Well here it is, the highlight of the season up here, and we have some history to go along with the normal Travers traditions, as there's a Triple Crown winner in our midst. By all means, enjoy the day, but please remember that this town is very strict with the drinking and driving, so either walk or take a cab if you intend to imbibe.

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

I want to thank those that read my column, and have recently opened up accounts as a result of their fondness for what they see here. If you have any questions at any time, you can reach me here on Disqus, or on Twitter @brooklyncowboy1. For those who dig the scene here, and would like to be part of it, registration on our home page is easy, and if you'd like, feel free to include my name in the referral box, and let me know, so I can try and get ya' some cool swag!


Saratoga - 8/29 - Travers Stakes Day - First Post 11:45


Race 1-

1.Good Response

2.Belisarius ( Ire )


#3 GOOD RESPONSE has gone up, up, up the Beyer ladder in his last triumvirate, culminating with a last to first win when procuring the diploma right here opening week. McLaughlin's been knocking it outta the park here, and the only possible issue is a dearth of speed signed on. #1 BELISARIUS (IRE) has been positively immolating money throughout his career, with 12 of his losses at 3-1 or less, and 10 of them as the post time favorite. Gets some post relief today, but Rosario is a bit schizoid in the saddle at times---riding inexplicably in one race, then getting up by a lip in the next. Caveat emptor. #5 REQUEST displayed a nice "Z" pattern in last, when losing 8 lengths from the quarter to the half, then gaining more than 14 from that point to the finish. Irad has finally become the rider that I always knew he could be ( except for that looking over the shoulder nonsense ), and he's sitting on a live one here.  OFF TURF: 2-1-5-4-8


Race 2-


2.Hundred Years

3.Ready Dancer

Employing the ol' "Diamond in the Rough" theory with the #6 ATTRACTION here, as there's a nice bullet on display ( 47 flat ) amidst a series of mostly ordinary breezes. 423 Tomlinson at the distance is the highest in the field, and Carmouche tries hard every single time. #2 HUNDRED YEARS was the fifth beer in a six pack when debuting here on 7/25, but in all fairness, he lost by only two that day, and the number came back pretty nice. Asmussen much better with 2nd time starters, and diggin' the jockey switch. #9 READY DANCER appears to be going in the right direction, and $325,000 Keeneland purchase adds blinkers today; must include.


Race 3-

1.Sumba Sunset

2.Queen of Scat

3.Neck of the Moon

#5 SUMBA SUNSET returned off a 5 month sabbatical to put forth a couple of decent races for Matz, who has earned quite a bit of money with this one despite having won just one race. Chronic nibbler most definitely figures from a Beyer standpoint, but you'll need every bit of 7-2, if not 4-1 to make this one worth your while. #1 QUEEN OF SCAT was visually impressive in defeating maidens at Indiana last month, and the connections thought enough of the effort to drink from the local waters up here. Second and third place finishers from that day both won next time out ( 71 and 75 Beyers respectively ), and love the direction that this miss is heading in. #6 NECK OF THE MOON has thrown up steadily increasing speed figures, and been doing it while stretching out in distance. I. Ortiz takes over for Javier today, and that's okay.  OFF TURF: 4-1A-5-3-7


Race 4-

1.Star Gazer

2.Grand Candy

3.Conquest Nitro

#1 STAR GAZER has been working just moderately for initial foray today, but if you know anything about Rudy, is that his runners can display speed at any given moment. 425 Tommy is extremely high, and although the rail can be difficult for a firster, we'll take a shot at 10-1. #7 GRAND CANDY hadn't been showing much in the mornings, but Asmussen recently tightened the screws with a 3rd best of 24 gate breeze ( 1:00 2/5 ). Santana's one of his go to guys, and this one was purchased for 12 times the breeding price. #2 CONQUEST NITRO changed tactics a bit in last, when being gunned to the top beneath Bridgmohan in a similar spot. Was a clear 3rd amongst a field of 10 that day, and although Casse is a bit chilly, we'll leave in the mix.


Race 5-

1.Alcazar de Maram


3.America's Kitten

I know we may have "Missed the wedding" and are now "Going to the funeral" with Mott here and his charge, the #10 ALCAZAR DE MARAM, as the H.O.F. trainer has already scored with some nicely priced maidens this meet, but we'll take a flyer. This colt is bread six ways from Sunday for the sod, and while we're putting him up top, we definitely wouldn't disagree with anyone looking to spread a bit. #1 VIGILANTE has done something I've never seen before---back to back "Z" patterns in both races to start the career. In the debut, this one lost 3 lengths from the 1/4 to the 1/2, then gained over 8 lengths from that point to the finish. In the subsequent start, he amazingly lost 9 lengths early on, then gained it all back afterwards. Been working unbelievably since the last effort, and is an absolute MUST in all your rollers. #3 AMERICA'S KITTEN had absolutely no shot when breaking from the 11 hole in debut on the Belmont inner six weeks ago, and Castellano made sure to give this one a learning experience without abusing the animal. Top flight connections and a better post aid the cause.  OFF TURF: 13(MTO)-8-1-7-2


Race 6-

1.Sheer Drama


3.Got Lucky

First Grade 1 of the day is the Personal Ensign, named after the champion mare that retired undefeated in dramatic fashion  , and it's a classy affair. #2 SHEER DRAMA has been a completely different animal since returning off that 3 1/2 month break, rattling off a 6:2-4-0 record against some stiff competition. Gal has some familiarity with this joint ( 2:1-1-0 ) and rates a slight edge in a fun race. #4 STOPCHARGINGMARIA is most definitely a horse for the course, as she's 5:4-1-0 locally, including a win earlier at this stand. Obvious majah playah. #5 GOT LUCKY banged out two odds on wins at The Shore recently, but gets another G-1 acid test, and although she hasn't hit the board in 3 tries at this level, you simply can't discount Pletcher and Irad at 4-1.


Race 7-

1.La Verdad

2.Merry Meadow

3.Unbridled Forever

Second of the three 7 Furlong Grade 1's on the day, and although it's my favorite kind of race, I wish NYRA would've split them up a little bit. Anyhoo.... Despite the fact that she lost this race last year, it's #2 LA VERDAD all the way. #3 MERRY MEADOW has had the injury bug throughout her career but is always a threat on her best; 24-28 ITM lifetime. #7 UNBRIDLED FOREVER will be rolling late, but a minor award may be her ceiling.


Race 8-


2.Holy Boss

3.Grand Bili

Forget the Derby. You can keep the Travers and the Breeders Cup Classic, too. For me, it's always been about the King's Bishop. Just simply always such a "chess game" ( terrible, I know ) to figure out.  I've enclosed a bit of info about the horse ( who finished his career being trained by The Chief ) right here's_Bishop   #4 WATERSHED made an eye catching move when the curtains went up here 3 weeks ago, going from 8 lengths back at the half, to a convincing 4 length winner ( coming home in 22.74 that day ). Place horse was 4 lengths clear of the rest, and if they're cooking up front today, we're hoping Rosario ( ugh ) can weave his way through. #7 HOLY BOSS is the only one sporting back to back triple digit Beyers, but one of them came after a 2 1/2 month break; beware of a slight bounce. #2 GRAND BILI as good as any to close out the tri.


Race 9-


2.Private Zone

3.Race Day

$700,000 Forego on tap here, and that chap was a three time Horse of the Year ... Unlike most Kiaran ( properly spelled ! ) European imports, the #6 TAMARKUZ was not bet in hs North American debut when being thrown to the wolves in the Met Mile ( 10-1 ), and ended up running an even 4th. He won 4 straight in the desert prior to that, and deserves another shot, especially when you see that the race yielded a cumulative next out total of 9:3-3-2 with Beyers ranging from 83 to 100 ( for the last place finisher ) to 113 ( for the winner ). May be a bit of an overlay. #7 PRIVATE ZONE has done some decent things since being transferred to Jorge "The Greatest Trainer In The History Of Horse Racing" Navarro, and will be gunning from "go". Logical. #1 RACE DAY cuts back to a sprint today and is 4:2-1-1 when dashing, as well as 2:1-0-1 when relegated to the rail. Owner Schera having a fine meet.


    Race 10-

1.Flintshire ( GB )


3.Guardini ( FR )

The 10th race is the Grade 1 Sword Dancer for a cool mil, and you can find the history of the Hall of Famer right here  -- As for the race, well, whether or not we cash out, we feel that our money is well invested with the #2 FLINTSHIRE (GB) as this fella most definitely doesn't need to take his track with him as he's won or placed at five different countries covering three different continents ( what, no Antarctica ? ). Very familiar with this distance, and toting 4 pounds less than ever before, this one put in quite the exercise regimen here on Wednesday. Dig it. #1 IMAGINING has solid numbers in all pertinent categories, and gets the butane hot Irad back in the saddle. #7 GUARDINI is a bit on the cheap side, but undergoes the European makeover today: Blinkers, Juice, and sheds 12 pounds. Colt is 1-3 over firm ground, but one of those was a complete tossout. Value should be there.  OFF TURF: 1-8-4-3-5


Race 11-

1.Texas Red

2.American Pharoah


Ya'll know I'm not putting the big horse on top, so we can just get over the suspense here. Triple Crown champ is 1-5 morning line, but that's solely because it's the job of the linemaker to encourage us to bet. By post, A.P. deserves to be 1-9. Do I have a standout animal that I feel can beat America's darling ? No. but I do have a couple of negative trainer angles relating to Bob Baffert's Baked Beans that are relevant. In a nutshell, he's oh-11 in dirt routes here and just 2 for 22 in Graded Stakes at The Spa during the same 5 year span as well. Why is this relevant ? Well on the whole, he prefers training over fast, hard surfaces, and at times, this joint down the block from me can be less so. Some of those horses he's lost with include... Plum Pretty 7-5, Fiftyshadesofhay 5-2, Paynter 3-2, Code West 4-1, Bayern 2-1, and Coil at 5-2. Some heavy hitters in there, no ? Well, we're not gonna be completely abhorrent and toss 'Pharoah out, but we will put him 2nd, and look for a price, as it will only take a $17.20 winner to justify playing against those short prices in the last quartet. I'm not a big "Sleepy" fan, but I've been on the backside many a morning as #4 TEXAS RED walks---then stops---then walks---then stops---to the track. Quite the independent sort, and he looks just great. Listen, he has a win over the track, and you see the aforementioned negative trainer angles, so let's take a shot. #6 FROSTED is a nice check earner, but that rhymes with "money burner", and we'll toss in for the 3rd chalkiest triple being offered.


Race 12-

1.Dacita ( Chi )


3.Danza Cavallo ( Fr )

#4 DACITA (CHI) hasn't been seen since Christmas time, but when you see comments such as "Much the best" and "As rider pleased", you have to take heed. Gets Lasix administered by "Mr. Personality" today, and Castellano hops on. #1 TEPIN came within a honker of getting the grand slam last time out in the Diana, but got "Leparouxed" late. The numbers are obviously there, but for those not following Saratoga steadily, Julian has been positively abysmal up here. #2 DANZA CAVALLO (FR) the second half ( and longer priced ) of the uncoupled Brown entry was "very rank" when breaking from the 11 hole in latest, and is eligible to improve with a quicker load today, as well as it being her 2nd start over the track.  OFF TURF: 5-3-4-6-1


Race 13-

1.Oklahoma Den

2.Tiger D

3.Foxhall Drive

#7 OKLAHOMA DEN hasn't shown much in his last two, but if forgiveness is in your heart ( as it is mine ) then that adjusted figure of 83 just prior to that makes this one a serious contender. Oh yeah, having the "Stone Faced Killer" in the irons helps matters, as well. #4 TIGER D has been befallen by back to back layoff lines since November, but has recently lost a very important "appendage" and ran an 85.1 the last time he touched firm ground. Hmmmm....  #1 FOXHALL DRIVE has speed, a race over the track, and drops some weight---dangerous.  OFF TURF: 10-6-5-9-12


Monmouth Stats  ( Current ):     60-272  ( $402.20 ) Beatable Favorites:     7-19 ( 36.8% ) Favorite's Win %:112-272 ( 41.2% ) ( As of Thursday )

Santa Anita Stats(2015 Final):     67-290 ( $462.00 ) Beatable Favorites:   18-39 ( 46.2% ) Favorite's Win %:141-334( 42.2% ) +/-:  -20.4% against a 15.0% takeout

Belmont Stats     (2015 Final):       2-13     ($25.90 ) Beatable Favorites:      1-6  ( 16.7% ) Favorite's Win %:   2-13  ( 15.4% ) +/-:   even    against a  15.0% takeout

Pimlico Stats       (2015 Final):       1-14      ( $6.80 ) Beatable Favorites:      3-3  ( 100%  ) Favorite's Win %:   5-14  ( 35.7% ) +/-:  -75.7% against an 18.0% takeout

Churchill Stats     (2015 Final):      2-25    (  $15.40 ) Beatable Favorites:      2-4  ( 50.0% ) Favorite's Win %;   6-25  ( 24.0% ) +/-:  -69.0% against a 17.5% takeout

Keeneland Stats  (2015 Final):    39-139  ( $278.00 ) Beatable Favorites:     3-13 ( 23.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 56-139 ( 40.3% ) +/-:   even   against a 16.0% takeout

Gulfstream Stats (2015 Final): 163-848 ( $1,467.70 ) Beatable Favorites : 31-104 ( 29.8% ) Favorite's Win %: 330-848 (38.9%) +/-: -13.5% against a 17.0% takeout

All Triple Crown & Breeders' Cup full days ( Above Churchill, Pimlico, and Belmont included in dirt and cumulative numbers ) :

( 2014-2015 Final ): 19-115   ( $230.60 ) Beatable Favorites: 10-27 ( 37.0% ) Favorite's Win %: 37-115  ( 32.2% )  +/-: +0.1% against a 17.0% takeout                                  

Poly Tracks 2014   (All Final): 83-557     ( $789.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-67   ( 22.4% ) Favorite's Win %: 160 -576  ( 27.8% ) +/-: -29.3% against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks 2014-5 (All Final): 521-2450 ($4,425.10) Beatable Favorites : 89-272 ( 32.7% ) Favorite's Win%: 903- 2513 ( 35.9% ) +/-: -9.5%  against a 17.0% takeout

Cumulative Stats (All Final): 604-3007 ($5,214.30) Beatable Favorites : 104-339 ( 30.7% ) Favorite's Win %: 1063-3089 ( 34.4% ) +/-: -13.3% against a 16.6% takeout