For Immediate Release: Saturday, June 22, 2013
TRAFFIC LIGHT RALLIES FOR UPSET WIN IN LE VINE MEMORIAL
One of the most improved horses at Parx Racing last year was a young three year-old named Traffic Light. Racing for owners John Trippi and William Thayer, the gelded son of Peace Rules found himself a finalist for the state’s divisional honors following a season that saw him win 4 times in 9 starts, including a resounding win in the $75K Crowd Pleaser Handicap and a runner up finish in the G3 Smarty Jones Stakes. As he starts his 2013 campaign, it looks like he’s gotten even better. Saturday at Parx, he won the biggest race of his career, coming from just off the pace to win the $100,000 Donald Le Vine Memorial Handicap by a tenacious neck over the fast closing Brujo de Olleros.
Starting from the next to outside gate in the evenly matched field of ten, Traffic Light got a great break from the gate that allowed him to settle in just off the front running speed of Luckysdream. “He didn’t want to go into the gate,” remarked winning jockey John Bisono, “and I had to hit him a couple of times to make him go in and I think that got his attention and he broke real sharp.”
From there he sat the perfect trip. In the clear and sitting just to the outside of the leader through fractions of 22.46 and 44.30, Traffic Light made his move as they approached the quarter pole. “He was dragging me up to the leader,” continued Bisono. Under no more than a mild hand ride, Traffic Light took over from Luckysdream as they hit the top of the stretch and then Bisono got to work. Asking his mount for his best now, Bisono set sail for the wire and held off a strong late charge on the inside from the well regarded Brujo de Olleros to win the race by a neck. “When they started coming,” said Bisono, “he dug in and kept going.”
The win was the seventh in the career for Traffic Light, all coming locally for trainer Freddy Velazquez, and pushed his lifetime earnings to just over $406,000. Despite his stellar season in 2012, handicappers allowed him to slip off at a price of 10-1. He returned his backers $22.60, 8.80, and 6.40. Brujo de Olleros, the better part of an entry sent off as a very tepid 4-1 favorite in the competitive field, was mid-pack in the early stages and put in a game late run on the inside but had to settle for second. He paid $6.40 and 4.20. Hello Lover (7-1), the reigning PA Horse of the Year made his late run as always, but he fell a length and a half short, took third and paid 5.40. The final time for the seven furlongs over a track labeled fast was 1:22.03.