Travers, Big T and more: The week in social media
Action at Timonium. Photo by The Racing Biz.
Thoroughbred racing is in full swing at the Maryland State Fair, improvements are being made to the turf course at Laurel Park, and the historical Travers Stakes is highlighting the racing world this weekend.
Here is what the racing world has been buzzing about this week:
Mid-summer Derby time
One of the highlights of the summer racing season is coming up on Saturday, August 24. The $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) will be taking place at Saratoga and post positions for the historical “Mid-Summer Derby” were drawn on Tuesday.
A field of 12 will assemble for the Travers Stakes, with honors as the 5-2 morning line favorite going to Belmont Stakes runner-up, Tacitus. There was a bit of disappointment in the air when it was announced that top runners such as Maximum Security, Game Winner, and War of Will would all be on the sidelines for the big event, but fans will still see a large field of quality runners in the 1 ¼-mile event. Along with Tacitus, this year’s edition of the Travers Stakes has attracted Owendale, Code of Honor, Highest Honors, Laughing Fox, Everfast, Mucho Gusto, Chess Chief, Looking at Bikinis, Scars are Cool, Endorsed, and Tax.
Post time for the Travers Stakes is set for 5:45 p.m.
— NYRA (@TheNYRA) August 20, 2019
Big T time
Thoroughbred horse racing kicks off at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium this week, beginning on August 23.
There will be over $185,000 in purse money each day, and there are two stakes races on the schedule. On August 24 the $75,000 Maryland Coalition Stakes will be held for horses three-years-old and up, at a distance of 6 ½ furlongs. The second stakes event, the Timonium Distaff, will take place on August 31. Maryland bred and sired fillies and mares will compete in the 6 ½ furlong dash for a purse of $75,000.
The live Thoroughbred racing meet ends on September 2.
Improvements to the Laurel lawn
While live Thoroughbred horse racing will be taking place at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, Laurel Park will be working on improving its turf course.
The outside rail is scheduled to be replaced with a safety rail, and work will also be done on the grass itself. There are plans for the turf to be aerated, reseeded, and fertilized before the fall meets begins on September 6. This type of work will not only make the course more aesthetically pleasing, but will also improve the grass and its roots, allowing the turf to drain faster and grow stronger which will improve the racing surface.
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Harpers First Ride, the beaten favorite in the Maryland Million Classic, got back on track Saturday in the Richard Small Stakes at Laurel Park.
With her main rival scratched, Shutupn’kissme controlled throughout en route to a win in the $50,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial Saturday at Charles Town.
Hello Beautifuil won for the sixth straight time at Laurel Park – but first against open stakes foes – in the $100,000 Safely Kept Stakes.
Undefeated Jaxon Traveler and Smart Halo winner Street Lute head the nominations for the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Filly Championship, respectively.
Saturday’s Frank Whiteley Stakes at Laurel Park is absolutely stacked, featuring 10 stakes winners, among them last-out Grade 3 De Francis Dash winner Laki.
Hello Beautiful, 11-length winner of the Maryland Million Distaff, will look for two straight when she tries open company Saturday in Laurel’s Safely Kept.