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Monday, August 26, 2013

Travers Weekend in Pictures

Will Take Charge
There's your 2013 Travers champion as he heads from the paddock to the track with jockey Luis Saez aboard.  He's a big boy alright, I remember seeing him up close for the first time when he was headed to the track from the Preakness Stakes barn and he is just mammoth. He certainly enjoys Saratoga and with the adding of blinkers in the Jim Dandy to his beautiful trip on Saturday, we have a 3-year-old division that's up for grabs.

Moreno is headed to Parx for the Pennsylvania Derby, and this son of Unbridled's Song may just follow him there to run the 1 1/8-mile $1 million race that's starting to gain a bit more significance in recent years. I have some relatives down that way...hmmm.  I will say that his trainer is quite the character. Eric Guillot in his post-race comments after the race told the contingent that was surrounding him that he "hates New York City" and that his back was aching from the "cheap ass seats they got here." Not to mention the voodoo hex he put on Pletcher, which was also a topic of discussion. I was holding back a belly laugh listening to this guy after his horse just ran its guts out at odds of 33-1.

It was a fun weekend, my recap for The Buffalo News can be found here. In my preview I picked WTC third and had this to say in the final paragraph:
"Will Take Charge (10-1) has had plenty of excuses through the Triple Crown series so don’t count him out here."
So I don't feel all too bad, although I really thought Palace Malice was going to win going away, and according to Pletcher and Mike Smith if he had broken cleanly he would have won the race. But that's why they don't run them on paper.....

I had my father with me for the fourth straight year and we had a ball all weekend. It's a little tradition we have going and hope to continue as long as we can. Here's some pictures from the weekend, focused on the stakes races mainly.
The Lumber Guy

Palace (12-1) closes on The Lumber Guy to
win the Chowder's first Stakes - Cornelio Velasquez up

My friend Josh from Buffalo was the NYRA
Fan of the Day on Friday - pictured here with his family
in the paddock

Travers artist in the paddock

Ballerina winner Dance to Bristol with Xavier Perez up

 Second place finisher Book Review
with Rafael Bejarnano in the irons

Villanesca with Johnny V up
takes third in the Ballerina

Dance to Bristol impressive in
winning the Grade 1 Ballerina

Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer
readies to saddle Sweet Lulu before the Test

My Happy Face in the paddock stalls
(nice big filly)

Wildcat Lily

Test winner Sweet Lulu
with Julien Leparoux aboard

Sweet Lulu (inside) holds off Wildcat Lily
and a late closing My Happy Face (8 wide at top of stretch)
in the Grade 1 Test

Sweet Lulu in the winners' circle

Laughing holds off Pianist 
in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa

Laughing (IRE) in the winner's circle --
Jose Lezcano was the winning jock

Nick Zito with Declan's Warrior
before the Grade 1 King's Bishop

Irad Ortiz, Jr. up on eventual winner
of the King's Bishop - Capo Bastone

Second place finisher Mentor Cane and
Edgar Prado head to the track

John Shireffs - trainer of Mentor Cane

Robby Albarado aboard Central Banker -
show horse in the King's Bishop

Beaten favorite - Forty Tales in
the paddock before the KB

Big balloons in the King's Bishop (what's new)

Pletcher speaks with a dejected Julien Leparoux (Forty Tales)
while a happy Irad Ortiz is captured on the JumboTron

Ortiz, Jr. and Capo

Cot Campbell - Dogwood stables
before the Travers

Shug McGaughey chillin before the big race

Enter Verrazano stage left

Will Take Charge heads to his stall

Moreno coming through

Palace Malice circling the paddock

Trainer Dallas Stewart (light blue suit)
with Golden Soul

Verrazano and Johnny V

Moreno with Jose Ortiz

Mike Smith aboard Palace Malice

First time by in the Travers

Will Take Charge gets the last jump on
Moreno with Palace Malice closing fast

Will Take Charge with the
Travers carnations

D. Wayne Lukas (the Coach)
accepts the Travers trophy

That's a wrap from Saratoga for me this scheduled track visit will be Fort Erie tomorrow night for the Bob Summers Memorial, hopefully the Presque Isle Downs Masters in early September then on to California and the Breeders' Cup. Hope you enjoyed the photos.



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