Travers Day at Saratoga last Saturday started off normal, but then it got weird in the later stages of the card as prices began to dominate the payouts. All in all, it was another memorable day put on by the historic track, while out west, Del Mar had a superstar run, too. Let’s find out who made our Three Stars of the Week:
1. Catholic Boy
We have a new “second best” horse in the 3-year-old division as the versatile Catholic Boy picked up his third straight stakes victory in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes. After a couple of failed attempts on the dirt this winter, Catholic Boy moved back to the turf, but on Saturday, he showed that he can do it all. After stalking the pace-setting Mendelssohn through most of the race, Catholic Boy took charge at the top of the stretch and put everyone away with ease. This win changed his path for the rest of the year, as he will now be pointed towards the Breeders’ Cup Classic. As of now, it is undetermined where his next start might be.
2. Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman vs. Elate at The Spa Part 2 took place in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes, and the rematch was epic. As hoped, the two stars were head-to-head coming into the stretch, with Abel Tasman edging Elate late to pick up the win. But, wait! Just like last year, the inquiry sign was lit because Abel Tasman and Elate came together near the wire and brushed each other. The stewards decided to that the contact did not cost Elate the win, and therefore left the result alone. Trainer Bill Mott was critical of the decision, as this was the second year in a row things that did not go his way. Let’s hope these two match up one more time this November in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, though Mott hinted that he might send Elate to the Classic against the boys.
3. Catalina Cruiser
Saturday was another show for Catalina Cruiser as he extended his record to a perfect 4-for-4 with an overwhelming victory in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien Stakes. You know that you are good horse when nearly all of the competition scratches out of the race to find an easier spot. The few that did stay in the race were put away with ease as this horse continues to show all of the signs of possibly being the best horse in the country. Whether they stick with the Dirt Mile, or go to the Classic, we might as well just enjoy his talents, because these types of horses do not come around often.