The Travers Stakes, August 23rd

Welcome back to the Pick 6 Challenge! The Summer Spectacular segment started several weeks ago, but that certainly does not mean it is too late to join. This racing segment started on July 19th, with the opening weekend at Saratoga (featuring the Diana). The segment will finish September 27th at Belmont with the Jockey Club Gold Cup. If you are new to the game, the rules are simple. You get 15 picks to spread across 6 races. The objective is to pick the most race winners using the fewest picks. The scoring is most correct picks, followed by number of picks used, followed by winnings. The Summer Spectacular will feature many races from Saratoga and Del Mar.

The sixth week of races are up, headlined by the $1,250,000 Travers Stakes. Cornelio is hoping to pick up a mount or two this weekend, but in between hustling at the track, he’s going to find time to handicap the weekend’s races.

Race 1: The Ballston Spa.
The first of four races from Saratoga is the Ballston Spa. this race looks like a battle between Dayatthespa and Flimbi who bested the former last time out.  If you believe Flimbi has the goods to do it again, by all means bet her, but if you think Dayatthespa has learned her lesson, put the money on her.  Abaco is intriguing with Rosario on top, but just doesn’t seem to win much, good bullet workout’s though.  Cornelio is tired of betting on Strathnaver and coming up short.

Race 2: The King’s Bishop.
Next race is the King’s Bishop, a favorite of Cornelio’s, we’ve seen some good ones with Lost In The Fog and hard Spun.  Cornelio is going to stick with the favorites here in Wildcat Red, Coup de Grace, and The Big Beast.  Coup has an outside post, and the beast is moving up in class, hoping for a good price on Wildcat, he stumbled the start at Monmouth. C. Zee could challenge, the rest are making a jump in class.

Race 3: The Ballerina.
The third race of the day is the Ballerina. It’s hard not to like La Verdad and Willet, they’ve gone the distance, hot Stones too.  My Miss Aurelia hasn’t gotten it done lately, but has a good record at the track, and she might be worth a bet on name alone.  If you are looking at hot horses moving up in class, then Better Lucky and Artemis Agrotera are your bets.

Race 4: The Travers Stakes.
The Travers Stakes is Corenlio’s favorite race of the year, and this field looks pretty good.  Bayern romped in the Haskell, and will likely be a favorite.  Tonalist didn’t win as a favorite in the Jim Dandy, but his pedigree (long distance runner) and a Belmont win still means something.  Wicked Strong DID get it done in the Jim Dandy, so we’ll see if he can stretch it to the length of the Travers.  Mr Speaker is coming off a long layoff and has a tough outside post.  Hope to get a good price on Kid Cruz.  I just don’t think Commanding Curve has the distance in him.

Race 5: The Violet Stakes.
Lots of horses in our next two races, the Violet Stakes and Del mar Handicap.  Starstruck looks fast and is coming off a win at Monmouth last time out.  Overheard looks fast, hits the board, and comes off a layoff, good or bad?  Irish Mission has two fast 2nd place finishes, last time out to Starstruck, but is stuck on the outside post.  This should be interesting.

Race 6: The Del Mar Handicap.
Wouldn’t be summer without a late night Del Mar race.  Irish Surf was huge last time out, Big John B has 2 wins and a second, plus Mike Smith up top.  Fire with Fire was hot in the spring, Cogito if you like them from across the pond, out of Causeway too, remember how the shippers did at Arlington…

Good luck everyone, Cornelio and I are headed out to the track for the weekend, hoping to walk away with a bit of money, or at least not too much less than where we started.

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