Tabasco Cat Will Have a Rabbit on His Side
Today’s confrontation between Holy Bull and Tabasco Cat has most of the elements of great drama. They will face each other in a historic race, the Travers Stakes, before a crowd of more than 40,000 at Saratoga. The 3-year-old championship will be at stake and the horse-of-the-year title might be on the line too.
Only one ingredient is missing: suspense. There is no doubt which of the two is the better horse. Holy Bull is--by many lengths.
If the Travers were purely a match between Holy Bull and Tabasco Cat, the outcome would be almost a forgone conclusion. Instead, this race pits Holy Bull vs. the team of Tabasco Cat and Commanche Trail, and the presence of the latter may alter the complexion of the race.
Trainer Wayne Lukas entered the allowance-class sprinter Commanche Trail to act as a rabbit who will try to put early pressure on Holy Bull. If he is prepared to go on a suicide mission, running as fast as possible for the first half-mile of a 1 1/4-mile race, he might compromise Holy Bull’s chances.
If Commanche Trail comes out of the gate in high gear, will Holy Bull outrun him? The Bull might be able to beat the Cat, but can he beat the rabbit too?