Pressed into unexpected duty, 3-year-olds King’s Ovation and Lady Traveler both responded with big performances at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. King’s Ovation encountered trouble at the top of the stretch but kicked on to finish second in the Grade 3 Swale Stakes. About 90 minutes later, Lady Traveler checked in second in the filly equivalent race, the Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes.
King’s Ovation and Lady Traveler weren’t scheduled to race until early February, but trainer Dale Romans passed along word that the Swale Stakes and Forward Gal were both short on horses. We decided at the last minute to put their names in the entry box.
Lady Traveler picked up 4 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Oaks, while King’s Ovation earned an official Kentucky Derby prep assignment.