From the Spa: July 15 Midlantic-breds in Saratoga stakes
by Joseph Aiello
“From the Spa” returns to keep you up-to-date on horses bred in the mid-Atlantic racing in Saratoga stakes
Thursday July 15th, is opening day for the 2021 Saratoga meet. With a return of fans and a more regular triple-crown schedule this year, the meet will be back to a normal layout, with plenty of interesting stakes races for the nation’s top horses. When we started covering Midlantic stakes entries at the Spa in 2014, they typically struggled to hit the board and had a tough time competing with runners bred in the typical states of Kentucky, New York, and Florida among others. Over the past couple of years, specifically last year, Midlantic entries have shown great improvement in these tries, hitting the board at solid numbers and nabbing their fair share of wins as well. This year’s first entry in a stakes race is Jaxon Traveler, a three year old colt bred in Maryland who will run in the Grade III Quick Call at five and a half furlongs on the turf. At morning line odds of 3/1 and with top-flight connections, it is clear that these Midlantic runners are no longer being overlooked, as Jaxon Traveler tries to kick off this meet with a win for our entries, while picking up his first stakes win in the process.
Jaxon Traveler is a dark brown colt by Munnings – Listen Boy, by After Market who was bred by Dr. & Mrs. A. Leonard Pineau. He is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Marvin Delfiner with four wins and three seconds in seven career starts. After an undefeated two-year-old campaign, Jaxon Traveler has had a couple of close defeats, including as the post time favorite in the Grade III Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness day. He most recently finished second over the artificial surface at Woodbine in the Woodstock Stakes, and will try to get back to his winning ways for trainer Steve Asmussen by switching to the turf for the first time. Adding a top flight jockey in Jose Ortiz should also help in his quest to return to the winner’s circle, as Jaxon Traveler will likely look to be aggressive here, trying to take the others gate to wire as he has in all of his career wins.