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“NTRA Summer Racing” on ESPN Presents Live Coverage of Travers, King's Bishop, and Bernard Baruch from Saratoga


August 21, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

Live coverage of the “Mid-Summer Derby”—the Grade I, $1 million Travers Stakes Presented by Shadwell Farm—highlights this week's “NTRA Summer Racing” program on ESPN. The 90-minute telecast from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs also includes two other major stakes events run that day at the historic upstate New York racetrack: the Grade I, $250,000 NetJets King's Bishop Stakes and the Grade II, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap.

The program begins at 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time this Saturday, August 23, on ESPN.

Top Contenders for the Travers Stakes: The 139th running of the mile-and-one-quarter Travers Stakes should attract a full field of top three-year-olds, including this year's Santa Anita Derby winner Colonel John, who will ship in from California for trainer Eoin Harty. Also in the field is Belmont Stakes winner Da' Tara, whose June 7 victory put an end to the Triple Crown hopes of Big Brown. Also in the Travers lineup is Macho Again, who defeated Da' Tara and five others in capturing the July 27 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga.

Top Contenders for the NetJets King's Bishop Stakes: Heading the field in this prestigious seven-furlong sprint for three-year-olds is the Steve Asmussen-trained J Be K, who is a perfect five-for-five going seven furlongs or shorter. Among those testing him on Saturday is Kodiak Kowboy, who scored a resolute victory in Saratoga's Amsterdam Stakes, which is the traditional prep for the King's Bishop. Another top threat will come by way of South Florida in Golden Spikes, who was an impressive winner despite encountering trouble in Calder's Carry Back Stakes, the featured three-year-old event on the July 12 Summit of Speed program at the Miami racetrack.

Top Contenders for the Bernard Baruch Handicap: This mile-and-one-eighth grass test for three-year-olds-and-up pits a couple of nine-furlong turf specialists against each other: the Bobby Frankel-trained Proudinsky, who took the Mervin Muniz Jr. Handicap at this distance in March at Fair Grounds, and the Bill Mott-conditioned War Monger, who rolled to a convincing victory the last time he went a mile and one eighth in the Sunshine Millions Turf on January 26 at Gulfstream Park.