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Travers Stakes

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Travers Stakes Results

V. E. Day, a son of turf champion English Channel making his graded stakes debut, edged his more accomplished stablemate Wicked Strong by a nose in the 2014 Travers at Saratoga.

In a photo finish that took minutes to officially decide, the one certainty was that the winning trainer was Jimmy Jerkens, who saddled both 19-1 upset winner V. E. Day and Kentucky Derby fourth-placer Wicked Strong.

The race also included eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic victor Bayern, and it was that colt who set the early pace while pressed by Belmont Stakes king Tonalist with Wicked Strong tracking in third.

Bayern had tired by the mile point, and Wicked Strong was more than ready to pounce, taking command entering the stretch. He opened up by 1 1/2 lengths in the lane, and looked a nice winner, when V. E. Day suddenly made his appearance.

That Jerkens pupil had trailed well back in midpack but steadily made up ground to be a threat in the lane. And threat he was, as the tenacious colt wore down Wicked Strong to prevail by a nose on the wire.

V. E. Day, Wicked Strong and third-placer Tonalist showed up for the Jockey Club Gold Cup next out, with the Travers winner finishing sixth before being elevated to fifth via disqualification. That was enough for him to entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he wound up running 11th.

Wicked Strong unseated his jockey about halfway through the Jockey Club Gold Cup and was given the rest of the year off.

Tonalist gained a measure of revenge by winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup and was fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.