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Expectations high for Saratoga meet

Don't rule out an appearance from Big Brown in Saratoga this summer.

New York Racing Association racing secretary P.J. Campo said there is a chance the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will run in this year's Travers, Aug. 23 at Saratoga Race Course.

I spoke to (trainer) Rick Dutrow Jr. three or four days ago, and he told me he still wants to run (Big Brown) in the Travers, Campo said at Monday's Saratoga Race Course press conference at the Desmond in Colonie. "He made it evident that if (Big Brown) runs well in the Haskell (Aug. 2) and comes out of it well, then he may run in the Travers."

But Campo also said the success of this year's meet does not hinge on whether Big Brown comes to the Spa City. Rather, he expects this year's meet to continue the track's 140-year history of premier thoroughbred racing.

"These guys (the trainers) come with their A-class horses," said Campo.

Many Saratoga regulars will be back with their horses this year including Dutrow, Todd Pletcher, Nick Zito and defending training title holder Bill Mott. Other trainers that will send horses to Saratoga include David Carroll, Ken McPeek and Carl Nafzger.

"For the six weeks of the meet, we'll have the best horses and the best trainers," said Campo. "And with that, we'll also have the best jockeys and the best purses."

The meet begins Wednesday, July 23, with the running of the Grade III Schuylerville and ends Monday, Sept. 1, with the Hopeful and the Glens Falls Handicap. The Grade II Jim Dandy " considered to be a preview of the Travers " takes place Sunday, July 27, and the Grade I Sword Dancer will be run Saturday, Aug. 16 " the same day as the Grade I Alabama Stakes.

In all, there will be 15 Grade I stakes races including the Travers, Sword Dancer, Alabama, Whitney Handicap (July 26), Diana (July 26), Darley Test (Aug. 2), Personal Ensign (Aug. 22), NetJets King's Bishop (Aug. 23), Ballerina (Aug. 24), New York Turf Riders Cup Handicap (Aug. 28), Woodward (Aug. 30), Forego Handicap (Aug. 30), Spinaway (Aug. 31) and Hopeful (Sept. 1).""

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