[NOTE: Macho Again is attempting to become the fourth consecutive horse to complete the Jim Dandy/Travers double, following Flower Alley (2005), Bernardini (2006) and Street Sense (2007). Other horses to accomplish this feat are Arts and Letters, 1969; Willow Hour, 1981; Carr de Naskra, 1984; Thunder Rumble, 1992; and Medaglio d’Oro, 2002.]
DALLAS STEWART: “He ran a great race [in the Jim Dandy]. Before the race, obviously, he ran in the Belmont and we thought he ran well for a good mile and a quarter and just got tired. He’s developing. He’s not a very big horse, but he’s developing nicely through the summer. We’re pretty happy with the way he’s coming into it.”
“We were going to work him on Friday, and he just didn’t act right. His stomach wasn’t right for an hour or two, so we just blew off the work and jogged him a couple miles. He jogged good; unfortunately, he got loose when he got back. He was just feeling good and just knocked both handlers down. Fortunately he didn’t get hurt. When they get loose anything can happen. They can run over people; there’s a lot of people on the backside and thank God that nobody got hurt. He got one little scratch on him. It was a little bit of a rodeo, but he came through it okay, and thank God that he didn’t get hurt and nobody else did. We breezed him on Saturday (four furlongs on Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track in 50.15).
On some people calling this a weak 3-year-old crop: “I don’t care. They’re still going to pay us if we win. Doesn’t bother me at all.”
“I told Terry (Finley, of West Point Thoroughbreds), we had talked about a few things and I told him ‘Listen, this horse needs to run. I’ve never seen him this good.’
“His gallops were just phenomenal and Terry came out and saw him and said, ‘Man, he’s really matured.’ His energy was peaking and I think we’re getting that back to where it was before the Jim Dandy.”
“It’s just two great races that everybody dreams of winning (Jim Dandy and Travers). Any stakes race up here, but the Travers being the one you’d like to capture.”
“I thought we ran well the other day. I think we fit well. We’ve got a very nice horse who is very game. I don’t feel like he was all-out the other day. I think he had a little bit left in the tank, I think a mile and a quarter is within his reach, and we’re hoping for some good racing luck.”
“I just think that Julien (Leparoux, jockey) will just lay back and just concentrate on his horse. I don’t know that he’ll ride a lot of other horses in the race. But, I just hope he gives him a good, clean trip. He’s a good horse, he’s game and if he gets a good run at them in the last quarter mile I think he’ll be tough. What everybody else does, it’s going to be hard to tell. But, I think he’s very live. I think we have a good shot.”
“I think he will [close into a slow pace]. He breaks good, he relaxes good, if [Leparoux] has to use him a little bit to get position, I don’t think that that bothers him. He looks like he’s easy to ride to me, but I’m not going to tell [Julien] much.”
Is the added weight (126 pounds) a concern? “Not really. He’s doing well. Hopefully it won’t a factor. They’re all carrying the same weight anyways. He’s doing well, and I think he fits well with this group.”
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Request to the media: The Travers Stakes presented by Shadwell Farm is one of three Grade 1 stakes run at Saratoga that are sponsored. We would appreciate your cooperation in recognizing the sponsorship of these races by using the full race name at least once in your coverage. The races are: Travers Stakes Presented by Shadwell Farm (August 23), NetJets King’s Bishop (August 23) and the Three Chimneys Hopeful (September 1).