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Travers Stakes

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Travers Stakes Winners

Top 10 Travers Stakes Winners

Known as the Mid-Summer Derby, the Travers Stakes is a 1 ¼ mile race for 3-year-olds held at Saratoga Race Course. The race was first held in 1864, and there have been some remarkable races and winners in the Travers. Still, only one of the 12 Triple Crown champions has won the Travers Stakes (Whirlaway).

While there have been many wonderful winners, here is a selected list of the top 12 horses to win the Travers Stakes.

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.


Travers Stakes Winners Overview

The Travers Stakes has produced some notable champions during its storied history, and the 2016 winner Arrogate was a relative unknown until he delivered a breath-taking 13-length victory in a Travers-record time of 1:59.23. That victory was Arrogate’s stakes debut, and the late-bloomer went on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Pegasus World Cup, and the Dubai World Cup in his next three starts and become North America’s all-time money winner.

The ‘Midsummer Derby’ is contested at the classic 1 ¼ mile distance, and the race at historic Saratoga Race Course has been won by many of the legends of racing. The Travers trophy, known as the Man o’ War Cup, is named in honor of the 1920 winner Man ‘o War, whos victory was one of his 20 wins in 21 career starts. 

The most recent decade has produced some of racings stars among its many memorable moments. Winners include Bernardini (2006), Street Sense (2007), Summer Bird (2009), Will Take Charge (2013), Arrogate (2016) and Keen Ice (2015), who upset Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Many of these and other notable winners went on to win champion 3-year-old and/or Horse of the Year honors. In total, 36 Travers winners were later named Champion-3-Year-Old.

Alpha and Golden Ticket (2012) completed the first dead heat winner in Travers history that never went to a race-off. No race favorite has won the Travers (alone) since 2011with Stay Thirsty.

Past Travers noted champions that paved the way for the modern race winners include:  Triple Crown winner Whirlaway (1941), Sword Dancer (1953) and Ruthless (1867), who went on to become the first of seven fillies to win the Travers.

In the past 40 years, other notable and significant wins include: Alydar (1978) who won after rival Affirmed was disqualified, previous record holder General Assembly (1979), Java Gold (1987), Easy Goer (1989), Holy Bull (1994), Thunder Gulch (1995), Lemon Drop Kid (1999), Point Given (2001), Medaglia ‘d Oro (2002), Birdstone (2004), and those above in the last decade.

Some racing greats both running and riding have won and lost some of the tightest finishes, as 10 Travers Stakes have been decided by a nose, including two in the past decade, Wicked Strong (2014) and Afleet Express (2010).

Jockey Javier Castellano has recorded a record 5 Travers wins over the last decade, guiding Bernardini (2006), Afleet Express (2010), Stay Thirsty (2011), V. E. Day (2014), and Keen Ice (2015) to victory.

Past Winners of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga:

2016

Arrogate

2015

Keen Ice

2014

V.E. Day

2013

Will Take Charge

2012

Alpha & Golden Ticket (DH)

2011

Stay Thirsty

2010

Afleet Express

2009

Summer Bird

2008

Colonel John

2007

Street Sense

2006

Bernardini

2005

Flower Alley

2004

Birdstone

2003

Ten Most Wanted

2002

Medaglia d'Oro

2001

Point Given

2000

Unshaded

1999

Lemon Drop Kid

1998

Coronado's Quest

1997

Deputy Commander

1996

Will's Way

1995

Thunder Gulch

1994

Holy Bull

1993

Sea Hero

1992

Thunder Rumble

1991

Corporate Report

1990

Rhythm

1989

Easy Goer

1988

Forty Niner

1987

Java Gold

1986

Wise Times

1985

Chief's Crown

1984

Carr de Naskra

1983

Play Fellow

1982

Runaway Groom

1981

Willow Hour

1980

Temperence Hill

1979

General Assembly

1978

Alydar

1977

Jatski

1976

Honest Pleasure

1975

Wajima

1974

Holding Pattern

1973

Annihilate 'Em

1972

Key To The Mint

1971

Bold Reason

1970

Loud

1969

Arts and Letters

1968

Chompion

1967

Damascus

1966

Buckpasser

1965

Hail To All

1964

Quadrangle

1963

Crewman

1962

Jaipur

1961

Beau Prince

1960

Tompion

1959

Sword Dancer

1958

Piano Jim

1957

Gallant Man

1956

Oh Johnny

1955

Thinking Cap

1954

Fisherman

1953

Native Dancer

1952

One Count

1951

Battlefield

1950

Lights Up

1949

Arise

1948

Ace Admiral

1947

Young Peter

1946

Natchez

1945

Adonis

1944

By Jimminy

1943

Eurasian

1942

Shut Out

1941

Whirlaway

1940

Fenelon

1939

Eight Thirty

1938

Thanksgiving

1937

Burning Star

1936

Granville

1935

Gold Foam

1934

Observant

1933

Inlander

1932

War Hero

1931

Twenty Grand

1930

Jim Dandy

1929

Beacon Hill

1928

Petee-Wrack

1927

Brown Bud

1926

Mars

1925

Dangerous

1924

Sun Flag

1923

Wilderness

1922

Little Chief

1921

Sporting Blood

1920

Man o' War

1919

Hannibal

1918

Sun Briar

1917

Omar Khayyam

1916

Spur

1915

Lady Rotha

1914

Roamer

1913

Rock View

1910

Dalmatian

1909

Hilarious

1908

Dorante

1907

Frank Gill

1906

Gallavant

1905

Dandelion

1904

Broomstick

1903

Ada Nay

1902

Hermis

1901

Blues

1897

Rensselaer

1895

Liza

1894

Henry of Navarre

1893

Stowaway

1892

Azra

1891

Vallera

1890

Sir John

1889

Long Dance

1888

Sir Dixon

1887

Carey

1886

Inspector B.

1885

Bersan

1884

Rataplan

1883

Barnes

1882

Carley

1881

Hindoo

1880

Grenada

1879

Falsetto

1878

Duke of Magenta

1877

Baden-Baden

1876

Sultana

1875

D'Artagnan

1874

Attila

1873

Tom Bowling

1872

Joe Daniels

1871

Harry Bassett

1870

Kingfisher

1869

Glenelg

1868

The Banshee

1867

Ruthless

1866

Merrill

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