Connections Of Private Purchase South Bend ‘Seriously Thinking’ Travers

Having recently been purchased and moved to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, stakes-winning sophomore South Bend is being pointed to the Grade 1, $1 million Runhappy Travers August 8 at Saratoga as the debut for his new connections.

Campaigned by Sagamore Farm through his first 11 starts, including a victory in the Street Sense last fall at Churchill Downs and Grade 3 placings on both turf and dirt, South Bend was acquired by a partnership group that includes Gary Barber, Adam Wachtel, Peter Deutsch and Leonard Schleifer of Pantofel Stable.

“I think that’s one of the reasons they bought him,” Mott said. “He looks good on both surfaces.”

Mott said the focus for now is on dirt, namely the 1 ¼-mile Mid-Summer Derby, the centerpiece of the Saratoga meet being contested for the 151st time but first as a point qualifier for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby September 5.

“We’re leaning toward the Travers. The partnership group wants to have a good look at that,” Mott said. “We’re seriously thinking of the Travers right now. He’ll work probably the first part of the week.”

South Bend has already had one breeze for Mott, a half-mile move in 49.12 seconds on July 27 over the Oklahoma training track, fifth-fastest of 31 horses at the distance. Third in the Grade 3 Palm Beach in February at Gulfstream Park in his second try on turf, the bay Algorithms colt exits a rallying runner-up finish in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby on June 27 at Thistledown in his return to dirt, posting a career-high 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

“We breezed him the one time. We like the horse, he’s doing well,” Mott said. “He’s a nice horse to train. He moves well and he worked well for us. I’m happy with him.”

On Saturday, Mott will send out multiple Grade 1 winner Channel Maker for Barber, Wachtel, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and R. A. Hill Stable in the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green. The gelded 6-year-old son of grass champion English Channel drew post 5 of seven in the 1 3/8-mile event for 4-year-olds and up on the inner turf course.

With Mott since the spring of 2017, Channel Maker owns a 5-5-3 career record with nearly $2.2 million in purse earnings from 33 starts. He earned his first graded victory in a dead-heat triumph with Glorious Empire in the 2018 Bowling Green, winning the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic that fall and the Grade 1 Man o’ War the following spring, each at Belmont Park.

Channel Maker has gone winless since the Man o’ War, a stretch of nine races, all but one in Grade 1 or Grade 2 company. Three of those losses have come by a length or less, the most recent coming last out when he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Manhattan on July 4 at Belmont.

“Sometimes he’s been a little overmatched, but when he finds the right group he’s competitive,” Mott said. “He seems to be doing well. He’s run over this course OK. He’s competitive when he fires his best shot and gets the right trip. We’re happy with him and we’re optimistic.”

The post Connections Of Private Purchase South Bend ‘Seriously Thinking’ Travers appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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