Travers Stakes Odds, Entries, Results, Past Winners, Race Records, History, and More

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Travers Stakes

Race Facts | 2023 Entries and ML Odds | Results | Video | Race Records | Overview | Past Winners | History | Top 12 Races | Handicapping Tips

Last updated: August 28, 2023 at 3:05 a.m. EDT

Travers Stakes Race Facts

  • Location: Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Inaugural Race: 1864
  • Distance: 1 & 1/4 miles (10 furlongs)
  • Track Type: Left-handed, Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Three-year-olds
  • 2023 Purse: $1,250,000
  • 2023 Race Date: Saturday, August 26th

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.

2023 Travers Stakes Field and Morning Line Odds

HorseML Odds
Tapit Trice12-1
Mage 4-1
National Treasure8-1


2023 Travers Stakes Race Results

Javier Castellano / Jena M. Antonucci
$7.40 / $5.30 / $3.90
Joel Rosario / Steven M. Asmussen
$8.00 / $5.80
Tapit Trice
Jose L. Ortiz / Todd A. Pletcher
Irad Ortiz, Jr. / Todd A. Pletcher
National Treasure
John R. Velazquez / Bob Baffert
Junior Alvarado / William I. Mott
Flavien Prat / Gustavo Delgado

Exotic Payoffs:

  • $1 Exacta (2-6) $36.25
  • $0.50 Trifecta (2-6-3) $140.75
  • $0.10 Superfecta (2-6-3-1) $78.80

Watch the 2023 Travers Stakes

Traver's Stakes Race Records

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Most Wins by Jockey

7 - Javier Castellano (2006, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2023)

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Most Wins by Trainer

5 - Bert Mulholland (1939, 1950, 1951, 1962, 1963)
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Fastest Time (Current Distance)

1:59.36 – Arrogate (2016)

Travers Stakes Overview

The $1.25 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. Several 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. Nine Belmont winners in the past 30 years have gone on to win the Mid-Summer Derby, the most recent being Arcangelo  in 2023.

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

Jockey / Trainer
Distance / Time
Joel Rosario / Steven M. Asmussen
1 1/4 M / 2:00.72
Essential Quality
Luis Saez / Brad H. Cox
1 1/4 M / 2:01.96
Tiz the Law
Manuel Franco / Barclay Tagg
1 1/4 M / 2:00.95
Code of Honor
John R. Velazquez / C.R. McGaughey III
1 1/4 M / 2:01.05
Catholic Boy
Javier Castellano / Jonathan Thomas
1 1/4 M / 2:01.94
West Coast
Mike E. Smith / Bob Baffert
1 1/4 M / 2:01.19
Mike E. Smith / Bob Baffert
1 1/4 M / 1:59.36
Keen Ice
Javier Castellano / Dale Romans
1 1/4 M / 2:01.57
V.E. Day
Javier Castellano / James A. Jerkens
1 1/4 M / 2:02.98
Will Take Charge
Luis Saez / D. Wayne Lukas
1 1/4 M / 2:02.68

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.