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Golden Ticket to Mineshaft Handicap

31 January 2009: Trainer Ken McPeek at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
Magic City Thoroughbred Partners’ Golden Ticket, one-half of the duo who dead-heated for the win in Saratoga’s Grade I Travers last summer, will be coming to New Orleans to make his next start in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 23 as part of the upcoming multi-graded stakes program billed as Louisiana Derby Preview Day Presented by Lamarque Ford.

“Even with the dead-heat, it was thrilling to win a race as big as that one,” said trainer Ken McPeek Tuesday morning when asked to recall Golden Ticket’s Travers tally. “The horse ran great, and (jockey) David Cohen gave him a fantastic ride that day.

“Also, it meant a lot to make some new Saratoga history at the most historic race course in this country,” McPeek said of the first declared dead-heat for the win in 143 runnings of the Travers, although in 1874, long before the invention of the photo finish camera, there was an adjudged dead-heat after which the winner was decided following a runoff.

Interestingly, Golden Ticket’s win in the Travers was only the second of his career. After breaking his maiden in March, Golden Ticket had finished second in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby March 10. However, in his lone trip to the post in 2013, Golden Ticket won an allowance and $62,500 optional claiming event at Gulfstream Jan. 26 by 5 1/2-lengths.

“He ran super in that last race,” said McPeek. “He’s acted as a solid horse ever since I got him,  but I’ve always thought he was a  horse that is going to get better as he got older.

“Magic City Thoroughbred Partners is a partnership between a couple of guys from Billings, Montana, named Ken Schenker and Carter Stewart,” McPeek said. “Golden Ticket is the first horse they ever owned, but now they also have Frac Daddy.

“(Golden Ticket) will arrive at Fair Grounds on Feb. 21,” McPeek said. “James Graham will ride him in the Mineshaft.”

 

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