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2003 Travers Undercard Stakes Results

Dateline: 08/23/2003

Although the main event of the day was the Mid-Summer Derby, the Travers Stakes, the undercard featured some of racing's other divisions with top ranked horses competing, as they continue on the road to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and possibly Eclipse Awards. Surprisingly, top trainer Bobby Frankel was shut out for the day, not getting a single victory out of his powerful stable.


Valid Video winning the Kings Bishop over Great Notion and Ghostzapper.
The Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes is for three year olds sprinting seven furlongs on the main track. Thirteen entered the gate including 5-4 favorite Zavata. However, Zavata never was in it, as 8-1 fifth choice Valid Video stayed in contention early and then caught pacesetter and 17-1 longshot Great Notion in late stretch to win by a neck in 1:22.14. It was another neck back to late closer Ghostzapper. Winning trainer Dennis Manning, who won his first career Grade 1 stakes and his first stakes at Saratoga, said, "I've had some Grade 1-placed horses before, but this is the first I ever won. I was a little leery we were down on the inside, and I was screaming 'Joe, get him out! Get him out!' Once he got out, I knew he would go on about his business. I think that Mr. (Mack) Fehsenfeld would want to take him to the Breeders' Cup. He fires very well fresh. Maybe he deserves a chance." Winning jockey Joe Bravo added, "He's a young horse and his better days are still in front of him. To be honest, he is still intimidated being inside. I would have felt a lot more comfortable had he drawn an outside post. It worked out. When he saw daylight at the eighth-pole, he took off and that gave me a lot of confidence. There were some nice horses in there." Results chart Race 10


Trademark winning the Fourstardave Handicap.
The Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap saw eleven horses go 1 1/16 miles over the turf course. 3-1 favorite Trademark did not disappoint his backers, pressing the pace saving ground in fourth place early and then drawing clear in late stretch to win by two lengths over 9-1 shot Quest Star, in a time of 1:39.29 over the firm course. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 15-1 longshot Tap the Admiral. Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "It was amazing how well he ran without Lasix. When we brought him here, he bled when we first worked him. Lasix is the big issue with him. He's a tough horse to train in the morning because he can take a strong hold, but the exercise riders have done a great job with him. Richie (jockey Migliore) rode him perfectly, and that's what it's all about. You have to have the trip over the turf course. We'll probably give him a break and point for the Shadwell Mile in October." Results chart Race 9


Stylish out front in the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup.
The Grade 3 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup featured the distaffers also going 1 1/16 miles over the turf. 8-1 shot Stylish stayed in contention early on, and, going to the outside on the far turn, dug in gamely to win by ½ length over 5-1 shot Snow Dance, in a time of 1:41.03. It was another length back to early pacesetter and 46-1 longshot Cozzy Corner. 3-2 favorite Sea of Showers disappointed, never in contention finishing last after taking an awkward step at the head of the stretch. Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "She had a perfect trip. Johnny [Velazquez] rode her well. She had the perfect stalking trip. She had a long vacation and she's come back running. She had a trapped epiglottis; Dr. (Steve) Selway did a minor surgery. She's come back and after a couple of races, she's gotten back in gear. I don't know where we will go next; she was stepping up today." Bobby Frankel said of his badly beaten favorite, "She ran terrible." Results chart Race 8


Country Romance winning the Victory Ride Stakes for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner Overbrook Farm.
The $75,000 Victory Ride Stakes featured three-year-old fillies sprinting six furlongs on the main track. 11-1 shot Country Romance went gate to wire under Jorge Chavez to win by half a length over She's Zealous in a time of 1:09.62. It was another 3/4 length back to 3-1 favorite Ebony Breeze. Results chart Race 7

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Photos ©2003 Cindy Pierson Dulay, licensed to About.

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