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Travers Won on Late Run by Easy Goer

August 20, 1989|BILL CHRISTINE | Times Staff Writer

Clever Trevor, who earned $239,470, has 10 victories and three seconds in 16 races. He finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby, perhaps because it was his third demanding race in a month. But after a breather, the Oklahoma-bred gelding came here off of blowout victories in the St. Paul Derby and the Arlington Classic.

"He ran very well, and that's all you can ask of him," Pettinger said. "He tried real hard. You can't knock him. He didn't want to let the other horse get by him. I thought that Easy Goer was going to have to do some running to get by me."

In four previous Travers, McGaughey had finished second twice and third twice.

"This was a pivotal day for this horse, because of the consistency factor," McGaughey said. "I don't look back and second-guess about what happened before. I don't think Sunday Silence ran his best race himself in the Kentucky Derby, but he ran better than us that day. This horse is (by far) the best that I've ever had."

On breeding alone, Easy Goer had every right to win the Travers. His sire, Alydar, won the stake in 1978, although it took the disqualification of Affirmed for that to happen. Easy Goer's grandsire, Buckpasser, won the Travers for Phipps in 1966.

Phipps keeps ducking the question of whether Easy Goer is better than Buckpasser, who was horse of the year in 1966.

"Buckpasser was last, way last, when he won the Travers," Phipps said. "So you can say that Easy Goer won the Travers easier than Buckpasser did."

Horse Racing Notes

The on-track handle of $6.3 million was the largest in Saratoga history. . . . There was a $28,856 minus show pool on Easy Goer, money the track had to pay so that show players would receive their $2.10 payoff. . . . In another stake at Saratoga Saturday, Houston scored his first victory since the Derby Trial in Kentucky when he beat Fast Play, another Ogden Phipps horse, by two lengths in the $75,000 King's Bishop. Houston, ridden by Pat Day, ran seven furlongs in 1:22. That was the sixth stakes victory by trainer Wayne Lukas' barn in the last eight days. . . . For finishing fourth in the Travers, Doc's Leader earned $65,310, which is about the same amount he earned for winning the West Virginia Derby. . . . Easy Goer is the fifth horse to score a Whitney-Travers double. The others were Eight Thirty, Key to the Mint, Alydar and Java Gold.

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