07/27/2013 12:45PM

Indiana Downs: Travel Advisory resumes career in Tuesday turf race


As a 3-year-old last season, Travel Advisory blossomed in the spring, finishing second in consecutive starts in the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland and the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs. He followed up by finishing third in the $210,000 Oliver Stakes at Indiana Downs, but took a bad step on the gallop-out and injured a tendon.

Thirteen months later, Travel Advisory is ready to resume racing. He will launch his comeback over the same turf course where he was injured in Tuesday night’s feature, a second-level optional $40,000 claimer with a purse of $41,000. He is part of a 12-horse field in the 1 1/16-mile sixth race.

“He’s coming back on the same track where he got hurt,” said Kellyn Gorder, who trains Travel Advisory at Keeneland for Kevin and Tammie Hulse’s TK Stables. “But I’ve run plenty of horses on that turf course to know that it’s safe.

“What happened to him was just a freaky deal. I think it happened on the gallop-out rather than in the race,” Gorder said. “He pulled up and turned around. Leandro [Gonzalez] told me he took one bad step and then a couple more bad steps. So he jumped off. We erred on the side of caution and had him vanned off.”

Back at the barn, Gorder said he initially thought the injury was minor. Gorder even sent out a message on Facebook to tell fans that Travel Advisory looked fine.

“We couldn’t find any evidence of any damage. There was no swelling,” Gorder said. “But the next day he was lame. He had a torn tendon up very high, right behind a knee. That’s a different type of injury than what you usually see. So we gave him a bunch of time off.”

Travel Advisory has had six timed workouts since June 1, including a bullet half-mile in 48 seconds on Keeneland’s Polytrack on July 7. Gorder wanted to bring him back in a 1 1/8-mile turf race at Arlington Park on July 20, but Travel Advisory got stuck on the also-eligible list and did not draw into the main body of the field. Tuesday’s race at Indiana Downs was the next-best option.

“We’re really excited about having him back,” Gorder said. “It remains to be seen if he’s still the same horse as he was before he got hurt. He’s shown us some good signs.”

Gorder said he will assess Travel Advisory’s performance before making any plans about where he might race next.

Travel Advisory’s opponents on Tuesday include Forever Sure, who is 6 for 11 on Indiana’s turf and 4 for 5 this season; Positive Sign, second at this same level on July 10; and Flashy Kid, runner-up in the A.J. Foyt for Indiana-breds on July 17.