Travers Stakes

Epicenter Makes His Way to Ashford Stud

Grade I winner Epicenter (Not This Time), who suffered a displaced condylar fracture to his right front leg during the running of the Nov. 5 GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland, on Friday was sent to Coolmore's Ashford Stud near Versailles, KY, where he will stand his first season at stud this year, Winchell Thorougbreds racing manager David Fiske tweeted. The winner of last year's GI Runhappy Travers. S. and GII Jim Dandy S. had been recuperating from the injury and subsequent surgery, conducted by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood...

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Code of Honor Euthanized

Code of Honor (Noble Mission {GB}--Reunited, by Dixie Union), winner of the 2019 GI Runhappy Travers S. and GI Jockey Club Gold Cup, was euthanized Friday after suffering a bout of colic. Bred and raced by W.S. Farish, the 6-year-old stood his first season at stud at the Farish family's Lane's End Farm this past spring. Trained by Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor was second in the 2018 GI Champagne S. He won the GII Fountain of Youth S. the following March before finishing third in the GI Florida Derby...

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Asmussen Quintet Tunes Up for Breeders' Cup

Trainer Steve Asmussen sent five Breeders' Cup contenders out to work Sunday at Keeneland. Grade I-winning fillies Clairiere (Curlin) and Society (Gun Runner), working in company, went five furlongs in a bullet :59.80 (1/34) in preparation for the Nov. 5 GI Breeders' Cup Distaff. The duo worked through fractions of :11.80, :23.80, :35.60, :47.60, :59.80 and out six furlongs in 1:13.20. Epicenter (Not This Time), off since winning the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 27, worked five furlongs in company in 1:00.20 (3/34) in preparation for the Nov. 5 GI...

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The Week in Review: 32 Years Ago, a Spark of Kismet at Saratoga

It was a relatively quiet Thursday last week when jockey John Velazquez registered his 1,000th victory at Saratoga, extending his record as the winningest jockey in Spa history. Sifting through the archives to get a feel for what was going on in the sport when Johnny V. won his first career race at Saratoga back on Aug. 5, 1990, yields a heady mix of nostalgia tinged with kismet. Although not considered a truly "historic" day of racing at the Spa, there are enough intriguing nuggets buried within the charts and...

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Epicenter Exits Runhappy Travers in Fine Shape

Winchell Thoroughbreds' Epicenter (Not This Time) was in fine shape Sunday morning, a day after his emphatic victory in the GI Runhappy Travers S. at Saratoga. "He's doing beautifully. He's very proud of himself," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "The race went beautifully and it was everything we hoped for. We're very proud of his win and excited about who he is." The Travers was the first Grade I win for Epicenter, who was runner-up in the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Preakness S. "We wanted it for him and for...

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Will Travers Stars Stick to the Script?

Our sport thrives on anticipation; our business, on outcomes. But actually it can take a while to unpick one from the other—especially when even a race as storied as the GI Travers S. is not just an end in itself, but also a potential means to viability for the whole program of whoever is lucky enough to own the winner.

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This Side Up: Will Travers Stars Stick to Script?

Our sport thrives on anticipation; our business, on outcomes. But actually it can take a while to unpick one from the other--especially when even a race as storied as the GI Runhappy Travers S. is not just an end in itself, but also a potential means to viability for the whole program of whoever is lucky enough to own the winner. In principle, the bare couple of minutes dividing anticipation from outcome at Saratoga on Saturday will be history tangibly in the making. From the flux of hopes and interests...

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Rosario Set For Record-Breaking Saratoga Meet

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - It's not your imagination that jockey Joel Rosario is having a big summer at Saratoga. Rosario, 37, is very much in the hunt for the overall title, a competition led by Irad Ortiz, Jr. Through Thursday's program, Ortiz had 37 wins, eight more than Rosario. However, in graded stakes races, Rosario is far and away the leader with 10 victories from 19 starts, a remarkable 53% win rate. Ortiz is next with five. With the 10, Rosario is in position to smash the current record of...

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Rich Strike Looks to Complete Derby/Travers Double

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Trainer Eric Reed is looking back and ahead as he prepares GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice) for the GI Runhappy Travers S. With a firm opinion of what went wrong in the Rich Strike's sixth-place finish in the GI Belmont S. June 11, Reed is expecting a much better performance in the $1.25-million signature race of the Saratoga Race Course meet Aug. 27. He will be the first Derby winner to run in the Travers since Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) finished ninth in 2017....

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Asmussen Set For Big Saturday at the Spa

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Two standouts. Two high-profile graded stakes. Two different scenarios Saturday for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. In the Grade I portion of his afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, Asmussen will saddle champion Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music), who just might go off as the shortest-priced favorite in the history of the $350,000 GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt H., which has been run since 1985. One race later, in the $600,000 GII Jim Dandy S., Asmussen will send out Epicenter (Not This Time), runner-up as the favorite in...

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The Week in Review: Nest Belongs in the Travers

For Nest (Curlin), the easy route to the Breeders' Cup includes a stop in the GI Alabama Aug 20. It's a prestigious race, has a $600,000 purse and Nest would be an odds-on favorite against many of the same horses she thrashed Saturday in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks. But what fun is that? Owners Mike Repole, Michael House and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and trainer Todd Pletcher have already shown that they will think outside the box. They ran their filly in the GI Belmont S., where she finished...

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V.E. Day Highlights Wanamaker's June Sale

V.E. Day (English Channel), winner of the 2014 GI Travers S., is one of 27 hips to be offered during the Wanamaker's June Sale. Consigned by Lovacres Ranch as a stallion prospect, V.E. Day also won the 2015 GII Brooklyn Invitational. His second crop are 3-year-olds this year. Also among the June offerings is the stakes-winning mare Mega Dream (Medaglia d'Oro), in foal to Lexitonian and consigned by Cary Bloodstock, and the 2-year-old racing prospect Honor King (Always Dreaming), a half-brother to GII Remsen S. winner Leave the Light On...

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