Romans Serving as Host for Two Travers Invaders


Photo: Coady Photography
Trainer Dale Romans

Trainer Dale Romans is running a Travers hotel at his barn on the backstretch at Saratoga Race Course.

Romans doesn't have a horse running in the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) Aug. 27, but he has been playing the role of host for a couple of runners in the Midsummer Derby.

The Eric Reed-trained Rich Strike , winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), has a stall in the Romans' barn as does Ain't Life Grand , who captured the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows last month for trainer Kelly Von Hemel.

The two colts are next door to each other on the shedrow.

Romans has a connection to both. He trained Rich Strike's sire, Keen Ice  , to a win in the 2015 Travers over Triple Crown winner American Pharoah  . He also trained Ain't Life Grand's daddy, Not This Time  . Not This Time was second in the 2016 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1).

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"It's cool to watch them train," Romans said Aug. 17 outside his barn. "It's fun to be a little involved. I tell everyone they are my grandsons. The one colt reminds me of Not This Time; he looks a lot like him. This other colt doesn't look anything like Keen Ice, other than he is big and strong. Different colors, though."