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The highlight of Saratoga’s 2012 meeting will be run this Saturday when an estimated field of as many as 12 three-year-olds will race for a million dollars in the 143rd running of the Travers Stakes. Currently two horses -Hansen and Alpha - are getting most of the attention, but there are a couple of other probable entries that have had fast workouts.
Hansen is coming off a disappointing fourth in the West Virginia Derby but won the Iowa Derby back in June. He will have his third rider change in his last three races, but will have two-time defending Travers Stakes champion Javier Castellano aboard on Saturday.
Alpha will be coming off a wire-to-wire win in the Jim Dandy Stakes following a long rest after a poor 12th–place finish in the Kentucky Derby. He will have his favorite jockey aboard in Ramon Dominguez, under whom he’s run 3-1-0 in four starts. He also has a pedigree edge with his sire Bernardini winning the 2006 Travers.
Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Nonios has never finished worse than second in five starts and fell short to Paynter at the Haskell Stakes in his first G1 race last month. He had a final breeze of :47.5 in California on August 18.
Street Life is coming off his first win in five races when he edged out Five Sixteen at the Curlin Stakes less than a month ago. The son of 2007 Travers winner Street Sense has shown improvement under the training of Chad Brown.
Another horse to consider for exotics, or to win, is Ian Wilkes-trained Neck n’ Neck. The son of 2005 Travers winner Flower Alley is 2-1-0 in his last three starts and seems to respond well to jockey L. Goncalves.