Saratoga: Travers 143

Saturday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, 11 3-year-olds will race for the 143rd running of the $1 million Travers. The winner is looking to make a move at end-of-the-year honors with a victory in the mid-summer derby.

Since  divisional championships were first named in 1936, 18 Travers winners have been named Champion 3-Year-Old Male, Summer Bird being the last to do it in 2009.  With I’ll Have Another and Union Rags making babies in retirement now and officially out of the picture, Saturday’s big race at the Spa takes on a whole new meaning.

With a special first race post time of 11:35 a.m., the Travers is part of a 13-race card also featuring the Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop, the Grade 1 Test, and the Grade 2 Ballston Spa, presented by Jose Cuervo. NBC will provide live coverage from 4 – 6 p.m.

Horses to watch:

Alpha – lifetime 8 starts, 4 wins –  jockey: Ramon Dominguez 49 wins leads the meet

Nonios – lifetime 6 starts, 3 wins, second 2 times and a 3rd place finish – jockey Johnny V who was just inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

Neck ‘n Neck – lifetime 11 starts, 3 wins, but has finished in the money his last three starts – jockey Leandro Goncalves 24 wins at Hoosier Park making him the leading jockey at that track. Coming into town to ride Neck’ n Neck.

Liaison – lifetime 11 starts, 3 wins, 1 second place finish, and 3 third place finishes – jockey Rafael Bejarano 42 wins at Del Mar and is the best jockey on the west coast.

Longshots with a chance:

Stealcase – 15-1: Has finished in the money in his last 4 races

Atigun – 12-1: Has west coast distance jockey and multiple grade 1 wins this year Mike Smith. He also finish 2nd in all three triple races.

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