The Travers (Grade 1)- $1,250.000 Purse
SAR- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
August 26, 2023
Last month for the Dandy, there was a no rain, and the track went off as fast. In it, Mb Stables would score a 1-2 finish with Wahpekute Sioux edging out stablemate Jacks Courage at the wire. The two of them would return here for the Travers, but under much different circumstances as a virtual rainstorm left the track sloppy for the day’s races. Despite the rain, the same two horses would get the top two spots once again, but this time Jacks Courage got a measure of revenge on his stablemate. The win ends up being the 998th career graded stake win for Mb Stables and four of them have come in the Travers. He won last year with Individuation, as well as Centerpiece in 2018 and Burning Approval in 2019. Aboard the winner was J R Velazquez, and for him it is his second Travers win, as he was also aboard Centerpiece. Congratulations to them! The race was won in a time of 2:06.95, and due to the track condition, we can’t compare the time to anything. Let’s take a look at how this race unfolded!
(1/2 Mile- :48.43)- From his outside post, our eventual winner from Mb Stables, Jacks Courage, wastes no time and splashes out to an early lead in the slop. This wasn’t how he went about things in the Dandy, though he has been a quick starter in the past. Running evenly for second are his stablemate Wahpekute Sioux as well as the KYD champion, Quiet Return, from Allinthegate. So, yes, this means that the eventual top three at the end, were also the top three from the start. A length or so behind them, we have TwinTowersRacing’s Everythings Fine running slightly ahead of the PRK winner, Arindel’s Gorogue Laga. We then have a gap of two to three lengths to the rest of the field, which sees Dayton (Pan Farms), Domiano (Fractious) and Blue Duck (Night Rider Stables) leading the rest of the pack. Hiei (Fractius) and Noble Faerie (Riggins Racing) come next, then it’s High In Hollywood (The Freakshow) and At The Gates (Mb Stables).
(3/4 Mile- 1:13.76)- Heading down the backstretch, Jacks Courage gracefully shows the way and opens up his lead just a little bit to now be around a length and a half. Quiet Return and Wahpekute Sioux are still running side by side and are simply content to ride out this portion of the race. They are about the same distance ahead of fourth place Everythings Fine as they are behind the leader. Gorogue Laga loses a bit of ground, and now we start to see the rest of the pack close up the gap that had been there after a half mile. Dayton has been running well in the third lane and moves within a length of Gorogue Laga, and Domiano mostly keeps up with him. Blue Duck is about a length behind them while near the rail. Next, it’s Noble Faerie, with Hiei having a lot of work to do. High In Hollywood and At The Gates were 13 and 14 lengths from the front.
(Top of Stretch, 1.8F To Go)- If the others in the field were hoping that Jacks Courage would start to come back to them, they were going to be disappointed. Jacks Courage had no difficulty whatsoever within the turn and enters the stretch continuing to hold a length and a half lead. Wahpekute Sioux was now beginning to win the battle with Quiet Return for the second spot, something that also surely made Mb Stables quite thrilled. As of now, there was no one coming on strong from behind, as Everythings Fine was fourth though about four lengths from the lead and not making any kind of push. Blue Duck moved up a bit, so maybe that would be worth watching, and both Dayton and Gorogue Laga were simply holding steady, as was Domiano. No one further back was making a charge.
(Finish- 2:06.95)- It wasn’t as easy as it looked, but Jacks Courage certainly was a dominant horse in this race. He jumped out to the early lead, and never had anyone apply any pressure to him for the duration of the race. He would not show any signs of tiring and enjoyed the sloppy racetrack on this day. There was not any drama for the second position, either, as once Wahpekute Sioux pulled away from Quiet Return, he was safely ahead of everyone else. Quiet Return grabs third, though had to sweat out a bid by Blue Duck, who was really the only horse further back that made a big push at the end of this race. Domiano takes fifth, ahead of Everythings Fine and Dayton. Rounding it out are At The Gates, Gorogue Laga, High In Hollywood, Hiei, and Noble Faerie. Nineteen lengths separated first from last in this one.
About The Winner- Jacks Courage, trained by Mb Stables and ridden to victory by J R Velazquez, is a three-year-old gelding by Valiant, and is out of Run Dummy. He was bred as a yearling by Mb Stables in California, and they have been together throughout. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth in 15 starts, his fifth stake win and fourth graded win. His career earnings are now $2,261.000.
Time: :482 1:133 1:394 2:064
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 12 – 2 Paid 76.80
$1 Trifecta: 12 – 2 – 6 Paid 266.10
Scratched: Lunar Victory
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES