Good Samaritan a Worthy Wager in Travers
Good Samaritan (5-1) tuned up for the Travers with an an impressive off-the-pace performance to win the Jim Dandy Stakes by nearly five lengths. Trainer Bill Mott gave his Harlan’s Holiday colt his first start on dirt after going 2-2-1 in six turf starts. But after blowing past the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner to claim the Jim Dandy, Mott can feel more confident that he has a quality colt that can get him his first Travers win.
Mott has run seven horses in six runnings of the Travers, finishing second in 1999 with Vision and Verse and in 2009 with Hold Me Back. Good Samaritan was Mott’s fourth Jim Dandy winner. Take a look at the race replay of the Jim Dandy, where Good Samaritan ran to a 105 Equibase Speed Figure, and you can see why Good Samaritan is a solid choice to beat the 7 Kentucky Derby runners, along with the Preakness winner and a few newcomers in the Travers. Along with a quality colt in Good Samaritan, Mott has the right rider to lead his horse
home. Jockey Joel Rosario is so good, but especially over the longer distances, and he’s one of the most physically strong jocks in the country.
The Jim Dandy has proven very significant to Travers success. Over the past 18 runnings of the Travers, six winners of the Jim Dandy, two runners-up, and two third-place finishers have gone on to win the Midsummer Derby.
Mott, 67, has also been one of the top trainers at Saratoga during his career. While Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown have passed him over the past decade at Belmont and Saratoga, it’s noteworthy that over a 25-year period from 1992 to 2007, Mott was a nine-time leading trainer at Saratoga, winning a personal-best 27 races at the 2007 meet. He knows the track, how to train his horses and get the job done. A victory in the Travers will make Good Samaritan one to watch for the Breeders’ Cup Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar.
- Good Samaritan (5-1)
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Trainer: Bill Mott
Career record: 7 starts – 3 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third
Career earnings: $767,616
Pedigree: Harlan’s Holiday – Pull Dancer, by Pulpit
Good Samaritan enter the Travers off a fast closing upset win in the Jim Dandy. He’s actually bred better for the main track than his prior 6 starts over the turf. Many feel he will be compromised as he’s a closer in a field lacking speed. We totally disagree and think he rates as the strongest win contender in this field of under achievers. We were all over him in the Jim Dandy and he didn’t let us down that afternoon, making a 5 wide move on the turn for home and swooped by the rest of the field like they were tied to the rail. He’s our pick to win the Travers.