By Margaret Ransom A new rider will be aboard Catalina Cruiser in Saturday’s $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2), but the way he’s been running it may not matter who’s aboard. However, with regular rider Joel Rosario in New York this weekend (he’ll be aboard Endorsed in the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on Saturday), Del Mar’s leading rider Flavien Prat is not a bad fill-in. The 4-5 morning-line favorite in a field of seven, Catalina Cruiser is 2-for-2 this year, and 6-for-7 overall for Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler. The 5-year-old chestnut son of Union Rags won the True North
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By Richard Rosenblatt After a crazy first half of the season, a dozen 3-year-olds will be looking to make a name for themselves in Saturday’s $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. The field for the 1 ¼-mile race includes a bunch of Triple Crown race runners-up and a few up-and-coming horses, with Belmont Stakes (G1) second-place finisher Tacitus the 5-2 morning line favorite. Code of Honor, who ran third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) but was moved up to second after Maximum Security finished first but was disqualified for interference, is the second choice at 4-1
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The only question that arose in selecting this week’s “Best Bet” is whether or not it would be the Pick 4 or Pick 5 ending with the Travers on Saturday at Saratoga. With Shancelot looming a heavy favorite in the first leg of the Pick 5, and one I’m not inclined to play against, it felt prudent to shorten up, even though I’m a complete sucker for Pick 5’s. I can’t say that the Pick 4 is the most attractive betting sequence either, but the racing is too good to pass up and there are at least a few spots
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By US Racing Team Martin Chuan, a top jockey in Peru, makes his first North American Grade 1 start aboard 30-1 long shot Everfast in Saturday’s $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course. It’s far from his first career top-level appearance, though. The 24-year-old is currently the leading rider in his homeland and has collected more than 1,200 victories since he first started riding in 2012, including multiple top-level races in Peru. He plans to stick around and become one of the top jockeys in America. With a recommendation from retired jockey Ramon Dominguez, as well encouragement
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By Richard Rosenblatt The revelation for trainer Steve Asmussen came 11 years ago in California, just after his soon-to-be two-time Horse of the Year Curlin finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park. Horse of the Year in 2007 with a trio of Grade 1 wins in the Preakness, Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic, the mighty Curlin returned at age 4 and won a handicap race in Dubai before overpowering the field in the $6 million Dubai World Cup (G1), at the time the richest race in the world. After his return to the
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By John Furgele It’s time for the Travers, also known as the Mid-Summer Derby. It was first run in 1864 and this year, will be run for the 150thtime. Run at the classic distance of 1 ¼ miles, many believe that only the Kentucky Derby holds more prestige when it comes to races for 3-year olds. The Travers (G1) was run for the 113thtime in 1982 and that race remains a memorable one. The 1982 Derby winner was GatoDel Sol. As a 2-year old, the horse did nothing to distinguish himself; he did win the Del Mar Futurity, but his only
By Ray Wallin Peas and carrots. Franks and beans. Peanut butter and jelly. Travers and amazing finishes. The Mid-Summer Derby at Saratoga, the Travers Stakes, has produced some commanding wins and some heart pounding stretch drives. The last three runnings have produced commanding wins by Arrogate in 2016, West Coast in 2017, and Catholic Boy in 2018. Yet, there have been several amazing battles in the stretch in the last decade of the Travers as well. 2015 – Keen Ice Takes Down American Pharoah Triple Crown winner American Pharoah went right to the lead as the 1-5 favorite and set
By Richard Rosenblatt A field of 12 has been entered for Saturday’s $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, with Belmont Stakes (G1) and Jim Dandy (G2) runner-up Tacitus the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The post-position draw was held at the iconic Adelphi Hotel in downtown Saratoga Springs, New York, with many of the horse owners, trainers and jockeys on hand for the Tuesday evening event. “We’re looking for him to have a day in the sun, and we hope it’s in the Travers,’’ said Tacitus’ Hall of Famer trainer Bill Mott, looking for his first Travers victory.
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By Richard Rosenblatt When the call goes out for “Riders Up!” before the 150th edition of the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes on Saturday, a young man named Martin Chuan will get a leg up on Everfast, a long shot who finished second in the Preakness (G1). Martin Who? That’s what we said. Turns out that Martin Chuan is the leading rider in Peru, a 24-year-old who has more than 1,200 victories on his resume, according to his agent, but less than a dozen wins in the United States. Chuan has the ride aboard Everfast thanks to trainer Dale Romans,
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