When the time of 2:00 was flashed on the tote board the crowd was abuzz; the track had been getting slower with each race as rain continued to fall. That kind of speed on that kind of track is unheard of. The previous record had been set in 1976 by another Jolley-trained colt, Honest Pleasure, over a strip that was lightning fast.
Davona Dale finished fourth behind the General, Smarten and Private Account, and she looked like a very tired horse, one due for a long rest.
Veitch says Davona Dale will return to her own division in the Sept. 29 Ruffian Stakes at Belmont. "The jockey [ Jorge Velasquez] said she never got hold of the track," Veitch said after the Travers. "When she finally got to run at the top of the stretch, it was too late."
On Sept. 8, General Assembly will go for another big one. He will be facing the 1978 Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, Coastal and other stalwarts in the Marlboro Cup at Belmont. Belmont is not Saratoga. What the General must prove now is that he doesn't have to carry his own racetrack with him to win. If he can do that, he might just wind up as 3-year-old of the year.