04/01/2011 1:05PM

Gulfstream: Travelin Man towers over five foes in Swale


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. –Todd Pletcher has 13 horses entered in the 12 races run on Sunday’s Florida Derby Day card at Gulfstream Park. The shortest price of the baker’s dozen could very well be Travelin Man in the Grade 2, $150,000 Swale Stakes for 3-year-olds.

When Flashpoint – who defeated Travelin Man by 7 1/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Hutcheson here on Feb. 26 – entered Sunday’s $1 million Florida Derby Travelin Man became the prohibitive favorite for the Swale, run at seven furlongs.

Travelin Man, a son of Trippi, is expected to meet five opponents in the Swale – which is carded as race 3 – none with the credentials of a Flashpoint.

After winning his debut by 7 1/4 lengths here on Jan. 6, Travelin Man was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in the Hutcheson. Breaking from an inside post, Travelin Man set fractions of 22.16 seconds and 44.53 for the half-mile while being pressed from the outside by Flashpoint. In midstretch, Travelin Man could not keep up as Flashpoint drew clear impressively.

“I would have liked to have switched post positions and been outside of Flashpoint so we didn’t have to be under pressure the whole way,’’ Pletcher said. “Bottom line is he outran us.’’

As fate would have it, Travelin Man drew the outside post for the Swale. He also gets in the lightest of the sextet with 115 pounds, eight less than Indiano.

Indiano, a Kentucky-bred son of Indian Charlie, was a multiple stakes winner in Panama, where he went 5 for 5 from last September to January. In his U.S. debut, Indiano finished second behind the Pletcher-trained Escort, a 1-5 favorite, in a first-level allowance race. Indiano didn’t switch leads until late but was cutting into Escort’s margin at the finish of the six-furlong race, which was run in 1:09.28.

Trainer Marty Wolfson said he believes Indiano should be better at seven furlongs than six and that since his last race, “I love the way he’s trained,’’ he added.

Julien Leparoux rides Indiano from post 4.

Black N Beauty, who began his 3-year-old season with a first-level allowance win going a mile here on Jan. 7, finished fifth in the Holy Bull 23 days later and was then pulled up by jockey Kent Desormeaux in the Hutcheson on Feb. 26.

Trainer Dale Romans said he never determined why Desormeaux pulled the horse up, but the colt has no physical issues.

“He’s been sound, he’s breezed back several times, he’s breezed well,’’ Romans said. “He just wasn’t having a good day.’’

Romans said he wasn’t thrilled with having drawn the rail. Paco Lopez replaces Desormeaux in the irons.

Little Drama, the third-place finisher in the Hutcheson and a half-brother to champion sprinter Big Drama; Megalith, entered as a main-track only entrant in a Saturday allowance race, and Razmataz, a well-beaten fourth in the Hutcheson, complete the field.