E. Paul Robsham Stables' homebred TRAVELIN MAN (Trippi) made his move to the lead at the top of the stretch and drew clear to a comfortable two-length victory in Sunday's $147,000 Swale S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park. Ridden by John Velazquez, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt was heavily-favored at 2-5 among five three-year-old rivals and earned his first graded stakes win in the seven-furlong event. A 7 1/4-length debut winner on January 6, Travelin Man was exiting a second in the February 26 Hutcheson S. (G2) and has now earned $143,100 from a 3-2-1-0 career line.
Longshot Razmataz (Forest Wildcat) flashed to the front at the start and was tracked by Travelin Man in second through opening splits in :23 and :46 2/5. The pacesetter tried to withstand the heavy favorite in upper stretch, but Travelin Man was under a hand ride and asserted himself approaching the eighth-pole. He stopped the teletimer in 1:21 4/5 on the fast track.
"Breaking from the outside, we were in perfect position. He was able to sit back and relax and had plenty of kick left for the stretch," said Velazquez, who also visited the winner's circle with the Pletcher-trained Ice Cream Man (Elusive Quality) one race earlier. "He was perfect."
Travelin Man, who paid $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10, capped a tremendous weekend for his connections. Robsham and Pletcher combined to win both graded stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, the Gulfstream Oaks (G2) and Rampart (G3), with R Heat Lightning (Trippi) and Awesome Maria (Maria's Mon), respectively. Pletcher is the leading trainer at Gulfstream and won a total of five races on Saturday.
Indiano (Indian Charlie) rallied to get up by a head for runner-up honors and was followed under the Swale finish line by Little Drama (Burning Roma), Razmataz and Megalith (Trippi). Black N Beauty (Devil His Due) was scratched.
Travelin Man is the first foal to race out of the winning Gone West mare West Side Dancer and counts as a half-sibling the two-year-old colt Discreet Dancer and a 2010 filly, both by Discreet Cat. This is the immediate female family of European champion older horse and five-time Group 1 hero Duke of Marmalade (Ire) (Danehill); multiple Grade 2 winner Bite the Bullet (Spectacular Bid); and Grade 3 vixen and Grade 1-placed Madison's Charm (Capote). Travelin Man's fourth maternal dam, Lassie Dear (Buckpasser), produced 1992 Broodmare of the Weekend Surprise (Secretariat), whose is famously known as the dam of 1992 Horse of the Year and noted sire A.P. Indy (Seattle Slew) and 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall (Storm Bird).
"I don't know that he is limited to sprinting. He's rateable and can relax," Pletcher said of future plans for Travelin Man. "We'll stretch him out at some point. The Derby Trial (G3) (at a mile on April 30) might be a race that fits."