and was an unlucky second in her last start, the $1 million Ogden Phipps (G1) June 11 at Belmont Park.

Forever Unbridled (7-2 on the morning line) is scheduled to break from post 3 under Joel Rosario and carry 121 pounds.

Also entered are I’m a Chatterbox, 9-5 program favorite Curalina, Paid Up Subscriber and Cavorting. Paid Up Subscriber will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Oaklawn’s champion jockey the last four years.

Probable post time for the Personal Ensign is 1:23 p.m. (Central).

Other Oaklawn stakes winners entered Saturday at Saratoga are Sarah Sis and Haveyougoneaway in the $500,000 Ballerina Stakes (G1) for female sprinters. Also entered is Spelling Again, who trained this year at Oaklawn.

Probable post time for the 7-furlong Ballerina is 1:59 p.m. (Central).

Oaklawn-raced Rated R Superstar is entered in the $500,000 King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) for 3-year-olds at 7 furlongs.

Oaklawn-raced The Truth Or Else and 5-2 program favorite A.P. Indian are entered in the $700,000 Forego Stakes (G1) at 7 furlongs.

Probable post time for the King’s Bishop is 2:35 p.m. (Central). Probable post time for the Forego is 3:12 p.m. (Central).

Finish Lines

Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Marquee Miss is entered the $100,000 Riskaverse Stakes Thursday at Saratoga. … Four-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. recorded his 12th winner this year at Saratoga Wednesday aboard Greywalls ($13.40) for trainer John Terranova. … Chad Brown, whose training career began in earnest at the 2008 Oaklawn meeting, reached 1,000victories with Mr Maybe in the $100,000 John’s Call Stakes Wednesday at Saratoga. A former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, Brown, 38, went out on his own in late 2007 and was 0 for 20 in 2008 at Oaklawn (one starter was disqualified from a victory because of interference in the stretch). Brown, who has won seven Breeders’ Cup events, is Saratoga’s leading trainer this year and ranks second nationally in purse earnings ($12,330,911). … Marking, who is out of 2009 Oaklawn Apple Blossom winner Seventh Street, is the 3-1 second choice in the program for Saturday’s $700,000 Forego Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

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