Creator, Gun Runner Pointed Toward Travers Stakes

07.08.2016, by Jim
Creator, Gun Runner Pointed Toward Travers Stakes&h=223&w=348&zc=1

One of the biggest races between now and the Breeders’ Cup Classic will take place at Saratoga on August 27–the 1 1/4 mile $1,250,000 Grade 1 Travers Stakes. Roughly a dozen of the top three year olds in racing will compete in the marquee event of the Saratoga meet. The field is starting to take shape though any number of connections have given ‘lip service’ to entering the race. Two that are serious about it are Steve Asmussen’s Creator and Gun Runner.

Both horses worked Monday at the Oklahoma Training Track adjacent to Saratoga. The quality of their works will determine whether they eventually enter the Travers as both are coming off of disappointing showings in their previous races. Belmont Stakes winner Creator finished last in a field of six in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 30 while Gun Runner finished fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July 31.

Asmussen is guardedly optimistic about both horses after Monday’s workout. Creator covered four furlongs in 50.94 seconds while Gun Runner was timed at 51.33: “They breezed back beautifully. I’m very happy. Obviously, I’m disappointed in each of their last races, but the only thing I’m worried about now is how they’re doing today, and today we’re looking good.” As is the wont of many high level trainers, Asmussen was vague about his plans but made it clear that he was looking at the best opportunities for both horses: “Weather permitting, they’ll work more serious next Monday (August 15) and we’ll look to make decisions on where we want to go with both after a more serious move. They’re 3-year-olds and we’re here, so I promise we won’t miss nominations.”

Also possible for the Travers is late starter Summer Revolution trained by Rudy Rodriguez. Summer Revolution is 2 for 2 against allowance competition and is ready to make his stakes debut. His connections are looking at the Travers as well as the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One King’s Bishop also on August 27. For now, however, they’re keeping their options open: “We’re not too sure yet, I’ll talk to the owners. But we’ll take our time. We want to give him the opportunity to be a nice horse. I don’t want to say no and I don’t want to say yes.”

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