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Posted by on 8/24/2015 9:30:15 PM

It took awhile, probably some sleepless nights and a few spirited discussions, but it’s now official, American Pharoah is New York bound and will run in the $1.6 million Travers at Saratoga this Saturday.

The final decision was made on Sunday after American Pharoah put in a sizzling workout that was not only easy, but also eye-catching.

The Triple Crown champ rocked off fractions of :23, :47 1/5, :58 4/5, and 1:10 3/5 before covering the 7 furlongs in 1:23 1/5.

This was his second work since winning the Haskell. He had drilled in :47 3/5 in his first work back on August 16.

One thing that will always make American Pharoah a tough horse to beat is his tactical speed. If you draw a line through his debut when he was a wide 5th, American Pharoah has never been farther than 3 lengths off the pace.

That kind of a style will give a horse a chance to win every time. It just makes it so much easier on a daily basis to not have to come from 10, 12 or 15 lengths back.

Another thing that American Pharoah has going for him is his ability to adapt. He has won on the synthetic, atSanta Anita, in the slop at Oaklawn and Pimlico, at Belmont and at Monmouth Park without even having a work over the surface.

In other Travers news, Smart Transition put in his final work toward the event going 5 furlongs Sunday at Saratoga in :58.55, the fastest of 43 on the work tab at that distance.

Trained by John Shirreffs, who knows a little something about a good horse as he conditioned Zenyatta, has always been impressed by Smart Transition.

Shirreffs: “You never know exactly where a horse is going to go but he’s been a horse that’s been very impressive since his 2-year-old year. He stood out among the 2-year-olds that we had. In some of his races he was very unfortunate. He didn’t get the ride or the tri he needed. In the Curlin, he got the perfect trip. It couldn’t have gone any better for him and he showed what he was capable of. If we get another good trip, I think he should run very well.

For the record, Smart Transition was 2nd in his debut, troubled the next time, successful in his first try going 8 and a half furlongs and solid winning the Curlin by nearly 5 lengths.

The Jim Dandy winner Texas Red also worked last weekend when he posted a :46.66 drill for 4 furlongs at Saratoga. His trainer Keith Desormeaux had his runner timed galloping out 9 furlongs in 1:56 3/5.

Keen Ice will have to come from left field if he is going to win the Travers and he drilled recently in 1:00 4/5 and it pleased his trainer Dale Romans.

Romans : “It was a good as he’s every worked by himself. He’s been in every dance and he’s pretty fit.”

Tale of Verve , second in the Preakness, cruised a half-mile in :48.48 and he could be a factor in the Travers. He will have the services of Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, never a bad thing.



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