Texas Red maturing physically, mentally ahead of Travers
Fast forward to the Travers (G1), and trainer Keith Desormeaux notes that Texas Red is a different animal -- not just since the FrontRunner, but even since his victory in the August 1 Jim Dandy (G2).
"He's a lot different," Desormeaux said. "The horse is growing physically. He's mellowed out mentally.
"That's the kind of thing you look for as a trainer. Mellowing out is synonymous with confidence. He's mentally where we want him to be, and it's going to be fun."
Desormeaux added that it's a privilege to be in this position with a horse purchased for a mere $17,000 as a Keeneland September yearling.
"The short-priced favorite is the Triple Crown winner. I have to say even if he wasn't here and maybe we were coming into the race as one of the co-favorites, it's not pressure. It's more excitement.
"Pressure is like trying to make a $100 bet and you only have $5 in your pocket. That's pressure. We've got a $17,000 horse with $1.6 million in his pocket. There's no pressure on us. It's all gratitude."
Photo courtesy of NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Susie Raisher.