Epicenter Decisive Win in the Travers

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Even-money favorite Epicenter stalked the pace with a perfect ground-saving trip under Joel Rosario and then put away the field when asked to win the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes for owner Winchell Thoroughbreds and Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

Epicenter completed 1 1/4-mile on a fast track in 2:00.72 to beat runner-up and 9-2 second choice Cyberknife, last month's Haskell (G1) winner who set the pace after breaking from the rail. Zandon checked in third with Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike rounding out the superfecta. 

Asmussen and Rosario earned their first win in the Travers.

Cyberknife ushered the field through fractions of 23.32, 47.63 and 1:11.43 for six furlong with long shot Ain't Life Grand (25-1) pressing on his outside and Epicenter tucked in behind in third. Epicenter made his move on the second turn and quickly passed the two front runners. After a mile in 1:35.78, Epicenter accelerated through the stretch and crossed the wire an open-lengths winner. 

Epicenter, a colt by Not This Time out of the Candy Ride mare Silent Candy, returned $4 as the popular winner.

A $260,000 auction purchase, Epicenter has earnings now approaching $3 million with a record of 10: 6-3-0. He was the beaten favorite in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year. Epicenter's previous graded-stakes wins came in the Risen Star (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) this winter at Fair Grounds. 

Source: horseracingnation.com

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