Jockey Sonny Leon didn’t take any chances. Runhappy Travers Stakes candidate driver (G1) Rich Strike will be arriving in Saratoga Springs, NY late August 26.
An updated itinerary for the 32-year-old Venezuelan calls for him to fly from Florida to New York on his ride pledge at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.
“He realizes that, you know? You can trust yourself, but you can’t trust the airlines,” said Jeff Perrin, Leon’s representative.
Eric Reed, who trains Rich Strike, who is owned by Rick Dawson’s TED TR-Racing, said he thinks Leon will always overtake New York on Friday. Initially, it was thought that Leon would fly on Saturday morning.
“He bought that ticket (Saturday) in case the Friday flight got cancelled,” Reed said. “He knew Saturday was going to push it.”
Leon is expected to drive in seven of the nine races at Gulfstream on Friday. His last mount was in the ninth race, which has a scheduled posting time of 7:22pm
Travers will be the only mount Leon has on Saturday and it will be the start of his second career at Racecourse Saratoga.
Last year, he rode Forewarned for coach Uriah St. Lewis in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). Then the 6-year-old boy finished last in the six-horse field.
Reed said he’s not worried about Leon not having a mount at the Spa before Travers.
“This way is not difficult,” said Reed. “And my horse is not difficult to ride.”