Blueridge Traveler wins the Maxxam Gold Cup by a neck at Sam Houston Race Park

Blueridge Traveler wins the Maxxam Gold Cup by a neck at Sam Houston Race Park

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Blueridge Traveler Gets Up to Score in Maxxam Gold Cup

To Honor and Serve colt won by a neck.

With a late surge, Blueridge Traveler just got up in time to score by a neck in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup Stakes Feb. 24 at Sam Houston Race Park. 

It was the first stakes victory for Horizon Stables' son of To Honor and Serve. Blueridge Traveler finished second in the 2017 Jack Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes (G3). 

In the 1 1/8-mile test, Holiday Mischief set the pace, as Blueridge Traveler raced last in sixth through the first quarter-mile in :25.14. He then moved up to fifth as a half-mile went in :50.88 and six furlongs in 1:15.16. In the second turn jockey Channing Hill asked Blueridge Traveler to make his move, and the colt responded. He came into the stretch three-wide and drove by his competition to hit the wire first in 1:51.47 over the fast main track. 

Blueridge Traveler entered off a three-quarter-length win in an Oaklawn Park allowance race Feb. 10. 

"My trip was good," Hill said of his ride on the Kenny McPeek trainee. "He really came home nice. This race was more impressive than his allowance win at Oaklawn. He had to overcome a lot. I give a lot (of credit) to the second-place horse. He ran big. Kenny and assistant trainer Jeff Hiles did a great job."

Net Gain came in second, with pacesetter Holiday Mischief 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Hyper Drive, Franco, and Social Misfit completed the order of finish.

The winner returned $3.20, $2.10, and $2.10 across the board.

Bred by Gainesway Thoroughbreds in Kentucky, Blueridge Traveler is out of the grade 3-placed Yes It's True mare Unobstructed View. He was a $100,000 purchase by McPeek as agent out of the Gainesway consignment to the 2015 Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale. In 10 starts, the colt has a 3-4-1 record and $286,500 in earnings.

In the $50,000 Sam Houston Sprint Cup Stakes, Sad Sac Racing's Wings Locked Up led from gate to wire for a half-length score over favored Counterforce. It was the 15th victory and third stakes win for the 6-year-old Munnings  gelding. The Clinton Stuart trainee completed the six-furlong distance in 1:09.94. 

Brereton Jones homebred Proud Reunion took the $50,000 Jersey Lilly Turf Stakes by a neck over Brooks House. With a strong drive in the stretch, the 4-year-old daughter of Proud Citizen won the 1 1/16-mile turf contest in 1:45.09. It was the third victory and first stakes win for the Tom Proctor-trained filly. 

The close finish in the $50,000 Houston Turf Stakes going 1 1/16 miles went to Alvin Wong's Bonjour Baby. The Larry Stroope-trained 5-year-old won by a nose in the final strides over P Millers Clock and Gavin in 1:45.71. It was the first stakes victory for the Sing Baby Sing gelding.