02/10/2012 4:08PM

Gulfstream: Travelin Man sharp in comeback victory

Barbara D. Livingston
The 4-year-old Travelin Man, making his first start since August, scores in an allowance race Thursday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Travelin Man, whose promising career hit a snag following his victory in the Grade 2 Swale here at Gulfstream Park last spring, got back on the winning track when he rallied to a three-quarter-length victory over Golden Moka in Thursday’s allowance feature.

Travelin Man, a son of Trippi trained by Todd Pletcher, opened his career by sandwiching an eye-catching maiden win and his triumph in the Swale around a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Hutcheson. But after a very disappointing performance in the Grade 2 Amsterdam last summer at Saratoga, Travelin Man was put away until Thursday.

“It’s great to get him back,” said Pletcher. “There was never really anything physically wrong with him but that last race was uncharacteristic for him so we decided just to give him some time off.”

Travelin Man stalked the early pace under regular rider John Velazquez, gained command at the top of the stretch, and then held off Golden Moka and his uncoupled stablemate Thank U Philippe to continue his dominance over the local surface.

“He got off to a bit of a rough start sandwiched between horses but then ran a very good race from there,” said Pletcher. “He got a little tired towards the end but that could be expected off the layoff and over the sticky track.”