OffTrackBetting.com - The main event on a busy weekend of graded stakes action - the Grade 1 Travers Stakes comes our way from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. Some of the best three year olds in the land will chase the winner's share of the $1.25 million purse when they take to Saratoga's dirt track and race 1 1/4 miles.
A full and quality field of 14 will take to the track in the Travers Stakes - race 11 on a card of 13 Saturday races at Saratoga. Post time is approximately 5:44 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 14 combatants for the main event on a stacked day of racing at Saratoga.
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Exaggerator 3-1 - Keith Desormeaux trained colt has six wins, three runner-ups and a third place finish in 13 career starts. He arrives off a nice bounce back win in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31 after a disappointing career-worst effort - an eleventh as favorite in the Belmont Stakes June 11. Before that was a terrific win - by 3 1/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes May 21, a good second behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby, a nice win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9, an OK third in the competitive Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 12 and a runner-up finish behind Nyquist in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15. He's also posted a good win with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21, a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a respectable second in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October and a nice win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. Exaggerator has been very competitive in all but one outing, he looks to become the first horse since Point Given in 2001 to win the Preakness, Haskell, and Travers, and will be out for his third Grade 1 score in four outings with Kent Desormeaux in the irons of the morning line favorite from post 7.
Connect 4-1 - lightly raced colt has three wins and a third place finish in four career starts for trainer Chad Brown. He makes his graded stakes debut Saturday off a good win in the minor Curlin Stakes on this track July 29, an Allowance score at Belmont Park June 11 and a maiden score on that same track in May. Connect hasn't been touched this summer and will be out to make a serious statement Saturday from gate 10. John Velazquez has the mount on this intriguing but largely inexperienced second betting choice.
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American Freedom 6-1 - has won three of four career starts for trainer Bob Baffert with a runner-up finish in there. He enters off a very respectable second behind Exaggerator in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31 after a win in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadow July 1 and another win in the minor LARC Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico May 21. Before that was an uncharacteristic sixth in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs May 7 and win his debut at Santa Anita in April. American Freedom, outside of one bad outing has been terrific in his young career so far. He tries to make a huge name for himself Sunday with Rafael Bejarano aboard the morning line third choice from gate 2.
Destin 10-1 - consistent colt has eight career starts for Todd Pletcher with three wins, two seconds and a third place finishes. He enters off an OK third in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes here July 30 after a good runner-up finish behind Creator in the Belmont Stakes in June, an OK sixth in the Kentucky Derby and a terrific two race win streak - the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12 and by 2 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes February 13. Before that was his only other off-the-board finish - a fourth in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds January 16. Destin has been good so far and will be after his third graded stakes score and first since March with Javier Castellano in the irons from gate 8.
Arrogate 10-1 - Bob Baffert trained colt has four career starts with three wins. He makes his stakes debut Saturday on a three race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar August 4, another Allowance Optional Claiming June 24 and a maiden score at Santa Anita June 5. Arrogate has been impressive against lesser competition so far and looks more than ready for his enormous step up in competition Saturday. Mike Smith has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Governor Malibu 12-1 - has placed in eight of nine career starts for trainer Christophe Clement - two wins, five seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a decent second just ahead of Destin and behind Laoban in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes here July 30 after his only off-the-board finish - a fourth in the Belmont Stakes, a respectable second in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes May 14, a second after being DQ's from first in the minor Federisco Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park April 9, a good win in the minor Gander Stakes at Aqueduct in February and a maiden score in November. He has been in every race so far and hopes for his first graded stakes score Saturday. Joel Rosario has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal from gate 4.
Gift Box 12-1 - Chad Brown trained Ringling has placed in all five career starts - two wins, a second and two third place finishes. He enters off a second behind stablemate Connect in the minor Curlin Stakes here July 29, an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 26 and a respectable third in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in October. Gift Box has been competitive so far and hopes for his first stakes score from post 9 Saturday. Junior Alvarado rides.
Creator 15-1 - Steve Asmussen trained colt has placed in eight of 11 career starts - three wins, four seconds and a third place finish. He arrives off a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes on this track July 30 and a career-defining win in the Belmont Stakes - at 16-1 odds June. Before those results were a disappointing thirteenth in the Kentucky Derby, another win at 11-1 odds in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 16 and a third in his stakes debut - the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes March 19 - both results at Oaklawn Park. Creator has been a tad tough to figure out but has two Grade 1 victories to his credit the last four months. He looks to bounce back and to rediscover his Belmont Stakes form with Irad Ortiz in the saddle of this intriguing 15-1 shot from gate 12.
Laoban 15-1 - will hit the track for the ninth time for trainer Eric Guillot having recorded one win, two seconds and one third place finish so far. His only win came last time out in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes here July 30. It followed a disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park July 9, a sixth in the Preakness Stakes May 21, a fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes April 9, a respectable second in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct March 5, a troubled third in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita January 9 and a second in a MSW at Los Alamitos December 5. Laoban had failed to place in three starts before his breakthrough win last time out and will be out to build on that effort from gate 12. Jose Ortiz has the mount
Anaximandros 15-1 - will race for the sixth time from trainer Mikhail Yanakov having posted two wins and a second place finish so far. Last time out was an OK stakes debut - a fourth in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer August 6. That followed a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming June 26 and a maiden score May 20 - both at Gulfstream. Anaximandros has been OK so far but will need a special effort Saturday in order to contend. Leonel Reyes will try to deliver that effort from gate 6.
Gun Runner 20-1 - Steve Asmussen trained colt was tops in the Road to the Kentucky Derby Standings this past year. He had five career starts prior to the Run for the Roses with four wins - two straight ahead of the Derby - the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 26 and the Risen Star Stakes February 2- both results at Fair Grounds. He finished a respectable third in the Derby and recorded a win in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes two starts back at Churchill Downs June 16. Last time out was a career-worst outing however - a fifth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park July 31. Gun Runner now has five wins and a third place finish in eight career starts and will be out to avenge a poor outing last time out. Florent Geroux has been scheduled to ride from an unfortunate outside gate 14.
My Man Sam 20-1 - Chad Brown trained colt has a win and three second place finishes in six career starts. He made his stakes debut April 9 and finished second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 9 and followed that with an eleventh in the Kentucky Derby. He has just one start since - a second in an Allowance here July 23. He had a runner-up finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Aqueduct March 6, a maiden score on that track January 31 and a fifth in his debut December 19. My Man Sam has been just OK so far in his career and will be after his first stakes win Saturday with Manuel Franco in the irons from post 3.
Majesto 30-1 - Gustavo Delgado trained Ringling has placed in five of eight career starts (a win, two seconds and two third place finishes) but has failed to place in his last two ahead of this weekend. Last time out was a sixth in the minor Curlin Stakes here July 29 which followed an eighteenth in the Kentucky Derby in May, a respectable second behind Nyquist in the Grade 1 Florida Derby April 2 and a maiden score February 27 at Gulfstream Park. That win followed a third, a sixth, a second and another third respectively in MSW races. Majesto was decent in the spring but has failed to fire in two starts since. Ricardo Santana Jr. has been tabbed with changing his fortunes around from post 11 Saturday.
Forever d'Oro 30-1 - Dallas Stewart trained colt had a win and a third place finish in five career starts. He arrives off a third place finish in the minor Curlin Stakes on this track July 29 which followed a thirteenth in his only graded stakes action - the Belmont Stakes, a maiden score and a pair of fifths to start his career. Forever d'Oro looks as though he'll be in over his head Saturday when he leaves from post 5 with Luis Saez guiding him.
2016 Travers Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 11 on Saratoga's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:44 PM.
|1||Arrogate||10-1||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|2||American Freedom||6-1||Rafael Bejarano||Bob Baffert|
|3||My Man Sam||20-1||Manuel Franco||Chad Brown|
|4||Governor Malibu||12-1||Joel Rosario||Christophe Clement|
|5||Forever d'Oro||30-1||Luis Saez||Dallas Stewart|
|6||Anaximandros||50-1||Leonel Reyes||Mikhail Yanakov|
|7||Exaggerator||3-1||Kent Desormeaux||J. Desormeaux|
|8||Destin||10-1||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
|9||Gift Box||12-1||Junior Alvarado||Chad Brown|
|10||Connect||4-1||John Velazquez||Chad Brown|
|11||Majesto||30-1||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||Gustavo Delgado|
|12||Creator||15-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Steven Asmussen|
|13||Laoban||15-1||Jose Ortiz||Eric Guillot|
|14||Gun Runner||10-1||Florent Geroux||Steven Asmussen|