Mage To Be Aimed For Travers After 'A Little Vacation' - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Mage To Be Aimed For Travers After ‘A Little Vacation’

Gustavo Delgado and Kentucky Derby winner Mage

Next up for Preakness (G1) third-place finisher Mage is some time off. The colt, owned by OGMA Investments LLC, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing LLC, and CMNWLTH, will soon head to The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington, Ky.

“He was there from May of last year to October,” Restrepo said after checking on Mage at the Pimlico Stakes Barn Sunday morning. “We will get him turned out and do some training. Everything is great. The colt is fantastic, bright-eyed, and his head is up. We could not be any happier with him after trying as hard as did in the Preakness. The kid is an iron horse.”

Restrepo was not sure when Mage would ship to Lexington. That decision will come after he huddles with trainer Gustavo Delgado and his son and assistant, Gustavo Delgado Jr.

The next goal for Mage, who won the Kentucky Derby (G1) in his fourth career start, will be the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 26.

“We will give him a little vacation and he will power up and we will figure out the best way to get to the Travers,” Restrepo said. “He has not missed a day and has been on the engine since January.”

Mage, who was ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano, was victim of a slow pace in the Preakness, which was crafted by another Hall of Famer, John Velazquez, aboard winner National Treasure.

The third-place finish ended Mage's bid to become the sport's 14th Triple Crown winner.

“I am old enough to remember Unbridled,” Restrepo said. “And I am old enough to remember Ferdinand and Alysheba and Street Sense. They were all amazing Derby winners who ran nice races in the Preakness but didn't win. They went on to have great careers after that. Are you kidding me? We won the Derby, and we were third in the Preakness. If you would have told me that was possible a year ago, I would have given you my right hand.”

Wait And See For Preakness Runner-up Blazing Sevens

The first Preakness for John and Carla Capek brought plenty of excitement, but not the outcome they were hoping for.

The Capeks' Rodeo Creek Racing LLC's Blazing Sevens finished a head behind National Treasure in the  second leg of the Triple Crown.

“We thought he ran exceptionally well,” John Capek said “It's tough to be a little bit short on the winning side of things, but we are pleased with his progress.”

Trainer Chad Brown was attempting to win his third Preakness in the last seven years. He skipped the Kentucky Derby with Blazing Sevens, even though he had enough qualifying points for the race. He had used the same formula with Preakness winners Cloud Computing in 2017 and Early Voting last year.

“It was better for us to come to the Preakness and have a shot of winning than be in the middle of the pack in the Derby,” John Capek said “The horse is making progress. Every race this year has been a better race than the previous one.”

Blazing Sevens shipped back to New York early Sunday morning. Brown has not said what the colt's next race will be.

“We will talk to Chad and see what is best for the horse for his next race,” John Capek said.

Asmussen Likes Mile And A Half For Red Route One

Trainer Steve Asmussen saw enough in Red Route One's Preakness (G1) fourth-place finish that after the race he said the Belmont Stakes (G1) is the obvious target. Jockey Joel Rosario was forced to have Red Route One closer to the lead than is his want, given how John Velazquez was able to back down the pace to a crawl up the backstretch.

“This race fell apart for a lot of reasons that nobody will be able to put their finger on,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “I don't expect that to be the way things are going forward. We just regroup and get better at it.

“You're not guaranteed to get pace in the Belmont. You win races because of pace, and you benefit from it periodically. And then other times you don't. This would have been the latter for him,” he added. “He is nearing $700,000 in earnings. He's kept very good company his whole career and was probably beaten [4 ¾] lengths in the Preakness in a race I don't think set up ideally for him. Does he beat them under different circumstances? Who knows? But I do like the opportunity to run him a mile and a half.”

Actually, Red Route One has earned $732,525 off of a 2-2-1 record in 10 starts. He earned a free roll in the Preakness by virtue of winning Oaklawn Park's Bath House Row Stakes.

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