Midnight Bourbon Breezes Half-Mile Ahead of Travers

Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Midnight Bourbon , trained by Steve Asmussen, worked a half-mile in :49.77 Aug. 22 on the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course in preparation for the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) Aug. 28.

Asmussen said the sophomore son of Tiznow  has worked well after a troubled trip last out in the TVG Haskell Stakes (G1), where he was a close third in mid-stretch before clipping heels and falling, unseating rider Paco Lopez.

“He’s a very impressive horse,” 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.”

Midnight Bourbon, winner of the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in his 2021 debut, was second in the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course prior to the Haskell.

Asmussen and Winchell finished third twice in the Travers with Pyro  (2008) and Gun Runner   (2016).

Also breezing Sunday for Asmussen was Kirk and Judy Robison’s five-time graded stakes-winning millionaire Jackie’s Warrior , who went a half-mile in :48.98 in preparation for the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) on the Runhappy Travers Day undercard.

Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s dual graded stakes winner Yaupon  went a half-mile in :50.50. The 4-year-old son of Uncle Mo   is targeting the $600,000 Forego Stakes (G1).

Asmussen was pleased with a solid runner-up finish from Stonestreet Stables’ Clairiere  in Saturday’s Alabama Stakes (G1). The winner of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes Presented by Fasig-Tipton (G2) in February at Fair Grounds closed late under Irad Ortiz Jr. to finish 1 1/2 lengths in arrears to Malathaat . Asmussen said no plans have been made for the Curlin   filly’s next start.

“She came out of it in good shape,” Asmussen said. “There’s a lot going on between now and what’s next for her.”

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