Belmont Stakes winner Creator failed to rebound from his last-place finish in the Jim Dandy, running seventh in the Travers.
Assistant trainer Scott Blasi said Creator, who also won the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, will be given an extended break now and leaves tomorrow for WinStar Farm in Kentucky.
Winchell Thoroughbreds, Three Chimneys and Besilu Stables’ Gun Runner came back well from his third-place finish in the Travers and now will be pointed toward the Grade 2, $ 1 million Pennsylvania Derby on September 24 at Parx Racing, according to Blasi, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
Gun Runner, a three-time graded stakes winner who was third in the Kentucky Derby, bounced back from a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy to run well in the Travers, although he was no match for the Bob Baffert tandem of Arrogate and American Freedom.
Arrogate set the 1 ¼-mile track record of 1:59.36 in winning the Travers by 13 ½ lengths. American Freedom ran second, 1 ½ lengths in front of Gun Runner.
“That horse [Arrogate] ran a freak race, and we’re very proud of our horse to run third,” Blasi said. “Gun Runner ran a super race. He got stopped at the quarter pole a little bit and had to come around. He wasn’t going to win, but it probably cost him second.”
The Asmussen barn was immensely pleased with the performance of 2-year-old Reckling, a son of freshman sire Dialed In who won the maiden special weight race that opened the Travers card by repelling a challenge from Mo Town and running on to a 1 ¼-length victory, getting six furlongs in 1:10.37.
“He ran well first time out; we thought he would run better second time because he was kind of a heavier colt that needed a race,” Blasi said. “So, second time out we just expected that to happen. Strong field. Nobody runs one they don’t like on Travers Day.”
As for Reckling’s future, Blasi said, “I’m not sure yet. He came out of it good.”
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