The Grade 1 $1,000,000 Shadwell Travers Stakes or "The Summertime Derby" is Saturday at Saratoga. There are seven horses entered and try as I could, I just could not bring myself to go against #4 Quality Road. He has won four of five lifetime starts and was awesome in his last two wins, the Grade 2 Amsterdam at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream. The Todd Pletcher trainee is also a perfect three for three with John Velazquez aboard. Even if The Spa gets the expected rain on Saturday, Quality Road's Tomlinson figure is 403, so the wet won't be a problem. That was illustrated by his workout on Tuesday in the mud, five furlongs in 59.3 seconds.
I will select a longshot for the second spot, though. The 15-1 shot, #5 Our Edge, could just get the lead and be forwardly placed all the way. Alan Garcia was aboard for his seven-length win in the Grade 3 Barbaro at Delaware Park. He also won the Coronado's Quest at Monmouth in the slop on June 20. Trainer Nick Zito wouldn't have him here if he didn't think he could pull a surprise. Next comes Belmont Stakes winner, #6 Summer Bird, who ran a distant second to Rachel Alexandra in the sloppy Haskell at Monmouth on August 2. Kent Desormeaux now has a win and a second in two tries with the Birdstone offspring. If anyone goes out with Our Edge, the expected front-runner and prompts a VERY fast pace, Summer Bird could come rolling again as he seems comfortable doing. Finally, I will put #7 Kensei fourth based on his already beating both #2 Charitable Man and #3 Warrior's Reward in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on August 1. So, here is the play for the 140th edition of the Travers Stakes:
$1 TRI 4 with 5-6-7 with ALL
I didn't include a win wager on Quality Road because I think his price will be so low as to make it unnecessary. As always, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers made in connection with these suggestions. Tune in again on Monday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!