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Flower Alley takes Travers
By wire services
Published August 28, 2005
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Flower Alley caught favored Bellamy Road at the top of the stretch and sprinted to a decisive 21/2-length win in the $1-million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course Saturday.
Flower Alley, trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by NHL Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, became the sixth horse to follow a win in the Jim Dandy with a victory in the Grade I Travers, the oldest stakes race for 3-year-olds in the country.
Out of the gate, Bellamy Road, the Kentucky Derby favorite owned by George Steinbrenner and trained by Nick Zito, broke quickly and took the lead ahead of Flower Alley and Roman Ruler, trained by Bob Baffert.
Along the backstretch Bellamy Road, coming off a 112-day layoff after injuring a bone that runs from the knee to the ankle, extended his lead to 13/4 lengths.
As the horses entered the final turn, Flower Alley continued to press Bellamy Road and overtook the 2-1 favorite as the field turned for home.
Bellamy Road faded down the stretch as did Roman Ruler, the winner of the Dwyer and Haskell Invitational in his last two starts after recovering from nagging foot injuries that kept him out of the Triple Crown races.
Flower Alley paid $8, $4 and $2 in the race's 136th running. Bellamy Road paid $4.10 and $2.70, and Roman Ruler, the son of 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, paid $2.50 to show. Don't Get Mad finished fourth, followed by Andromeda's Hero, Reverberate and Chekhov.
Earlier, Lost in the Fog improved to 9-0 with a 43/4-length victory in the $250,000 King's Bishop. The 1-4 favorite in the 7-furlong Grade I sprint, covered the distance in 1:22 2/5.
First Samurai took the lead at the top of the stretch and ran to an easy win in the Grade I $250,000 Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds. His 41/4-length victory over Henny Hughes gave him wins in his first three races.
In the Grade II Fourstardave, Leroidesanimaux led wire to wire and set a course record in winning the $200,000 race by 11/4 lengths over Silver Tree.