Travers Stakes, Saturday August 29th

Well, we finally made it to one of my most favorite weekends of the summer, Travers weekend.  I and a host of others, including Cornelio, will be headed off to the races this weekend.  We’ll be trying to beat American Pharoah, and enjoying the other graded stakes races on the day.  For those of you playing the Pick 6 Challenge, Summer Spectacular 2015, I’ve selected 6 races from Saratoga for you to handicap this weekend.  I started with Race 7, the Ballerina.  Race 6, the Personal Ensign is a favorite of mine, but the small field led me to take Race 12, the Ballston Spa stakes instead.  So with that, let’s get to the handicapping.

Race 1: The Ballerina Stakes.

  1. La Verdad – fast, sports a lifetime 14-2-0 in 20 starts including winning her last 4, has gone the distance twice, and raced Saratoga 3 times, with one win.  I like the trainer, Linda Rice, and she is working good.  Wouldn’t be surprised if she is the morning line favorite.
  2. Merry Meadow – also fast, gone the distance 5 times, and hit the board in all three Saratoga starts (1 win).  Winner of 4 of her last 5, hoping she is well rested for this one.
  3. Dame Dorothy – Pletcher loves Saratoga, and knows how to get his horses ready, Castellano is dangerous at the Spa as well.  sports a 7-1-1 lifetime record in 9 starts, 4 wins in 4 starts at the distance! Hasn’t raced in 2 months and never at Saratoga are your negatives.
  4. Just Missed – Unbridled Forever

Race 2: The King’s Bishop.

  1. Grand Bili – Javier Castellano, running fast, 1-2-0 in 3 starts at this distance, working well, hope he can put up another 108.
  2. Holy Boss – Winner of the Amsterdam and his last 4 starts.
  3. Competitive Edge – that hot Pletcher / Johnny Velazquez combination, 2 wins in 3 starts at this distance, 2 wins at Saratoga, rattled off 4 wins before coming up short his last 2, one of which was the Haskell against Pharoah.  Hoping they have him keyed in for this one.
  4. Just Missed – Mr. Z, this is a derby championship series runner, who went up against the likes of American Pharoah, Hoping that D Wayune Lucas has him back on track, he has the talent to win this, working well, hope he likes the shorter distance; Watershed, just because he’s a maiden winner, doesn’t mean he can’t compete.

Race 3: Forego Stakes.

  1. The Big Beast – I love this horse, and he loves Saratoga, just a nose short in the Vanderbilt, fast, lifetime 8 4-2-1, Won 2 and a second at Saratoga, 1 win in 2 starts at distance.  I think he get’s revenge today.
  2. Private Zone – working bullets, has the speed, tons of graded stakes experience, seems to win every other race, a lot to like here.
  3. Race Day – again liking the Pletcher / Castellano connection, racing well until bumped in last start, hope he likes the shorter distance, winner of 5 of his last 6 before poor finish last time out.
  4. Just Missed – Wildcat Red, Salutos Amigos, Falling Sky – seems to like the 7 furlong distance

Race 4: Sword Dancer Stakes.

  1. Imagining -working well, hot jockey / trainer combo, gone the distance, knows the track, lots to like here.
  2. Twilight Eclipse -fast horse, gone the distance 9 times, graded stakes experience, hope Rosario gets it done.
  3. Red Rifle – the horses have all raced each other before, winner of his last 2, last win at Saratoga, Pletcher trained, wonder who the jockey will be?
  4. Just Missed – Messi? watch out for those imports.

Race 5: The Travers Stakes.

  1. American Pharoah – this horse looks unbeatable, watch out for the graveyard of champions, the knocks are that he’s never raced here, and Baffert has bad luck at Saratoga.
  2. Texas Red – winner of the Jim Dandy, hasn’t gone this distance, we will see what Desormeaux can do against Pharoah.
  3. Frosted – always seems to come up second, maybe can turn it around in this race, working out well, hot jockey / trainer combo, might be the best bet to beat Pharoah.
  4. Just Missed – Keen Ice, second in Haskell; Tale of Verve, Gary Stevens can find a way.

Race 6: The Ballston Spa.

  1. Tepin – lost by a nose in the Diana, winner of 3 of her last 4, fast speed, Leparoux knows the turf, I don’t think post 1 is a bad spot to be ion the turf.
  2. My Miss Sophia – hoping to rebound from 4th in the Diana, may like shorter distance, less pressure
  3. Kitten’s Queen – like the cat horses, knows the track, knows the distance, two 3rds preceded by 2 wins, hope Chad Brown and Jose Ortiz can get up to first.
  4. Just Missed – Coffee Clique.

So there you have it, we are set for a great day of racing, can’t wait to see American Pharoah, dreading the crowds and betting window lines.  Going to have a great time though, good luck to all in the Summer Spectacular.  Tell your friends about us.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *