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The new Marylou Whitney clubhouse entrance gate at Saratoga

2019 Travers Workouts

Date: 08/22/2019

The $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1), the "midsummer Derby" at Saratoga featuring some of the country's best 3-year-olds, celebrates its 150th renewal on Saturday. A field of 12 made final entry for this 1 1/4 mile main track classic headed by 5-2 favorite Tacitus in post 6. In addition, there are six other stakes on the card: The Forego, the Ballerina, The H. Allen Jerkens, the Ballston Spa, the Personal Ensign, and the Sword Dancer.

Check out photos from Thursday morning works and afternoon schooling below. Click on the small photo to see a larger version.

More photos from Friday

horse racinghorse racingEndorsed drew post 11 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Joel Rosario rides the 15-1 shot. McLaughlin said, "He came out of the (Curlin Stakes) unbelievable. I was afraid. Going nine furlongs the first time sometimes they might empty out and get tired and we would pay for it later. He's done the opposite. He's come out of the race better than he went into it and is training fabulous. So we feel like that we definitely want to take a shot at it."
horse racinghorse racingHighest Honors is a 10-1 shot out of post 3 with Luis Saez getting the call for trainer Chad Brown. Brown said, "He's always been one of our favorites of the crop. He's come a long way fast and only a really talented horse can do that, and he's very talented, I believe. Owner-breeder William Farish Jr. added, "Chad texted us back in February that this was his Travers horse. It's hard to believe. I don't know if he'll be ready for this big a step up. It's only his fourth start. This is a race dad has always wanted to win, obviously everybody feels that way."
horse racinghorse racingLaughing Fox drew post 4 as a 30-1 outsider. Ricardo Santana Jr. rides for Steve Asmussen. Owner Alex Lieblong said, "He needs some speed to be able to run them down and I think there will be plenty of speed in this one. He got pinned down a little bit on the rail the first [turn] in the Jim Dandy and had a hard time getting out, and then he finally got out. It's funny, that horse makes up a lot of ground right at the end, like he did at the Preakness, [when] he had to swing so far out there and keep on. He's one of those that just keeps coming."
horse racinghorse racingLooking at Bikinis drew post 9 for trainer Chad Brown and is 10-1 morning line. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "I think he's a good horse and he's just starting to develop. He's a young horse. He's only run three times, and out of those three he's shown a lot of potential. There will be a little more speed in this race so he doesn't have to be on the lead. It's now his second time going two turns and I think he's going to handle it better mentally and physically. He's shown me he belongs with this group."
horse racinghorse racingMucho Gusto ships in from California and is a 6-1 morning line chance out of post 7. Joe Talamo rides for trainer Bob Baffert. Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Baffert said, "He's arrived in good shape and looks good. He had his second gallop over the main track this morning, just a light mile, and he'll probably go a little further tomorrow. He goes over the track well. He had to step up last time to run against the likes of Maximum Security, but he gave us a reason to jump up there. Hopefully, he does the same thing on Saturday. It's a large field but we have a good post to work with and with the Haskell being a week earlier this year, I think that helped in his recovery."
horse racingOwendale galloped twice around and then schooled in the paddock. Trainer Brad Cox said, "He got here Tuesday and he's settled in well. He rebounded well in the Ohio Derby, and he's coming into this race as well as he's come into any of them. We're confident he's going to run big. He had run a huge race in January and he bounced. He didn't run from February until [he won] the [Grade 3] Lexington in April, and we're going into this Travers the same way. He's pretty much a plain brown wrapper but he can run."
horse racingMitole is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the Forego (G1) on the Travers undercard. Ricardo Santana Jr. rides from post 3 as trainer Steve Asmussen attempts to win his first Forego.
horse racingMidnight Bisou is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the Personal Ensign (G1) also on Saturday. Mike Smith rides for Steve Asmussen from post 1. Asmussen said, "She gave herself a lot do off the bench in the Ladies at Sam Houston. Since then she has been very sharp. I think examples [of her adjustments] are very subtle within the individual races. It's almost like Mike will think, I want to be there,' and she gets there without a lot of obvious visual adjustment. Those are the things you really admire, especially at this level.
horse racinghorse racing
Views of the historic and scenic Saratoga grandstand in the early morning fog during workouts and the midday sun before the races.

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