From the Spa: August 11 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
Wednesday’s ninth race at Saratoga is the fourth running of the Mahony Stakes, a five and one half furlong sprint on the turf exclusively for three year olds. The morning line odds indicate how evenly matched this field is, with a 5/2 favorite, two at 7/2, two more at 9/2 and three others at 15/1. While there have been a few Midlantic runners who have flown under the radar in stakes races this meet, the two winners, Caravel and Knicks Go, were clear-cut contenders who won their races convincingly. Two more clear contenders will take a shot here in the ungraded Mahony as Maryland breds Jaxon Traveler and Sky’s Not Falling look to win in their second tries at the Spa.
Breaking from the three post is Sky’s Not Falling, a 9/2 morning line gelding by Seville (GER) – Sky Copper, by Sky Mesa. Sky’s Not Falling was bred by R. Larry Johnson, who is a co-owner with trainer Michael Trombetta and R. D. M. Racing Stable. While this Trombetta trainee has struggled picking up stakes wins, he consistently finishes in the money, and finished third in the Skidmore here last summer. Maybe a change in running style will bode well for a win here, but Sky’s Not Falling runs best coming from mid-pack, and with other speed horses here, it may be best to stick with what he does best. Nevertheless, meet-leading jockey Luis Saez will be in the irons for the first time on this bay gelding, and typically does his best being aggressive early in races. While this is a tough spot for Sky’s Not Falling, finishing strong in the stretch and hoping for plenty of pace could lead to a breakthrough effort here.
Directly to the outside of Sky’s Not Falling is Jaxon Traveler, a West Point Thoroughbreds and Mervin Delfiner owned colt who tried his luck on the turf for the first time in the Grade III Quick Call Stakes earlier this meet. Similar to his fellow Maryland-bred entry, Jaxon Traveler’s Saratoga debut ended with a third place finish, but trainer Steve Asmussen should be encouraged by this colt’s adjustment to the turf. Jaxon Traveler will get a bit of class relief not having to face Golden Pal again, but has plenty of other pace-setters to deal with in this spot. This colt by Munnings – Listen Boy, by After Market will need to show some improvement here to win, but as the 5/2 morning line favorite and one who has finished in the money in all eight career tries, he is clearly a top contender who tries to make it three wins for Midlantic breds midway through this 2021 Saratoga meet. Jaxon Traveler was bred by Dr. & Mrs. A. Leonard Pineau and will keep the services of second-place jockey Jose Ortiz.