The 152nd Travers Stakes, the Mid-Summer Derby, is Saturday, Aug. 28, at Saratoga Race Course. The top race of the summer for 3-year-olds is contested at 1¼ miles with a purse of $1.25 million. In the days leading up to the race, usracing.com will publish profiles of the contenders. Profiles will be updated with post position, odds, and jockey following the draw now scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 25.
2021 Travers Stakes Profile: Midnight Bourbon
By Margaret Ransom
Midnight Bourbon, unfortunately, was on the wrong end of a drifting Hot Rod Charlie in his last race, the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park a month ago, and stumbled badly when he clipped heels, tossing jockey Paco Lopez to the track. Both horse and rider were uninjured in the scary spill and the colt will be back in Travers.
Aside from a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the kerfuffle in his last, the son of Tiznow has had a productive 2021. He started with a win in the Lecomte (G3), then was third in the Risen Star (G2) and second in the Louisiana Derby (G2), all at the Fair Grounds prior to the Derby. He then ran second in the Preakness (G2) behind Rombauer.
Midnight Bourbon worked a half-mile in 49.60 on Sunday (Aug. 22) over the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga.
“He’s a very impressive horse,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “I think we’re obviously very fortunate that he came out of the mishap in the Haskell in good shape and he’s training well, per usual.”
2021 Travers Stakes Entries: Midnight Bourbon
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Paco Lopez
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds
Career record: 10-2-3-2
Career earnings: $673,920
Top Equibase speed figure: 99
Pedigree: Tiznow-Catch The Moon, by Malibu Moon
Running style: Front-runner/stalker
Notes: Midnight Bourbon was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Farm and was a $525,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland in September of 2019 … His dam, Catch the Moon, was unraced but has produced three graded stakes winners, including Grade 1 winner Girvin … Asmussen has saddled two Travers starters, Pyro and Gun Runner, and has yet to be represented by a winner … Winchell Thoroughbreds has been represented by two Travers starters, both trained by Asmussen; both Pyro and Gun Runner finished third … Jockey Paco Lope rides in the Travers for the first time.