Travers runner Scars Are Cool to take a turn on Churchill's turf

September 18, 2019 10:07am
Travers runner Scars Are Cool to take a turn on Churchill's turf
Photo: Courtesy of NYRA

Scars Are Cool, the Saratoga maiden winner who made an ambitious move up the class ladder to compete most recently in the Travers Stakes (G1), is back to work at Churchill Downs, where the colt’s expected to open another new chapter to his career.

Hunter Rankin, president of owner Sagamore Farm, said the son of Malibu Moon is training toward a turf debut in the $125,000 Jefferson Cup on Sept. 28.

“We just figure it’s a mile and an eighth, it’s on the grass, straight 3-year-olds — and he runs for the whole pot in the stakes,” Rankin said. “If you run him in an (allowance) at Churchill, he gets a pretty good haircut because he’s a Florida-bred.”

Progeny of sire Malibu Moon run on both dirt and turf, while Scars Are Cool is out of the More Than Ready mare Ready Signal, a multiple stakes winner over the lawn during her career.

A $170,000 yearling purchase, Scars Are Cool debuted May 12 of this season, his 3-year-old year, and won third out on July 21 when stretched to nine furlongs at Saratoga. The Stanley Hough trainee then finished an even 10th of 12 in the Aug. 24 Travers.

“We always wanted to see how he’d do on the grass because he has a little bit of a grass foot and there’s grass in the pedigree,” Rankin said. “We can always go back to the dirt with him, but I think he’ll like the grass. If he does, hopefully it opens up some other things for him.”

Sagamore Farm’s other top 3-year-old colt, Global Campaign, was under consideration for the Travers until connections decided to pass and concentrate on a 2020 campaign.

The son of Curlin won three of five starts this year, including the Peter Pan (G3) over eventual Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston. But he also dealt with a series of nagging foot issues that made for a stop-and-start season.

“He’s just turning out,” Rankin said. “He’s due to start some light exercise, be it swimming or maybe legging up, before the end of the month.

“That would put him somewhere in the January timeframe to run, but we haven’t mapped out a plan for him. I really just want to get him doing well by the time those spring races start.”


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