Scotland Logs Final Breeze for G1 Travers

August 20, 2023

Scotland goes gate-to-wire in the Curlin July 21 at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese)

Elite Power, Channel Maker Breeze in Company

Hunt Ball Likely To Stretch Out After Runner-up Effort on Debut

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— LNJ Foxwood’s Kentucky homebred Scotland logged his final breeze Sunday in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers, posting a bullet half-mile in 47.60 seconds over Saratoga’s Oklahoma dirt training track for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. The son of Good Magic completed his exercise solo under Mott’s longtime assistant Neil Poznansky.

“It was a good, useful work. He galloped out well and seemed to have good energy and to be moving well. It was fast enough,” said Mott, with a laugh. “I think we’re fit enough.”

Scotland arrives at the Travers from a successful two-turn debut in the nine-furlong Curlin on July 21 at the Spa where he coasted home a 3 1/4-length winner in frontrunning fashion. The talented colt is 3-for-4 lifetime, including wins in a seven-furlong maiden on debut in March at Gulfstream Park and a one-turn mile allowance in June at Churchill Downs.

Mott also sent out Eclipse Award Champions Elite Power and Channel Maker to work a half-mile in company over the Oklahoma Sunday, the former covering the distance in 49.55 while the latter completed his exercise in 49.75. Both horses are being pointed to Grade 1 events on Saturday’s Travers undercard with Elite Power targeting the Grade 1, $500,000 Forego and Channel Maker eyeing the Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer.

“They both looked good and it was normal for them,” said Mott.

Elite Power a very gritty winner of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (NYRA/Coglianese)

Juddmonte’s Elite Power, the reigning Champion Male Sprinter, enters the Forego from a gutsy head score over Gunite in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on July 29 at the Spa and vies for his ninth consecutive victory.

Channel Maker takes the Bowling Green in front-running fashion (Chelsea Durand)

Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R.A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s evergreen 9-year-old Channel Maker, the 2020 Champion Turf Male, returned triumphantly to the winner’s circle with a frontrunning two-length score in the Grade 2 Bowling Green on July 30. He will contest the Sword Dancer for a sixth time in his career and looks for his second victory in that event after taking the 2020 edition.

On Friday, Mott sent out Godolphin’s Kentucky homebred Hunt Ball to finish second in his career debut behind runaway winner Risk It. The son of Into Mischief is a half-brother to the Mott-trained Cody’s Wish, a four-time Grade 1-victor and the defending Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner.

Mott said the effort was educational for Hunt Ball, who split rivals from off the pace at the top of the lane and ran on well to be defeated 4 1/2 lengths in the six-furlong maiden tilt.

“We’ll probably stretch him out a little bit and we found out he’s pretty game,” said Mott. “He was willing to run through horses and he didn’t seem intimidated by it.”

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