Saffie Joseph Jr (FILE)
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – Barbadian trainer Saffie Joseph Jr just narrowly missed out on one of the biggest wins of his career when his entrant, Ny Traffic, finished second in Saturday’s feature US$ one million Grade Louisiana Derby.
Going off at the long odds of 27-1 under jockey Joe Bravo, the three-year-old bay colt followed home eventual winner, favourite Wells Bayou, by 1-1/2 lengths in the 1-3/16th miles trip, in the final race on the cash-rich 12-race card at Fair Grounds.
“The last couple races he really stepped up to the plate and the horse is just getting good,” Bravo said.
“The thing that makes him so good is that he listens. He broke great, put him in front, he relaxed off the other horse. He turned for home and my horse did not want to lay up.
“We are not fortune tellers, the horse is getting good and the sky is the limit.”
Saturday’s finish marked yet another improvement for Ny Traffic who ran third in last month’s Risen Star at Fair Grounds.
More significantly, Ny Traffic now has 50 points and lies fourth in the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby – a series of races through which horses qualify for the prestigious first leg of the storied American Triple Crown.
The 33-year-old Joseph, who moved to Florida in 2011, logged a single winner at Gulfstream Park on Saturday when favourite French Quarter captured race five over six furlongs on the 12-race card at the southeastern Florida oval.
French Quarter, a nine-year-old brown gelding ridden by Paco Lopez, completed the trip in one minute, 11.39 seconds. (CMC)