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Travelin Man Faces Eight in Derby Trial

Travelin Man (no. 6), ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher, wins the 26th running of the grade 2 Swale Stakes for three year olds on April 3, 2011 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
Travelin Man, a comfortable winner of the seven furlong Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park on April 3, takes on eight other 3-year-olds in Saturday's Derby Trial (G3) from Churchill Downs.

Todd Pletcher's fleet son of Trippi romped in his six furlong Florida debut in January and was made the overwhelming choice in the Hutcheson (G2) second time out. He ran into speed buzzsaw Flashpoint that day and was clearly second best behind the runaway winner. He cruised home in the Swale and show finisher Little Drama came back to score. John Velazquez sticks with the obvious early-pressing threat.

Swale runner-up Indiano looks to turn the tables on Travelin Man. The son of Indian Charlie was a win machine in Panama and got no pace help in his two Gulfstream races for sharp conditioner Marty Wolfson. He drilled a Calder bullet on April 24 and could be poised to strike under Garrett Gomez.

Machen made early moves in the Risen Star (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) but flattened out both times. This long sprint around one turn seems perfect and he could finish full of run under Edgar Prado.

Consistent colt J J's Lucky Train figures in the hunt early and often under Jose Ferrer. He has fired Exacta shots in six straight and exits a sharp win in the seven panel Bay Shore (G3) at Aqueduct.

Indian Winter exits a troubled 6th place effort in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). He seems best around one turn and figures in the mix if able to run back to Jan 17 tally in the San Pedro Stakes. He brings a Hollywood Park bullet to the table and Jerry Hollendorfer gives Shaun Bridgmohan the call.

Steve Asmussen has a promising prospect in Dominus. He was clearly second best in his Belmont bow last September and coasted home in a seven furlong special weight event at Santa Anita on March 26. Julien Leparoux, who rode him in his Big Sandy debut, climbs back aboard this afternoon.

Beamer finished 4th in the Sam Davis (G3) and Tama Bay Derby (G2). Borel hops aboard Carl Nafzger's late runner and a minor award is probably his limit. 

Duca has shown speed in all five outings and faded badly in the Wood Memorial (G1) last time. Today's shorter flat mile distance helps but he seems up against it from a class standpoint. Wayne Lukas gives Jon Court a leg up. 

B G Suavcito breaks from the ouside post and the consistent Louisiana invader shoots for the hat trick. He has some talent but seems a cut or two below the best in here.

The $200,000 Derby Trial is the 8th race on the opening day program at Churchill Downs.


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Older Comments about Travelin Man Faces Eight in Derby Trial...

travelin man.
Travelin man, JJ Lucky t. and MAchen 1,2,3 Just what i think
Very solid field set up here. Brings the unique mixture of sprinters and routers that only the one turn mile can bring. I havn't really looked at the race yet, but I've been super impressed by both of J J's Lucky Train's seven furlong races. A fun race, and could be another preview of Preakness or possibly just reveal a couple of guys that are simply sprinters. Can't wait for Churchill and Derby Weekend to get going.

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