Thunder Gulch is slowly challenging for Horse of the Year. Very slowly. And a little awkwardly, too.
The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner captured the 1-1/4-mile Travers Stakes, the year’s final major 3-year-old race, in the slowest time in 14 years.
Thunder Gulch’s time of 2:03 3-5 was the slowest since Willow Hour won the 1981 Travers at Saratoga Race Course in 2:03 4-5 and came after a lurching, bumbling start.
It was fast enough, however, to beat second-place Pyramid Peak by 4-1/2 lengths and keep Thunder Gulch squarely in the picture for Horse of the Year.
Hall of Fame trainer Johnny Adams, who also rode for 24 years and won the 1954 Preakness, died at Arcadia, Calif. He was 79.
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