2021 Travers Stakes

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Travers Stakes

2021 Entries and ML Odds | 2021 Results | 2021 Video | Race Records | Overview | Past Winners | History | Top 12 Races | Handicapping Tips

The Travers Stakes isn’t known as the Mid-Summer Derby for nothing. The 1-1/4 mile Saratoga feature brings the best 3-year- olds in the country together. This year, with no clear-cut leader in the division, the Travers may be the race that decides who is named champion 3-year-old male.

The Travers day tends to also hold a number of valuable stakes races, which are Breeders’ Cup Challenge preps. The full card is often one of the strongest bet cards in racing and seem to be a solid indicator of future racing and Breeders’ Cup implications for the fall.

2021 Travers Stakes Entries & Morning Line Odds

PP Horse ML Odds
1Midnight Bourbon9-2
2Essential Quality4-5
3Keepmeinmind6-1
4Dynamic One6-1
5Miles D12-1
6Masqueparade8-1
7King Fury15-1

2021 Travers Stakes Race Results

POSTHORSEJOCKEY / TRAINERWIN / PLACE / SHOW
2Essential QualityLuis Saez / Brad H. Cox$2.90 / $2.30 / $2.10
1Midnight BourbonRicardo Santana, Jr. / Steven M. Asmussen$4.00 / $3.30
5Miles DFlavien Prat / Chad C. Brown$4.90
3KeepmeinmindJoel Rosario / Robertino Diodoro
7King FuryJose L. Ortiz / Kenneth G. McPeek
6MasqueparadeMiguel Mena / Albert M. Stall, Jr.
4Dynamic OneIrad Ortiz, Jr. / Todd A. Pletcher

Exotic Payoffs:

  • $1 Exacta (2-1) $5.90
  • $0.50 Trifecta (2-1-5) $24.37
  • $0.10 Superfecta (2-1-5-3) $13.22

Watch the 2021 Travers Stakes

Traver’s Stakes Race Records

Most Wins by Jockey

6 – Javier Castellano (2006, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018)

Most Wins by Trainer

5 – Bert Mulholland (1939, 1950, 1951, 1962, 1963)

Fastest Time (Current Distance)

1:59.36 – Arrogate (2016)

Travers Stakes Overview

The $1 million Travers Stakes is an important race for three-year-olds in late August. Held at the famous Saratoga Racecourse in upstate New York, the 1 1/4-mile event is known as the “Midsummer Derby”.

You’d expect the Travers to have its fair share of upsets – after all, Saratoga is the Graveyard of Champions. And though favored horses have a fairly good record, there certainly have been some surprises, the most notable in recent years being American Pharoah’s defeat by Keen Ice in 2015.

The Jim Dandy Stakes has a better record as a Travers predictor than the Haskell Invitational. Seven winners of the Jim Dandy Stakes have won the Travers, though one, Alpha, had to share the 2012 Travers in a dead-heat with Golden Ticket.

Of the Triple Crown races, the best guide has been the Belmont Stakes. Seven Belmont winners in the past 30 years have gone on to win the Mid-Summer Derby, the most recent being Essential Quality in 2021.

This compares to three that completed the Kentucky Derby- Travers double (Sea Hero, Thunder Gulch, and Street Sense), and two that completed the Preakness-Travers double (Point Given and Bernardini).

In 2019, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) broke its Travers Day record for all-sources handle, with $52,086,597 wagered on 13 races offered, including several major stakes supporting the main event on the undercard.

The Travers features a large and competitive field in most years, with horses from the Triple Crown races and up-and-coming members of the division.

Don’t be afraid to back a horse with odds — Saratoga is called the “Graveyard of Champions” due to its history of great upsets. Man o’ War and Secretariat, generally considered the two greatest Thoroughbreds in North American history, were both upended at the venue.

Travers Stakes Past Winners

YearWinnerJockey / TrainerDistance / Time
2021Essential QualityLuis Saez / Brad H. Cox1 1/4 M / 2:01.96
2020Tiz the LawManuel Franco / Barclay Tagg1 1/4 M / 2:00.95
2019Code of HonorJohn R. Velazquez / C.R. McGaughey III1 1/4 M / 2:01.05
2018Catholic BoyJavier Castellano / Jonathan Thomas1 1/4 M / 2:01.94
2017West CoastMike E. Smith / Bob Baffert1 1/4 M / 2:01.19
2016ArrogateMike E. Smith / Bob Baffert1 1/4 M / 1:59.36
2015Keen IceJavier Castellano / Dale Romans1 1/4 M / 2:01.57
2014V.E. DayJavier Castellano / James A. Jerkens1 1/4 M / 2:02.98
2013Will Take ChargeLuis Saez / D. Wayne Lukas1 1/4 M / 2:02.68
2012Alpha (Dead Heat)Ramon Domínguez / Kiaran McLaughlin1 1/4 M / 2:02.74
2012Golden Ticket (Dead Heat)David Cohen / Ken McPeek1 1/4 M / 2:02.74
2011Stay ThirstyJavier Castellano / Todd Pletcher1 1/4 M / 2:03.03
2010Afleet ExpressJavier Castellano / James A. Jerkens1 1/4 M / 2:03.28
2009Summer BirdKent Desormeaux / Tim Ice1 1/4 M / 2:02.83
2008Colonel JohnGarrett K. Gomez / Eoin G. Harty1 1/4 M / 2:03.20
2007Street SenseCalvin Borel / Carl Nafzger1 1/4 M / 2:02.69
2006BernardiniJavier Castellano / Thomas Albertrani1 1/4 M / 2:01.60
2005Flower AlleyJohn Velazquez / Todd A. Pletcher1 1/4 M / 2:02.76
2004BirdstoneEdgar Prado / Nick Zito1 1/4 M / 2:02.45
2003Ten Most WantedPat Day / Wallace Dollase1 1/4 M / 2:02.14
2002Medaglia d'OroJerry Bailey / Robert J. Frankel1 1/4 M / 2:02.53
2001Point GivenGary Stevens / Bob Baffert1 1/4 M / 2:01.40
2000UnshadedShane Sellers / Carl Nafzger1 1/4 M / 2:02.59
1999Lemon Drop KidJosé A. Santos / Flint S. Schulhofer1 1/4 M / 2:02.00
1998Coronado's QuestMike E. Smith / C. R. McGaughey III1 1/4 M / 2:03.40
1997Deputy CommanderChris McCarron / Wallace Dollase1 1/4 M / 2:04.00
1996Will's WayJorge F. Chavez / H. James Bond1 1/4 M / 2:02.40
1995Thunder GulchGary Stevens / D. Wayne Lukas1 1/4 M / 2:03.40
1994Holy BullMike E. Smith / Warren A. Croll Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:02.00
1993Sea HeroJerry Bailey / MacKenzie Miller1 1/4 M / 2:01.80
1992Thunder RumbleHerb McCauley / Richard O'Connell1 1/4 M / 2:00.99
1991Corporate ReportChris McCarron / D. Wayne Lukas1 1/4 M / 2:01.20
1990RhythmCraig Perret / C. R. McGaughey III1 1/4 M / 2:02.60
1989Easy GoerPat Day / C. R. McGaughey III1 1/4 M / 2:00.80
1988Forty NinerChris McCarron / Woody Stephens1 1/4 M / 2:01.40
1987Java GoldPat Day / MacKenzie Miller1 1/4 M / 2:02.00
1986Wise TimesJerry Bailey / Phil Gleaves1 1/4 M / 2:03.40
1985Chief's CrownÁngel Cordero Jr. / Roger Laurin1 1/4 M / 2:01.20
1984Carr de NaskraLaffit Pincay Jr. / Richard J. Lundy1 1/4 M / 2:02.60
1983Play FellowPat Day / Harvey L. Vanier1 1/4 M / 2:01.00
1982Runaway GroomJeffrey Fell / John A. DiMario1 1/4 M / 2:02.60
1981Willow HourEddie Maple / James E. Picou1 1/4 M / 2:03.60
1980Temperence HillEddie Maple / Joseph B. Cantey1 1/4 M / 2:02.80
1979General AssemblyJacinto Vásquez / LeRoy Jolley1 1/4 M / 2:00.00
1978AlydarJorge Velásquez / John M. Veitch1 1/4 M / 2:02.00
1977JatskiSam Maple / William A. Cole1 1/4 M / 2:01.60
1976Honest PleasureCraig Perret / LeRoy Jolley1 1/4 M / 2:00.20
1975WajimaBraulio Baeza / Stephen A. DiMauro1 1/4 M / 2:02.00
1974Holding PatternMichael Miceli / James J. Sarner Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:05.20
1973Annihilate 'EmRon Turcotte / Douglas Davis Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:02.40
1972Key To The MintBraulio Baeza / J. Elliott Burch1 1/4 M / 2:01.20
1971Bold ReasonLaffit Pincay Jr. / Angel Penna Sr.1 1/4 M / 2:02.40
1970LoudJacinto Vásquez / James W. Maloney1 1/4 M / 2:01.00
1969Arts and LettersBraulio Baeza / J. Elliott Burch1 1/4 M / 2:01.60
1968ChompionJean Cruguet / Ivor G. Balding1 1/4 M / 2:04.80
1967DamascusBill Shoemaker / Frank Y. Whiteley Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:01.60
1966BuckpasserBraulio Baeza / Edward A. Neloy1 1/4 M / 2:01.60
1965Hail To AllJohnny Sellers / Eddie Yowell1 1/4 M / 2:02.20
1964QuadrangleManuel Ycaza / J. Elliott Burch1 1/4 M / 2:04.40
1963CrewmanEric Guerin / Bert Mulholland1 1/4 M / 2:20.40
1962JaipurBill Shoemaker / Bert Mulholland1 1/4 M / 2:01.60
1961Beau PrinceSteve Brooks / Horace A. Jones1 1/4 M / 2:03.00
1960TompionBill Hartack / John J. Greely Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:03.40
1959Sword DancerManuel Ycaza / J. Elliott Burch1 1/4 M / 2:04.20
1958Piano JimBobby Ussery / Oscar White1 1/4 M / 2:05.80
1957Gallant ManBill Shoemaker / John A. Nerud1 1/4 M / 2:04.00
1956Oh JohnnyHedley Woodhouse / Norman R. McLeod1 1/4 M / 2:06.20
1955Thinking CapPaul J. Bailey / Henry S. Clark1 1/4 M / 2:06.40
1954FishermanHedley Woodhouse / Sylvester Veitch1 1/4 M / 2:06.00
1953Native DancerEric Guerin / William C. Winfrey1 1/4 M / 2:05.60
1952One CountEric Guerin / Oscar White1 1/4 M / 2:07.40
1951BattlefieldEddie Arcaro / Bert Mulholland1 1/4 M / 2:06.20
1950Lights UpGeorge Hettinger / Bert Mulholland1 1/4 M / 2:03.00
1949AriseCon Errico / James C. Bentley1 1/4 M / 2:06.20
1948Ace AdmiralTed Atkinson / James W. Smith1 1/4 M / 2:05.00
1947Young PeterThomas May / George M. Odom1 1/4 M / 2:06.20
1946NatchezTed Atkinson / Oscar White1 1/4 M / 2:08.00
1945AdonisConn McCreary / Willie Booth1 1/4 M / 2:02.80
1944By JimminyEddie Arcaro / James W. Smith1 1/4 M / 2:03.40
1943EurasianSteve Brooks / Sol Rutchick1 1/4 M / 2:03.80
1942Shut OutEddie Arcaro / John M. Gaver Sr.1 1/4 M / 2:04.40
1941WhirlawayAlfred Robertson / Ben A. Jones1 1/4 M / 2:05.80
1940FenelonJames Stout / Jim Fitzsimmons1 1/4 M / 2:04.40
1939Eight ThirtyHarry Richards / Bert Mulholland1 1/4 M / 2:06.60
1938ThanksgivingEddie Arcaro / Mary Hirsch1 1/4 M / 2:03.60
1937Burning StarWayne D. Wright / John J. Greely1 1/4 M / 2:04.80
1936GranvilleJames Stout / James E. Fitzsimmons1 1/4 M / 2:05.80
1935Gold FoamSilvio Coucci / John M. Milburn1 1/4 M / 2:04.60
1934ObservantLee Humphries / Max Hirsch1 1/4 M / 2:05.60
1933InlanderRobert Jones / Robert A. Smith1 1/4 M / 2:08.00
1932War HeroJohn Gilbert / George Conway1 1/4 M / 2:05.80
1931Twenty GrandLinus McAtee / James G. Rowe Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:04.60
1930Jim DandyFrank Baker / James B. McKee1 1/4 M / 2:08.00
1929Beacon HillAlfred Robertson / James G. Rowe Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:04.20
1928Petee WrackSteve O'Donnell / Willie Booth1 1/4 M / 2:08.00
1927Brown BudLaverne Fator / Alfred J. Gunther1 1/4 M / 2:05.60
1926MarsFrank Coltiletti / Scott P. Harlan1 1/4 M / 2:04.60
1925DangerousClarence Kummer / William B. Duke1 1/4 M / 2:10.80
1924Sun FlagFrank Keogh / Carroll H. Shilling1 1/4 M / 2:04.40
1923WildernessBenny Marinelli / Thomas J. Healey1 1/4 M / 2:04.00
1922Little ChiefLaverne Fator / Sam Hildreth1 1/4 M / 2:13.40
1921Sporting BloodLawrence Lyke / Willie Booth1 1/4 M / 2:05.80
1920Man o' WarAndy Schuttinger / Louis Feustel1 1/4 M / 2:01.80
1919HannibalLavelle Ensor / Thomas J. Healey1 1/4 M / 2:02.80
1918Sun BriarWillie Knapp / Henry McDaniel1 1/4 M / 2:03.20
1917Omar KhayyamJames Butwell / Richard F. Carmen1 1/4 M / 2:08.80
1916SpurJohnny Loftus / James H. McCormick1 1/4 M / 2:05.00
1915Lady RothaMack Garner / A. J. Goldsborough1 1/4 M / 2:11.40
1914RoamerJames H. Butwell / A. J. Goldsborough1 1/4 M / 2:04.00
1913Rock ViewThomas McTaggart / Louis Feustel1 1/4 M / 2:06.60
1912Race not held
1911Race not held
1910DalmatianCarroll H. Shilling / Sam Hildreth1 1/4 M / 2:10.00
1909HilariousRichard Scoville / James G. Rowe Sr.1 1/4 M / 2:06.00
1908DoranteJames Lee / Raleigh Colston Jr.1 1/4 M / 2:09.60
1907Frank GillJoe Notter / John I. Smith1 1/4 M / 2:07.00
1906GallavantWalter Miller / Thomas J. Healey1 1/4 M / 2:08.20
1905DandelionWillie Shaw / John E. Madden1 1/4 M / 2:08.00
1904BroomstickTommy Burns / Robert Tucker1 1/4 M / 2:06.80
1903Ada NayFrank O'Neill / A. Jack Joyner1 1/8 M / 1:57.00
1902HermisBruce Rice / John H. McCormack1 1/8 M / 1:54.80
1901BluesWillie Shaw / Thomas Welsh1 1/8 M / 1:56.60
1900Race not held
1899Race not held
1898Race not held
1897RensselaerFred Taral / Henry Harris1 1/8 M / 1:56.60
1896Race not held
1895LizaHenry Griffin / John Huggins1 1/8 M / 1:55.50
1894Henry of NavarreFred Taral / Byron McClelland1 1/4 M / 2:10.25
1893StowawayLawrence McDermott / H. H. Brandt1 1/4 M / 2:10.75
1892AzraAlonzo Clayton / John H. Morris1 1/2 M / 2:43.75
1891ValleraRobert Williams / Enoch Wishard1 1/2 M / 2:49.00
1890Sir JohnMarty Bergen / Frank McCabe1 1/2 M / 2:39.00
1889Long DanceShelby Barnes / G. M. Rye1 3/4 M / 3:08.75
1888Sir DixonJim McLaughlin / Frank McCabe1 3/4 M / 3:07.75
1887CareyHarry Blaylock / Edward Corrigan1 3/4 M / 3:17.75
1886Inspector BJim McLaughlin / Frank McCabe1 3/4 M / 3:10.25
1885BersanJohn Spellman / Green B. Morris1 3/4 M / 3:08.25
1884RataplanWilliam Fitzpatrick / Frank Midgley1 3/4 M / 3:07.50
1883BarnesJim McLaughlin / James G. Rowe Sr.1 3/4 M / 3:18.00
1882Carley BGeorge Quantrell / H. Welch1 3/4 M / 3:28.75
1881HindooJim McLaughlin / James G. Rowe Sr.1 3/4 M / 3:07.50
1880GrenadaLloyd Hughes / R. Wyndham Walden1 3/4 M / 3:12.50
1879FalsettoIsaac Burns Murphy / Eli Jordan1 3/4 M / 3:09.25
1878Duke of MagentaLloyd Hughes / R. Wyndham Walden1 3/4 M / 3:08.00
1877Baden BadenTom Sayres / James Williams1 3/4 M / 3:15.50
1876SultanaWilliam Hayward / John W. McClelland1 3/4 M / 3:15.50
1875D'ArtagnanGeorge Barbee / J. B. Pryor1 3/4 M / 3:06.50
1874AttilaGeorge Barbee / William Pryor1 3/4 M / 3:09.50
1873Tom BowlingRobert Swim / Ansel Williamson1 3/4 M / 3:09.75
1872Joe DanielsJames G. Rowe Sr. / David McDaniel1 3/4 M / 3:08.25
1871Harry BassettW. Miller / David McDaniel1 3/4 M / 3:21.60
1870KingfisherCharles Miller / Raleigh Colston Sr.1 3/4 M / 3:15.25
1869GlenelgCharles Miller / Jacob Pincus1 3/4 M / 3:14.00
1868The BansheeSmith / J. H. Davis1 3/4 M / 3:10.75
1867RuthlessGilbert W. Patrick / A. Jackson Minor1 3/4 M / 3:18.25
1866MerrillAbe Hawkins / Ansel Williamson1 3/4 M / 3:29.00
1865MaidenW. Sewell / T. G. Moore1 3/4 M / 3:18.50
1864KentuckyGilbert W. Patrick / A. Jackson Minor1 3/4 M / 3:18.75

Travers Stakes History

The Travers Stakes has been run at Saratoga since 1864 and is named after William R. Travers. Travers was the president of the Saratoga Racing Association when the race was founded.

The Travers has been run at a distance of 1 ¼ miles since 1904.  It has been a Grade I affair since 1973, as long as stakes have been graded in North America.

The winners of the Travers Stakes have been a who’s who of the last century and a half of American horse racing.  The winner of the inaugural Belmont Stakes, Ruthless (1867), went on to become the first filly to win the Travers.  

Triple Crown winner Whirlaway (1941) added another jewel in the Travers. The magnificent Man o’ War (1920) counted this race among his victories — and lends his name to the Travers Stakes trophy as the winner of 20-of-21 career starts. The namesake of the day’s marquee turf race, Sword Dancer, won the 1953 Travers.

The storied history of the Travers also includes some major upsets, thrilling finishes and controversial results. In 1930, Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox lost to 100-1 longshot Jim Dandy, who is now honored with a stakes races that servers as Saratoga’s leading Travers prep race. Ten Travers winners have won by a nose, including the 1962 thrilling finish between two leading 3-year-old champion contenders. Jaipur and Ridan went stride-for-stride the entire way, separating themselves down the stretch in a head-to-head duel in which Jaipur prevailed by a nose.

The most thrilling renewal of the Travers was arguably the 1962 edition, when Jaipur and Ridan went toe-to-toe for the entire mile and a quarter. Jaipur eked out a narrow win and was later named champion three-year-old colt.

Trainer Bert Mulholland won the Travers five times from 1939-1963, and he served as a private trainer for former Jockey Club chairman George D. Widener, Jr.

The Travers of 1978 proved a controversial one as Affirmed was disqualified and placed second behind arch-rival Alydar. It was the final meeting between the two colts, who met 10 times on the racetrack. Affirmed officially won seven times, including all three legs of the Triple Crown.

History was made in 2012 when Alpha and Golden Ticket finished in a dead heat for the win, the first in Travers history that was not decided by a race-off.

Current jockey Javier Castellano is the rider with a record six Travers wins. Two of them were by a nose aboard Wicked Strong (2014) and Afleet Alex (2010). One of his most recent Travers victories to claim the blanket of flowers was aboard Keen Ice in the upset of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. He also won the 2018 Travers aboard Catholic Boy.

Top Twelve Travers Wins of All Time

  • 1920: Man o’ War – Won the Travers in 2:01.80; a stakes record that stood for more than four decades. The permanent trophy since 1936 is named the Man o’ War Cup.
  • 1921: Sporting Blood – The great conspiracy race and betting scandal with the owner of Sporting Blood betting $150,000 on his horse to win with a bookie, and the favorite Grey Lag scratched just before post time.
  • 1930: Jim Dandy – Shocked the crowd and bookmakers as a 100-1 shot, upsetting Triple Crown champion Gallant Fox over a muddy and deep track on a stormy afternoon at Saratoga.
  • 1941: Whirlaway – The only horse to win the American Triple Crown and Travers Stakes.
  • 1962: Jaipur – Won by a nose-bob in a then track record time. Considered one of the greatest races and duels in Travers history, running less than a half-length apart with Ridan the entire race.
  • 1967: Demascus – Won by a record 22 lengths in a then track record-time of 2:01.60.
  • 1982: Runaway Groom – Champion Canadian 3-year-old beat the three American Triple Crown winners.
  • 1997: Deputy Commander – Memorable stretch duel between Behrens and Deputy Commander with Hall of Fame jockeys Jerry Bailey and Chris McCarron aboard.  
  • 2001: Point Given – Won in front of a then Travers-record crowd of 60,486 who bet a record $34.5 million on the race; a record at the time.
  • 2012: Alpha and Golden Ticket – Finished in a dead heat for first place
  • 2015: Keen Ice – Notable winner as he upset Triple Crown winner American Pharoah on a record-wagering Travers Day ($49.6 million) with an added purse of a record $1.6 million. 
  • 2016: Arrogate – Won by 13 ½ lengths while setting a new stakes record of 1:59.36.