I'm feeling that "August Place To Be" hyperbole and I can't seem to shake it. I went back into my photo set for the first Travers I ever attended in 2005 and came across one of my favorite horses, Roman Ruler. The Space Gal took a pretty good shot of horse and rider as they exited the paddock and headed past the "At The Rail" pavilion, always a good spot to capture the ponies as they head to the track for the post parade.
I think it was Jerry Bailey's last Travers, however Flower Alley was the best that day. Roman Ruler finished third behind the winner and Bellamy Road that day. He was coming off a big win in the Haskell earlier in the month after winning the Dwyer at Belmont Park. The FuPeg colt earned over $1.2 million, running one more race after the Travers, taking second in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap behind Rock Hard Ten.
I'm finding it fascinating to follow the first set of offspring of the first set of horses I watched as a rookie horseplayer. Of course, Roman Ruler's top two progeny are the Classic winning Ruler On Ice and the 4-year old Rule who is nearing $1 million in earnings.
Speaking of that 2005 Travers, what a sequence the late Pick-4 was that day, where two horses running in that sequence sired 2011 Classic winners. The sequence started with the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap was won by Leroidesanimaux, Animal Kingdom's sire. Next up was the Grade 1 Hopeful where First Samurai (with Bailey aboard) held off Henny Hughes (Gary Stevens riding) in the second leg. The next leg was the Grade 1 King's Bishop won by the legendary Lost in the Fog, followed by the Travers victory by Flower Alley. Two of those races are now run on different weekends, but I must say that was a tremendous group of horses we were blessed to see that day.
Here's a few pictures from that Travers Day in 2005....
|Leroidesanimaux wins the Fourstardave|
|Gary Stevens aboard Henny Hughes|
|Jerry Bailey in the irons on Roman Ruler|
|Flower Alley holds off Bellamy Road to win Travers|
(Hey get yo head out the picture)
|Flower Alley heading to the winners circle|