Travers Stakes update: Spinoff out, Scars Are Cool in the field

NYRA Press Office
August 18, 2019 02:53pm
Trainer Stanley Hough has accomplished much since saddling his first winner in 1969. The veteran conditioner has nearly 12,800 starts to his credit and 2,184 victories entering Sunday, but he will set a career first when he enters Scars Are Cool in the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes.

Hough, who has amassed 41 graded stakes victories across four decades, will send out Sagamore Farm's Scars Are Cool for his first starter in the "Mid-Summer Derby."

While Scars are Cool is a go, trainer Todd Pletcher said Sunday it's unlikely Wertheimer et Frere's Spinoff will join him in the gate on Saturday.

"At this time, we're not going," Pletcher said of the former Kentucky Derby runner, who returned to win a recent Saratoga allowance race. "If there's another significant defection, it would be under consideration, but the Pennsylvania Derby is the plan."

It seemed as if Global Campaign, the Peter Pan (G3) winner in May at Belmont Park who finished third in the Jim Dandy on July 27 at Saratoga, would have the distinction of being Hough's first Travers starter. But an injury sidelined him while opening the door for Scars Are Cool, who broke his maiden at third asking in a 1 1/8-mile route on a fast main track on July 21 at the Spa.

"He's always been nice," Hough said of Scars Are Cool. "As a 2-year-old, he got hurt, but he looked like he was going to be a nice horse. Each race, he's improved. But in his race here, he looked really good."

Scars Are Cool made his debut on May 12 at Churchill Downs, running fourth in a 10-horse field at 6 ½ furlongs. Stretched out to a mile on June 16 at Churchill, the Malibu Moon colt ran third. Shipping to Saratoga, he handled the stretch out in distance over a fast Saratoga main track, rallying from fifth-of-seven to post a four-length score last month. That effort netted him a personal-best 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

There are two other known decisions to be made before the Travers draws at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Trainer Dallas Stewart will work recent West Virginia Derby (G3) runner-up Chess Chief on Monday morning, while connections to Gray Magician have said the recent Ellis Park Derby winner could enter as well.

Here's an updated look at the prospective Travers field, which narrowed last week due to the defections of Maximum Security and Game Winner:

2019 Travers Stakes (G1)


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