Saturday Service at the Spa; Catholic Boy Wins Travers
It is the day and the race horse racing fans, hardcore and casual, as well as socialites in general wait for every summer in Saratoga Springs and the 149th running of the Travers Stakes brought with it some major local rooting interest.
The hometown favorite, trainer Chad Brown, had the two favorites with Good Magic and Gronkowski and the owner of the former, Bob Edwards' wife Kristine is from Saratoga Springs. For Brown, the Travers is a race he has dreamed about winning since he was a boy essentially growing up at the picnic tables in the backyard at Saratoga Race Course.
Brown has had six other entries in past editions of the Midsummer Derby but Saturday presented the Mechanicville native with his best shot to get into the winner's circle. There was quick disappointment however. Good Magic didn't break well from the starting gate and Gronkowski didn't show the closing speed which had impressed so many people in his North America debut in the Belmont Stakes.
In addition to the Chad Brown pair falling flat, the first filly to run against the boys in the Travers since 1979, Wonder Gadot hung in there for awhile before finishing last in the field of 10. Instead, it was Catholic Boy, a colt that had found success on the turf, which ran away from the competition in the stretch.
Taking a deeper step into history is Javier Castellano who holds the record for jockeys with six Travers wins. It's the first Travers victory for trainer Jonathan Thomas, a former assistant of Todd Pletcher.
Catholic Boy, Mendelssohn and Bravazo make up the trifecta in the 149th Travers Stakes.