August 23, 2019
Everfast, Owendale, Laughing Fox Among Field of 12 Saturday
BALTIMORE – For the first time since they met in the 144th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 18 at Pimlico Race Course, three of the top five finishers in the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown will line up again in Saturday’s $1.25 million Travers (G1) at Saratoga.
Calumet Farm’s Everfast, Rupp Racing’s Owendale and Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Laughing Fox are among the field of 12 set to assemble for the 150th Travers.
Brad Cox-trained Owendale is the co-third choice in the program at 6-1. The Into Mischief colt closed from well back to be third in the Preakness, beaten a nose by runner-up Everfast, in his Grade 1 debut. Owendale parlayed that effort into a half-length triumph as the favorite in the Ohio Derby (G3) June 22 at Thistledown, his most recent start. Florent Geroux, up in the Preakness, rides back from Post 1.
Everfast, trained by Dale Romans, and Laughing Fox, from the barn of Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, are both listed as 30-1 outsiders on the morning line. Second in the Holy Bull (G2) Feb. 2 at Gulfstream Park at odds of 128-1, Everfast was sent off at 29-1 in the Preakness and trailed by as many as 22 lengths before rallying for second, 1 ¼ lengths behind winner War of Will.
Following the Preakness, Everfast finished seventh by 3 ¼ lengths in the 1 ½-mile Belmont Stakes (G1) June 8 at Belmont Park and fourth to Florida Derby (G1) winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) first-place finisher Maximum Security in the Haskell (G1) July 20. He will be ridden by Martin Chuan, represented by Romans’ son Jake, from Post 5.
Laughing Fox earned an automatic bid to the Preakness by virtue of his neck victory in the Oaklawn Park Invitational May 4. Another late-running sort, the son of 2012 Belmont (G1) winner Union Rags ran next-to-last for six furlongs in the Preakness, making up ground in the stretch to be fifth, beaten 3 ¾ lengths.
Ricardo Santana Jr. will ride Laughing Fox from Post 4. Santana was aboard in the Preakness as well as the colt’s lone subsequent start, a fourth-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy (G2) July 27 at Saratoga.
Also part of the Travers field is Sagamore Farm’s Scars Are Cool, trained by Stanley Hough. A chestnut son of Malibu Moon that fetched $170,000 as a 2017 yearling, Scars Are Cool will be making his fourth career start and first in a stakes, coming off a four-length maiden special weight win over his elders July 21 at Saratoga. Tyler Gaffalione, who rode War of Will to victory in the Preakness, rides from Post 10.
Several horses and horsemen with Maryland connections will be participating on Travers Day. Laurel Park-based jockey Alex Cintron, who earned his first graded-stakes win at the track in the July 24 Honorable Miss (G2), returns with winner Minit to Stardom in the Ballerina (G1) for female sprinters 3 and up. Minit to Stardom, 4, preceded her graded triumph with an optional claiming score going 5 ½ furlongs over Laurel’s world-class turf course June 7.
Also in the Ballerina is Stonestreet Stables’ multiple graded-stakes placed Dawn the Destroyer, third in the Barbara Fritchie (G3) Feb. 16 at Laurel. Mitole, who had a seven-race win streak snapped in the A.G. Vanderbilt (G1) July 27, returns to Saratoga for the Forego (G1) for sprinters 3 and older. Mitole’s streak included a 6 ¼-length romp in the 2018 Chick Lang at Pimlico.
Grade 1 winner Mind Control, third by a neck as the favorite in the seven-furlong Concern Stakes last out July 14 at Laurel, steps back into graded competition in the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) for 3-year-old sprinters. Mind Control won the Bay Shore (G3) in April at Aqueduct and owns a win at Saratoga in last summer’s Hopeful (G1).
Secret Message, based at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., is among the field of nine fillies and mares 3 and up entered in the 1 1/16-mile Ballston Spa (G2) on the grass. Trained by Graham Motion, the 4-year-old filly won the one-mile Dahlia Stakes April 20 at Laurel in her seasonal debut, and enters the race off a bullet six-furlong breeze over Fair Hill’s synthetic surface Aug. 17.
Along with Grade 1-winning multimillionaire Elate, Summer Wind Equine’s Golden Award is one of two horses trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott entered in the 1 1/8-mile Personal Ensign (G1) for fillies and mares 3 and older. Golden Award won the Shuvee (G2) July 21 at Saratoga one start after being beaten a nose when second in the Allaire DuPont Distaff (G2) May 17 at Pimlico.
Newtown Anner Stud homebred gelding Fled will be making his second start off a 5 ½-length win June 22 at Laurel in a similar optional claiming spot in Saratoga’s Race 12, while Laurel-based trainer Brittany Russell will send out 3-year-old filly So Gracious in search of her first win in her fourth career start in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on the turf in Race 13.
About Pimlico Race Course
Legendary Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the Middle Jewel in horse racing’s famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed, American Pharoah and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
The Stronach Group is North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, home of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954.658.7156.