Race Events > Travers Stakes
Travers Stakes 2021
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.
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The 2018 Travers S. Field
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Travers Stakes Overview
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 biggest shock came in 1930, when Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox was beaten by 100-1 shot Jim Dandy. The Saratoga race named after that upsetter has proved the most reliable lead-up in the past 30 years. Seven winners of the Jim Dandy Stakes in that time have won the Travers, though one, Alpha, had to share the 2012 Travers in a dead-heat with Golden Ticket.
The Jim Dandy has a better record as a Travers predictor than the Haskell Invitational. That double has been done four times in the past 30 years, but not since Point Given completed it in 2001.
Of the Triple Crown races, the best guide has been the Belmont Stakes. Six Belmont winners in the past 30 years have gone on to win the Mid-Summer Derby, the most recent being Summer Bird in 2009.
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).
The 2017 Travers is unusual as it contains all three Triple Crown race winners
This year’s Travers is unusual as it contains all three Triple Crown race winners – Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing, and Tapwrit. The last time that happened was in 1982, when Gato Del Sol, Aloma’s Ruler, and Conquistador Cielo were all present; they were all beaten by Canadian raider Runaway Groom.
As far as other trends go, the Travers is frequently won by a horse running near the lead, between second and fourth. Closers don’t often win.
All of this suggests that serious note should be taken of Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit and Jim Dandy victor Good Samaritan – even though Tapwrit hasn’t started since the Belmont, and Good Samaritan’s victory came at his first start on dirt.
However, I’d suggest close attention should also be paid to Irap when you head to TwinSpires.com for a bet. His Blue Grass Stakes win at 33-1 was widely seen as a fluke, a view reinforced by his Kentucky Derby 18th. But that was on a wet track, and since then he’s won the Ohio Derby (from subsequent Haskell winner Girvin), and the Indiana Derby. These aren’t normal Travers lead-ups, but the form lines look solid, especially if the weather stays dry.
Visit TwinSpires.com to bet on the Travers Stakes, and to watch the race.