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August 29, 2022

Epicenter (NOT THIS TIME) makes history in Travers S. (G1) romp

Not This Time’s 3-year-old colt Epicenter secured his spot at the top of his class with a dominant victory in Saturday’s $1.25 million Travers S. (G1) at Saratoga.

Epicenter pulled away powerfully in the final furlong to defeat a field that included the winners of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness S., Haskell S., and Blue Grass S. – all Grade 1 events – in what was the fourth-fastest running of the summer classic.

Cyberknife, the Haskell winner, made his way to the front from his inside post, with Epicenter taking up a pocket spot in fourth along the rail. He held his spot while Cyberknife led through six furlongs in 1:11.43. It was at that point, going into the final turn, that Epicenter switched to the outside to make his move for the lead.

Epicenter took the lead from Cyberknife as they passed the quarter pole. The pair battled only briefly as Epicenter was clearly still full of run. The bay colt widened his lead all the way to the wire, finishing in 2:00.72 on a fast track.

“I thought that answered a lot of questions,” winning trainer Steve Asmussen said about the race for the division’s Eclipse Award. “His resume looks very good and we’re willing to run against them again.”

Epicenter 3-year-old campaign includes wins in the Jim Dandy S. (G2), Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star S. (G2), as well as seconds in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1).

Epicenter’s overall record is now 6-3-0 in 10 starts, with earnings of $2,940,639 for Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC.

Bought for $260,000 from the breeder’s Westwind Farms consignment in the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Epicenter is out of the stakes-winning mare Silent Candy.

Not This Time was last year’s #1 Second-Crop sire and has a stronghold on the top of the 2022 Third-Crop list, with over $9.3 million in progeny earnings. Epicenter is his sire’s third Grade 1 winner.