Jaxon Traveler the 6-5 favorite in a field of six, cruised to a 1 3/4-length victory in Pimlico Race CourseMaryland Sprint Stakes (G3), the first graded race on Preakness Stakes Day, May 21.
Jaxon Traveler, a consistent runner, won his fourth stakes in the Maryland Sprint, and garnered his first graded score. Joel Rosario was up for the victory, in which the winner completed six furlongs in 1:09.70. Threes Over Deuces ran second, finishing three lengths ahead of War Tocsin †
Bred in Maryland by Dr. and mrs. Leonard Pineau, Jaxon Traveler sports a 6-6-3 mark from 16 starts and has now earned $571,310.
“He’s just a beautiful, hard-trying horse. We thought it would be good to get him a graded stakes win for his resume because he just tries,” said Terry Finley, president and CEO of West Point Thoroughbreds, who owns the 4- year old colt with Marvin Delfiner. “He’s a workmanlike horse. Obviously, he’s not the most talented sprinter in America, but he’s shown up every time. The one time he wasn’t on the board he got jostled at the gate and he didn’t get a shot to run , but every other time, he’s given it to us. He’s the definition of ‘versatility.'”
Winning trainer Steve Asmussen added: “That’s his third stakes win here (in Maryland). This was a major target for him, a very good victory for him and his first graded stakes win.
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“When he breaks well, he runs well. He hit the ground running and proved best. That’s who he’s always been.”
Jaxon Traveler broke on top and quickly established his spot on the lead through early fractions of :22.95 and :45.55. War Tocsin gave chase but ceded the place spot to Threes Over Deuces after a half-mile. A final quarter in :24.15 sealed the deal for the winner.
“He showed speed from the start, so I let him go,” Rosario said. “When he came to me off the turn, my horse really responded.”
The Maryland Sprint winner is by top sire Munnings out of the stakes plaed Listen Boy by After Market † He is the long stakes winner from his dam, who has five starters and four winners from six foals. Her unraced foal is a yearling colt by Cross Traffic.
West Point Thoroughbreds, through LEB purchased him for $140,000 out of the 2020 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s Sprint Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training from Grassroots Training Sales. Grassroots had acquired him for $80,000 out of the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from Eaton Sales, agent.
Lightening Larry Upends Chick Lang
The $200,000 Chick Lang Stakes (G3) at Pimlico shaped up as a showdown between sophomore sprinters Cogburn and Old Homestead but it was Lea Farms’ Lightening Larry who upended the race, pulling off a 12-1 upset after getting six furlongs in 1:09.86.
Lightening Larry was a three-quarter-length winner over Cogburn. It was two lengths back to Chasing Time in thirds. Old Homestead was fifth.
A chestnut son of Uncaptured Lightening Larry came into the Chick Lang off a second-place effort March 27 in Tampa Bay DownsSophomore Stakes for Florida breds. He’d been prepping at Monmouth Park with trainer Jorge Delgado, with a circle drawn around the May 21 race.
“We’ve been training for this race, specifically, since February,” Delgado said. “We used the (Sophomore Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs) as a prep. He finished second and after that we shipped him to Monmouth Park and targeted this race.”
In the Chick Lang Chantal Sutherland was aboard. It was her lone mount at Old Hilltop for the afternoon.
Lightening Larry chased Cogburn through splits of :21.87 and :44.14 and wrestled the lead away inside the eighth pole.
“I know my horse always has a strong finish and I knew when he was close to the other horse (Cogburn), I knew we’d win the race,” Delgado said.
Lea Farms is the nom du course or Charles and Paula Cosgrove who live in the Cleveland area.
“They have shown complete support for me,” Delgado enthused. “They have been very, very supportive of my decisions.”
Lightening Larry now has four wins and four seconds from nine starts. The winner’s share boosts his career earnings to $305,610. The Chick Lang was his first outside of Florida, having won Gulfstream ParkLimehouse Stakes on New Year’s Day.
He is out of the Malibu Moon mare Moon and Sun and was bred in Sunshine State by Michelle Redding. Jeff Engler, agent, purchased Lightening Larry for Lea Farms out of the Pick View consignment of the 2021 Ocala Breeders’ Sales March 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Engler trained the colt through his first seven starts.
It was a big win for the up-and-coming Delgado.
“I still don’t know what happened, but I’m happy we won the race,” he said. “This the first time I’ve had a horse in a big stakes like this. It’s a day I’ll never forget … we’ll go out and have a nice dinner.”
Video: Chick Lang S. (G3)