Code of Honor a Fitting Travers, and so much more!

August 25, 2019

Code of Honor proved best in the mid-summer Derby, The Runhappy Travers, thanks to a flawless ride by John Velazquez and a typically masterful training job by Shug McGaughey. Kept towards the back of the field early as the pace was fair but more towards the faster side for the mile and a quarter and caliber of horses, Velazquez was able to pick up horses approaching the half mile pole and go to the middle of track in the stretch where he unleashed a strong rally to win going away. Things were a bit contested early as Jose Ortiz aboard Tacitus, equipped with blinkers for the first time, was up on the pace and seemingly comfortable being there. Joe Talamo, riding the Bob Baffert trained Mucho Gusto, also had his sights set on the front so those two kept each other company while Johnny sat back watching things unfold, likely with a big grin on his face. The final time for Code of Honor was 2:01.05.

For the first time in history, fans nationwide watched the Runhappy Travers action unfold on the FOX Broadcast Network as part of a special one-hour telecast. Overall, the FOX Sports family of networks broadcast 6 ½ hours of live racing action from Saratoga which included all seven graded stakes on Travers Day.

The 150th Runhappy Travers was one of six Grade 1 stakes on Travers Day, including the Grade 1, $850,000 Sword Dancer; won by Annals of Time for Chad Brown under Javier Castellano, the Grade 1, $700,000 Personal Ensign presented by Lia Infiniti; won by Midnight Bisou for Steve Asmussen under Mike Smith in a thrilling stretch battle with Elate, the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina; won by Come Dancing who overcame a terrible break under manny Franco to blitz the field for Carlos Martin, the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor; won by Mitole who more than redeemed himself for his last race defeat under Ricardo Santana for Steve Asmussen, and the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy; won by Mind Control who rallied late under John Velazquez to hand Shancelot his first loss. Rounding out the blockbuster card was the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa, which saw Johnny V deliver the goods once again aboard the Chad Brown trained Significant Form.
On-track handle was  $11,657,493, which is also a new Travers Day record.
Always check with Past the Wire for the latest horse racing news and more…..

Great article by @Pastthewire

David Mussad @DavidMussad View testimonials