SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- A victory by Hadrian's Wall in the Travers
probably won't result in a race named after the colt, but it would be a dandy story for
lovers of the underdog.
The $1 million race will be the stakes debut for the colt, trained by Mark Hennig, who
has won two of nine starts, with a second and five thirds, and who didn't break his maiden until June 3 at Belmont
Another starter in the 1 1/4 -mile Travers on Saturday at Saratoga will be Point Given, winner of the Preakness,
Belmont Stakes and Haskell Invitational in his last three races.
Point Given is even-money favorite in the early line. Hadrian's Wall is 30-1.
Jim Dandy was 100-1 when he won the 1930 Travers, beating Triple Crown champion Gallant Fox. A fixture at
Saratoga now is the Jim Dandy Stakes, and three Travers starters competed in that race on Aug. 4, including winner
Two other long shots in the field of nine 3-year-olds are Volponi and French-bred Harrisand.
Volponi was a 13 1/2 -length winner July 30 at Saratoga, but it was in an allowance race. Harrisand, a stakes winner in
France, will be racing on the dirt for the first time in his third U.S. start.
The Travers will be the ninth Grade 1 race in 10 starts dating back to October for Point Given.
He finished second in both the Champagne and Breeders' Cup Juvenile and won the Hollywood Futurity in his last
three starts as 2-year-old.
In five Grade 1 races this year, he won the Santa Anita Derby, finished fifth as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby,
then rebounded with a solid victory in the Preakness, a 12 1/4 -length romp in the Belmont and a gutsy win the Haskell
on Aug. 5 at Monmouth Park.
There are varying opinions about Point Given's performance in the Haskell. He took the lead in the deep stretch and
beat lightly raced Touch Tone by a half-length.
Bob Baffert, Point Given's trainer, was pleased -- and relieved.
"I think he proved he has a lot of character," said Baffert, who noted the colt missed 26 days of training between the
Belmont on June 9 and the Haskell because of an abscess in his left hind foot. He wore a bar shoe when Gary Stevens
rode him in the Haskell and will wear one again Saturday.
"Turning for home, I thought he was dead," Baffert said before leaving Del Mar for Saratoga on Thursday. "Gary
thought he was finished. He showed a new dimension. It was the first time he ever got tired and he came back blowing
Baffert said the son of Thunder Gulch, the 1995 Kentucky Derby, Belmont and Travers winner, is much more fit for
the Travers. The colt, who worked five-eighths of a mile Monday at Del Mar, arrived at Saratoga on Tuesday .
"It makes it a big race and a good race," Phil Johnson, the Hall of Fame trainer, said of Point Given being in the
Also in the race are Free of Love, the Jim Dandy runner-up; A P Valentine, second in the Preakness and Belmont and
fourth in the Jim Dandy; E Dubai, winner of the Dwyer, and Dollar Bill, fourth in the Preakness and Belmont.