A New Star Has Arrived: Jolly Rook Wins The Travers

The Travers (Grade 1)- $1,250.000 Purse
SAR- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
August 8, 2020

During the TC season, we learned the names of many three year olds who seemed to be the best in the division. Prep races have come and gone, as well as the TC races themselves. Now, we begin to think ahead to the BC Classic, and the best three year old for that race might be a horse that was never on the TC trail. Jolly Rook began his season in a maiden claimer, where he was picked up by Angelos Stable for $35.000 in February. Once he began running long, he was able to show his true talent, and three weeks ago at MTH, he picked up a big win in the Haskell. That is impressive enough, but now this gelding was a veteran of success, and Jolly Rook doubled the Haskell win by winning the Travers. That feat is more impressive this year given the shorter time period between the races. Congratulations to Angelos Stable, who can now call himself a Travers champion, and so to can jockey R Bejarano. The time of the win was 2:00.95, which is in line with recent winning times. Let’s take a look!

(½ Mile- :48.11)- Jolly Rook, our eventual winner from Angelos Stables, breaks quickest out of the starting gate and begins to look as though he will lead the field around the opening turn. Stark, from the outside for D J C Racing Stables, also was quick and looked like he might challenge Jolly Rook for that lead. Instead, each would concede the position to Orion Nebula, from John Henry, and that one pulls out to a length lead. Jolly Rook rides in a stalking position just a length behind him, and is in a good lane to eventually make a move right to his outside. There are two other stalkers right to his inside, including the enormous longshot Scafati, from Fractious, and the Mb Stables-trained Groovy. Stark was restrained to run behind that group, running to the outside of Australia Wide’s Black And Red. From there, we move into the pack, with Brittle, from Aer Stables, next in line in the fourth lane, slight ahead of, from inside to outside, Silent Commander (Serenity Stables), Sars (Aer Stables), and Fortaleza (Mb Stables). Trailing are Graveyard (Mb Stables), Obeah Mon (Night Rider Stables), Anoush Command (Fractious), and Sexy Back (Night Rider Stables).

(¾ Mile- 1:11.99)- During the backstretch portion, two of the three stalkers of Orion Nebula were not content to just ride it out, and made their move for the lead, and Jolly Rook would be one of them. He was in the third lane, moving forward with Groovy, and it would be three wide as we started to get ready to run around the final turn. Scafati, the other stalker, would not make a move at this time, but kept himself in a great position to strike when ready. Brittle, who seemed to be one of the favorites for this race, moved up a little bit to join that second group of stalkers. Also advancing and positioning themselves for a run were Graveyard and the post time favorite, Anoush Command. It seemed as though rounding the turn would be particularly exciting here.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- If you were Angelos Stable, then rounding the turn was a complete thrill. With authority, Jolly Rook powered to the lead, dismissing Groovy by now being a length ahead of him, and Groovy did not necessarily run poorly here. Scafati was up to third, maintaining his good trip, and now had hopes to pull off a shocking win. Meanwhile, two of the horses to watch, Brittle and Anoush Command, were beginning to move forward, but it seemed as though they needed to do more in the turn to get around more traffic. Brittle was still dealing with Fortaleza and Black And Red. Anoush Command, along with Graveyard, waited until the exit of the turn to begin their biggest push forward, giving themselves still four lengths to make up on the leader.

(Finish- 2:00.95)- In the stretch, Jolly Rook pulled out to a lead of about a length and a half, and looked to hang on. Scafati was doing his best to hold the second position, but was unable to make a move on Jolly Rook. It never seemed to be in doubt with about a furlong to go as long as Jolly Rook did not completely tire out. Others would close into the lead, and make the actual margin of victory smaller than it could have been. This was not just a win for Jolly Rook, it was a dominant performance. Scafati holds second over a group of horses that waited too long to begin to make their moves. Graveyard and Anoush Command get the third and fourth place checks to show for their late runs. Groovy settles for fifth over a very late running Obeah Mon. The rest of the order did not have much to be excited about in hindsight. The final order would be Brittle, Black And Red, Fortaleza, Silent Commander, Sexy Back, Sars, Orion Nebula, and Stark.

About The Winner- Jolly Rook, trained by Angelos Stable and ridden to victory by R Bejarano, is a three year old gelding by The Rook, and is out of Princess Legion. He was bred in the third quarter by Our Athletes in California, and acquired by Angelos Stable for $35.000 in a maiden claiming race in February. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fourth in eight starts, his third graded win, and second grade 1. His career earnings are now $1,405.200.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Jolly Rook Angelos Stable Bejarano R 7.55   13/4 2:00.95 — 
  Scafati Fractious Davis D 1,189.80   2nk 2:01.10 — 
  Graveyard Mb Stables Hernandez R M 6.10   31/4 2:01.16 — 
  Anoush Command Fractious Desormeaux K J 5.00   4hd 2:01.25 — 
  Groovy Mb Stables Bridgmohan S X 6.85   5no 2:01.28 — 
  Obeah Mon Night Rider Stables Leparoux J R 36.20   61 2:01.29 — 
  Brittle Aer Stables Court J K 5.30   7no 2:01.51 — 
  Black And Red Australia Wide Stein J 5.45   8hd 2:01.53 — 
  Fortaleza Mb Stables Franco G 15.85   91/2 2:01.56 — 
  Silent Commander Serenity Stables Sanchez M J 55.70   101 2:01.70 — 
  Sexy Back Night Rider Stables Pennington F 143.30   11no 2:01.95 — 
  Sars Aer Stables Velazquez J R 9.35   121 2:01.96 — 
  Orion Nebula John Henry Centeno D E 49.10   131 2:02.28 — 
  Stark D J C Racing Stables Franco M 10.60   14 2:02.60 — 

Track: Fast

Time: :48   1:114  1:36   2:004

$2 Mutuel Prices:

7 – Jolly Rook 17.10 9.40 5.20
1 – Scafati   1,137.40 293.90
10 – Graveyard     6.60

$1 Exacta: 7 – 1 Paid 1,184.30

$1 Trifecta: 7 – 1 – 10 Paid 1,635.50

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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