03/31/2012 2:00PM

Gulfstream: Travelin Man prevails in Sir Shackleton


Jay Privman

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Travelin Man apparently would prefer to stay put right here at Gulfstream Park. He won his fourth race in five Gulfstream starts on Saturday when he outdueled Jersey Town, the 2010 Cigar Mile winner, in the $70,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes for older sprinters.

Travelin Man is winless in three races elsewhere, but Gulfstream is where he has thrived. Taking advantage of a cozy outside post in the seven-horse Sir Shackleton, Travelin Man stalked the early pace, loomed boldly outside Jersey Town on the turn, and prevailed by a half-length after a spirited stretch drive.

Nathan’s H Q was another 5 1/4 lengths back in third. Will’s Wildcat, Brethren, Action Andy, and Dixie Slam completed the finish, in that order.

Both Soaring Stocks and Zero Rate Policy were scratched, having traveled to Fair Grounds for a race there Sunday.

Racing over a lightning-fast track, Travelin Man covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.62, just .18 of a second shy of the track record. John Velazquez was aboard.

“We benefited from a good post position,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains Travelin Man. “He ran a courageous race and beat a nice, Grade 1 horse.”

Velazquez told Pletcher that he had plenty of horse when they got to the far turn.

“I said, ‘Easy, buddy,’ ” Velazquez said.

A half-hour later, Pletcher and Velazquez won the Rampart with Awesome Maria, who, like Travelin Man, is owned by Joyce Robsham.

Pletcher said he had not decided on where Travelin Man would run next, being as Gulfstream closes next week and doesn’t open again for eight months.

But he doubted Travelin Man would run in the Churchill Downs Sprint on Kentucky Derby Day, being as Travelin Man ran poorly in the Derby Trial there last year.

“I don’t know what we’ll do just yet,” Pletcher said.