Saez To Partner With Mage In Travers

Luis Saez won the 2021 Travers aboard champion Essential Quality | Sarah Andrew


Luis Saez will ride Mage (Good Magic) in the upcoming GI Travers S., it was announced Tuesday afternoon in a tweet from trainer Gustavo Delgado, Sr.

He replaces Javier Castellano, who won the GI Kentucky Derby aboard the colt and also guided him to a third-place finish in the GI Preakness S. and a runner-up effort in the GI Haskell S. Saez rode Mage to a second-place finish in the GI Florida Derby. Saez opted to ride Tapit Trice (Tapit) in the Derby for trainer Todd Pletcher. Tapit Trice finished seventh.

Castellano is also the regular rider of Arcangelo (Arrogate) and won the GI Belmont S. on that colt for trainer Jena Antonucci. Like Mage, Arcangelo is being pointed to the Aug. 26 Travers.

“We have a tremendous amount of love and respect for Javier and we accomplished together what is a lifetime dream for everybody in racing,” said Mage co-owner Ramiro Restrepo. “We are fully cognizant, fully aware of the difficult decision that he was facing when it came to picking between two very talented colts, both winners of American Classic races.

“It is our understanding that there will be a full field in the Travers of 11 or 12 horses. With most of those horses, they have riders spoken for them. We know Javier was having a difficult time choosing between both horses. There's not many jockeys available as the field is starting to take shape. We didn't want to be put in a position where we were left without a top rider if Javier chose otherwise. It was in our best interest to secure a rider who knows the horse and rode him to a great second-place finish in the Florida Derby.”

Restrepo said the decision was made by the Mage camp and not by Castellano.

“We spoke with Javier a few days ago and chatted about the situation,” Restrepo said. “We asked them how they were going to proceed. Several days went by since then and Javier wasn't able to give us a decision. He said he was still mulling things over. At that point, we needed to be proactive and go ahead and make a decision.”

Earlier this week, Castellano sat down with Mike Kane to discuss the decision-making process.



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