Travers runner-up Caracaro will try again in Kentucky Derby

Travers runner-up Caracaro will try again in Kentucky Derby
Photo: Courtesy of Gulfstream Park

It's on to the 2020 Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 for Global Thoroughbred and Top Racing's Caracaro, runner-up in Saturday's Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga.

Trainer Gustavo Delgado, who will send out Bodexpress in Sunday's $85,000 Alydar, said he was pleased with the way Caracaro exited the "Mid-Summer Derby", his second race in three weeks off a six-month layoff.

"He came back very good. He's happy, he ate his food, he's relaxed. Right now, he's sleeping. Everything's good," Delgado said. "We'll check with the vet and talk with the owners and my son and decide. As long as there's no problems, we'll go to the Derby.

"Yesterday was a big race, a strong race. I consider Tiz the Law the best horse in the country," he added. "In the Travers, they were all good horses. It was his second race after the six months and to run second again was very good for us."

Caracaro earned 40 qualifying points for the Derby in the Travers, where he was 5 ½ lengths behind Tiz the Law but two lengths clear of Max Player in third. Caracaro picked up 20 points for his neck defeat in the Grade 2 Peter Pan on July 16 at Saratoga and ranks 10th, solidifying his spot in the 20-horse Derby field.

"That's what we wanted and that was the plan. It's always been the plan with him. We're kind of satisfied that we accomplished that," Delgado's son and assistant, Gustavo Delgado, Jr. said. "Of course we know there's a freak horse around. We do think that our horse still has a lot of room for improvement. He's still developing, you can tell, and we were asking a lot from him.

"I think running after three weeks, one more furlong, out of that effort in the Peter Pan, to come back in the Travers, a tougher race, a tougher field, and he showed up again," he added. "His figure numbers keep improving. He handled the distance pretty well. You can tell he kept going, at his own pace, but he kept going. We were just second-best. But he beat all the other horses, so that was good."

Delgado, Jr. said Caracaro is expected to remain in Saratoga to train for the Derby, which was rescheduled from May 2 to September 5. It will be the third trip to Louisville for the Delgados, who ran 18th with Majesto in 2016 and 13th with Bodexpress in 2019.

"It's going to be a long and very exciting three weeks," Delgado, Jr. said. "It's more likely that we will stay here. I don't think shipping the horse the next few days would be good for him. He will go through regular post-race stress so it's better if he stays here, and he likes it here, the weather and everything.

"Ideally, we will stay here and train for the Derby and ship right before the race," Delgado Jr. added. "That's what makes more sense right now."

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