Travers Stakes

Essential Quality Fine After Travers Win

Godolphin's Essential Quality (Tapit) exited his win in Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. in fine shape, and, while his next start is up in the air, his ultimate target will be the Nov. 6 GI Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer Brad Cox confirmed Sunday. "He looked great this morning. He's in good shape," Cox said. "[Godolphin USA President] Jimmy Bell and I spoke about [his next start] this morning, there's no pressure to make a decision right now. We'll just let the dust settle and enjoy this victory for a little...

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The Week in Review: Numbers Don't Lie, But They Can Be Perplexing

If you like to sift through numbers, a few stand out from Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. card at Saratoga Race Course. How about six Grade I stakes, whose winners all earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures? They weren't big-figure blowouts either. Five of those ultra-competitive races were decided by a half-length or less at the wire. Nine winning favorites from 13 races also catches the eye. As does the four-win performance by jockey Joel Rosario. But the most mind-boggling numeric notation from the summer's biggest day of racing appeared in...

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Champ Tops 'Quality' Travers Field

Eclipse winner Essential Quality (Tapit) headlines a strong field of seven in Saratoga's prestigious GI Runhappy Travers S. Saturday evening. Should he succeed he would be the second colt in as many as years to complete the GI Belmont S./Travers double and the first juvenile champion to take the Midsummer Derby since Street Sense won the 2007 renewal. Opening his sophomore account with wins in the GIII Southwest S. Feb. 27 and GII Toyota Bluegrass S. Apr. 3, the Godolphin homebred was fourth as the favorite in the GI Kentucky...

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Essential Quality Morning-Line Favorite for Travers

Essential Quality (Tapit) drew post two of seven and was installed the 4-5 morning-line favorite when post positions were drawn Wednesday morning for Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. Last year's champion 2-year-old colt rebounded from his lone loss to date, a fourth in the GI Kentucky Derby, to win the June 5 GI Belmont S. and July 31 GII Jim Dandy S. Trainer Brad Cox said the Godolphin homebred has only improved since the Jim Dandy. "He's sharp, mentally," Cox said. "He's sharper this race than going into the Jim...

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Masqueparade Adds NOLA Flavor to Travers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--There's more than a casual connection between New Orleans, Masqueparade (Upstart) and Saratoga Race Course, where the colt will run Saturday in the $1.25-million GI Runhappy Travers. Trained by New Orleans native Al Stall for a group of New Orleans businessmen and pals headed by Wilbur "Bill" Babin called FTGGG Racing and whose name references the masks worn during the city's signature Mardi Gras festivities, Masqueparade was purchased with Saratoga in mind. Babin made his first visit to Saratoga in 2003; has come for the entire meet since...

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Midnight Bourbon Tunes Up for Runhappy Travers

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow), who most recently clipped heels and nearly fell to the track in the stretch run of the July 17 GI Betfair.com Haskell S. at Monmouth Park, tuned up for an expected start in next Saturday's GI Runhappy Travers S. with a four-furlong work in :49.77 (17/68) over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Sunday. "He's a very impressive horse," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "I think we're obviously very fortunate that he came out of the mishap in the Haskell in good shape and he's training...

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Jockey Club Gold Cup and Flower Bowl Added to Saratoga's 2021 Stakes Schedule

The New York Racing Association unveiled the stakes schedule for the Saratoga meet, which will feature 76 stakes worth $21.5 million in total purses, including the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup and GI Flower Bowl S., both of which were previously run at Belmont. Both races will be run Sept. 4 and, to accommodate this change, the GI Woodward S. and GIII Fasig-Tipton Waya S. will be moved to the Belmont fall meet. The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be worth a $1 million for the first time since 2016,...

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Tiz the Law Preps for BC Classic

MGISW Tiz the Law (Constitution) breezed six furlongs in 1:12.26 (1/1) over the Belmont main track Friday morning in preparation for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland Nov. 7. The Empire-bred will be vanned to Kentucky Sunday to continue his preparations for the World Championships. Under exercise rider Heather Smullen, Tiz the Law went in company with stablemate Niko's Dream (Central Banker) (five furlongs in 1:01.05) before drawing away at the top of the lane. He recorded splits of :13.07, :24.84, :36.43, and :47.63 before galloping out seven furlongs...

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Jack Knowlton Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Fresh off a trip to the winner's circle after Tiz The Law's romp in the GI Runhappy Travers S., Sackatoga Stable's Jack Knowlton joined this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss the GI Kentucky Derby favorite.

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Knowlton Looking for 'Redemption' with Tiz the Law

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Mixing confidence with the cautiousness that comes from years of experience in Thoroughbred racing, Jack Knowlton is more than ready for the GI Runhappy Travers S. Saturday that will feature Sackatoga Stable's Tiz the Law (Constitution). Seventeen years after Sackatoga's GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. winner Funny Cide (Distorted Humor) was scratched from the Travers the day before the race, Knowlton is eager to watch one of the horses he co-owns compete in the marquee race in the city that has been his home...

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New Owners Consider Runhappy Travers for South Bend

South Bend (Algorithms), purchased privately by a partnership group that includes Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel, Peter Deutsch and Leonard Schleifer of Pantofel Stable following a runner-up effort in the June 27 GIII Ohio Derby, could make his first start for the new connections in the Aug. 8 GI Runhappy Travers S. "We're leaning toward the Travers," confirmed the colt's new trainer Bill Mott. "The partnership group wants to have a good look at that. He'll work probably the first part of the week." Previously campaigned by Sagamore Farm and trainer...

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This Side Up: D-Day for Baffert's Coolmore Pair

He's like the clean-cut, wide-eyed rookie sent into the lines, trying to read the expressions of the relieved troops. What might the likes of Charlatan (Speightstown) and Nadal (Blame) tell this star cadet, as they hand over the trenches, to steel him for the challenges ahead? Cezanne (Curlin) probably thinks they could do with a shave, and shouldn't be smoking on duty. But then he will notice the medals on their chests, and start to ask himself whether he too will step up; whether he will live up to everything...

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