Alpha favored in Travers Stakes

SARATOGA SPINGS, N.Y. (AP) - Not much buzz to the buildup for the $1 million Travers Stakes, and it's no wonder since nearly every top 3-year-old has either been retired or sidelined with some sort of ailment.

Trainer Ken McPeek will send out two long shots in Atigun and Golden Ticket, and he says "a lot of the best horses are on the shelf, and that's unfortunate."

There may not be any superstars in the Travers, but there could be a rising star in Alpha. The colt trained by Kiaran McLaughlin is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in an 11-horse field thanks to his wire-to-wire win in the Jim Dandy at the Spa on July 28. Owned by Sheik Mohammed's Godolphin Racing, Alpha will try to match his sire Bernardini with a Jim Dandy-Travers double.