Brown: Travers Stakes' distance 'will suit' Highest Honors

NYRA Press Office
August 17, 2019 02:21pm
Brown: Travers Stakes' distance 'will suit' Highest Honors
Photo: Courtesy of NYRA
Three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, currently at the top of the Saratoga trainer standings with 21 wins and a comfortable 10-win lead with 13 days remaining in the meet, is the overwhelming favorite to wrap up his fourth consecutive trainers title at the historic summer stand.

Brown will look to cap another successful summer with his first career victory in the Travers Stakes (G1), saddling pair of formidable contenders in
 Highest Honors and Looking At Bikinis for the Grade 1, $1.25 million race.

W.S. Farish's Highest Honors, a Tapit gray, and Long Lake Stable, Madaket Stables, Thomas Coleman and Doheny Racing's Looking At Bikinis, by Lookin At Lucky, visited the main track following the renovation break at 8:45 a.m.

Highest Honors completed five furlongs in 1:01.66.

"He went super," said Brown. "It was a nice little maintenance move. He galloped out strong and came back with a lot of energy."

Highest Honors finished second by a neck in his career debut on April 20 at Keeneland, and graduated in his second start going 1 1/16 miles on June 1 at Belmont Park. The rapidly improving colt won his stakes debut in the Curlin on July 26 by 1 ½ lengths over a muddy track, besting stablemate Looking At Bikinis.

"He's been looking for a mile and a quarter for some time," said Brown. "I know he's lightly raced and lacks some experience, but I'm confident the distance will suit him."

Looking At Bikinis posted a five furlong move in 1:00.85. The well-regarded colt won his first two career starts at Belmont Park winning his debut in September of 2018 and returning to take an optional-claiming race on June 27. Sent off as the even-money favorite in the Curlin, he broke alertly and took the lead before fading to finish third by a neck.

"He bounced out of the Curlin well," said Brown. "We only wanted to go onto this race if he trained well and he has. I'm hoping his performance last time was compromised by the wet track. Hopefully, if the conditions are dry, he can work out a better trip and we'll see his previous form."

Highest Honors will be ridden by Luis Saez. Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano will be aboard Looking At Bikinis in the Travers.


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