Saratoga hosts the 141st running of the Grade 1 Shadwell Travers Stakes on Saturday and there will be field of eleven going to the gate, including the winner and runner-up of the 2010 Kentucky Derby, Super Saver and Ice Box. The winner of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, A Little Warm, is also in the field. In fact, he is the morning-line favorite at 7-2. Here is the analysis of the "Mid-Summer Derby", the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Travers Stakes:
My top pick in the Travers will be #2 Trappe Shot. He has been on quite an impressive run of late, winning five of his last six starts. He finished second behind the best three-year-old in the country right now, Lookin At Lucky, in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. There is certainly no shame in that. I expect him to be sitting pretty right behind the speed and he should get first run at the front-runners when they get to the stretch. For second, I will put the only horse to actually hit the board in two of the Triple Crown races this year, #4 First Dude. He will more than likely be headed to the front of the pack. I doubt he will be there alone, but if he is, he just might not look back. Blinkers will be added today by trainer Dale Romans. His last two workouts (at Churchill Downs) were remarkably consistent. I will put the Derby winner, #11 Super Saver, in the third spot. I would have him higher if Saratoga was getting the weather they had last weekend (rain), but tomorrow is expected to be sunny. If there is any residual moisture in the surface, that will only benefit him. The post position draw didn't do him or jockey Calvin Borel any favors. Finally, I will put #7 Afleet Express in the fourth spot. His last two races resulted in a win and a third. The Sire is Afleet Alex, who is likely the only challenger to Point Given for Horse Of The Decade honors. He also encountered some trouble in the Jim Dandy and still ended up on 2 1/2 lengths off the winner. Here is the play for the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Travers Stakes:
$5 WPS #2
$1 EX BOX 2-4-7-8-11
10-cent SPR BOX 2-4-7-8-11
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!