Travers Day is the most popular day of the summer racing season at Saratoga. “Saratoga’s Midsummer Derby” is a Grade 1, 1.25-million dollar race for 3-year-olds, While The Kentucky Derby falls on the First Saturday in May, Travers Day is always held on the last Saturday in August.
Matthew Pappis checks in with his picks for the big day at Saratoga.
Race 6 Grade I Allen Jerkens
Still Having Fun (7): Should get the same pace set up he got on Belmont day to win vs a few in this group.
Firenze Fire (8): Ran a hole in the wind in the Dwyer when getting back to his one turn game. Should be tough here.
Promises Fulfilled (1): Ran his best career race in the Amsterdam and now gets some time off for this spot. He’ll be gunning it early to try and wire them.
Race 7 Grade I Personal Ensign
Wow Cat (4): Second race out in the States where he narrowly missed first out. Will have to get better to beat the top two but its been Chads world this summer.
Able Tasman (1): King Bob has proved he owned the Spa and NY the last two Belmont and Travers days. This one will be ready to roll.
Elate (6): Re-found her form off the long layoff in Delaware.
Race 8 Grade I Ballerina
Ivy Bell (2): Ran a game race in the Shuvee and now gets back to what she does best – one turn sprinting.
Marleys Freedom (7): Shes 2/2 since the barn switch to Baffert and should be primed for a big effort off the layoff.
Lewis Bay (6): Comes in fresh off a big effort Belmont weekend. They have been pointing to this race for a while now.
Race 9 Grade I Forego
City of Light (8): At one turn sprinting he could be any kind and gets the meets leading riding for the Cali connections.
CZ Rocket (6): The talent has always been there. This is his biggest class test but he deserves a shot here.
Whitmore (3): Always puts in his run with some pace in front of him. He will be the one to hold off late.
Race 10 Grade I Sword Dancer
Hi Happy (4): Did not like the give in the ground on the last attempt over this course, should have a much better showing.
Saddlers Joy (10): Just beaten half a length with no pace to run at in the Bowling Green. He should get more pace here.
Bigger Picture (6): Another who will benefit from a stronger pace in this spot.
Race 11 Grade I Travers
Tenfold (10): Will need to improve a little more here off a slow Jim Dandy but I always lean to horses with a trip over the track.
King Zachary (7): He should enjoy the added ground and get a lively pace to run into. We all know Dale is good for one or two major upsets every year.
Good Magic (9): The one to beat but he will be no value at the window.
Race 12 Grade II Ballston Spa
A Raving Beauty (1): Much the one to beat of a disastrous trip in the Diana opening weekend.
Off Limits (6): The other Chad in the race who couldn’t overcome a wide run by Just a Game on Belmont day.
Proctors Ledge (3): Has some back numbers here that make her competitive with the pair of Chads.
Race 13: 2 – 9 – 10 – 7