2021 Travers Stakes Contenders and Odds: King Fury

The 152nd Travers Stakes, the Mid-Summer Derby, is Saturday, Aug. 28, at Saratoga Race Course. The top race of the summer for 3-year-olds is contested at 1¼ miles with a purse of $1.25 million. In the days leading up to the race, usracing.com will publish profiles of the contenders. Profiles will be updated with post position, odds, and jockey following the draw now set for Wednesday, Aug. 25.

2021 Travers Stakes Profile: King Fury

By Margaret Ransom

King Fury wins the Street Sense Overnight Stakes at Churchill Down – Coady Photography

King Fury has had a bit of a rocky road in his eight-race career. After an eye-popping, off-the-pace victory at Churchill Downs in his debut a year ago, he has had mixed success in stakes company, winning the Lexington Stakes (G2) and another listed stakes.

He narrowly made the field for the Kentucky Derby (G1) only to be scratched after spiking a fever the day before and has not won a race in two starts since, though he did finish a decent second in the Ohio Derby (G3). In his last start, though, he clearly declared that a turf career was not in his future by beating just one in the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) three weeks ago.

Tossing that effort out, the son of Curlin returns to the main track, though maybe not a softer spot.

King Fury, under Jose Ortiz, worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.13 on Saturday (Aug. 21) in his final pre-race drill for the Travers.

“It was a solid breeze,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “We caught him in a minute. It was a nice solid maintenance breeze. The horse can run all day. He’s coming into the race great. I think a mile and a quarter will be right up his alley.”

“He’s a horse that won’t have any trouble with the distance. He fits fine. The horses that ran in the Jim Dandy, he’d actually beaten the horse that ran second [Keepmeinmind] in the Ohio Derby and he had a troubled trip when he did that. If he jumps to another level, I think we’re good. The turf race was probably a bad idea in hindsight.”

2021 Travers Stakes Entries: King Fury

Post position: TBD

Odds: TBD

Trainer: Kenny McPeek

Owners: Three Chimneys Farm (Goncalo Torrealba) and Fern Circle Stables (Paul Fireman)

Career record: 8-3-1-0

Career earnings: $362,769

Top Equibase speed figure: 99

Pedigree: Curlin-Taris, by Flatter

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Frontrunner/stalker

Notes: McPeek has sent out seven Travers starters, his Golden Ticket dead-heated for the victory with Alpha in 2012 … Colt is named for heavyweight champion boxer Tyson Fury … McPeek paid $950,000 for King Fury as a Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select yearling two years ago … Heider Family Stable, who bought the colt’s dam, Taris, privately after she retired … trainer Simon Callaghan previously purchased Taris for $2.35 million as a racing prospect at Keeneland in 2014 for his longtime clients, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier of Coolmore … Jockey Jose Ortiz has ridden seven Travers starters without a winner.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.