Girvin Goes for Haskell Travers Double

Source: NYRA

Brad Grady’s Girvin jogged a lap on the Oklahoma training track at about 6:00 a.m. Monday, two days after his final breeze for the Grade 1 Travers. Winner of the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner last time out, he must prove he can handle the 10-furlong trip of the race in his second attempt. He was off the board after a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby over the same distance in May.

“The distance is always an unknown because his trip in the Derby wasn’t a fair testament,” trainer Joe Sharp said. “Based on his running style and how he finishes and has been training, I think he can handle it. He’ll definitely be running from the quarter-pole home and always tries. He’s a horse who really wants to win.”

Girvin will be teaming up again with Robby Albarado, who rode for the first time in the Haskell and employed a deep-closing tactic on the millionaire son of Tale of Ekati. In races prior, the nearly black colt displayed more tactical speed.

“I don’t really give instructions and I don’t think Robby anticipated being that far back either, but Robby knows the horse and he obviously rode him perfectly that day,” Sharp said. “He doesn’t have to be that far back and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is closer this time, but Robby will ride his race. He’s a versatile jockey who does his homework.”

“I don’t think the post is too important with Girvin,” Sharp said. “He has the ability to be wherever you need him to be and he’s a smart horse. Obviously, we don’t want to be stuck all the way on the outside, but also I think he could handle that. He’s a horse who gives you confidence.”

Pletcher Team on Target for 2017 Travers Stakes

Source: NYRA

Trainer Todd Pletcher confirmed Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit will be entered to run in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers presented by NYRA Bets. Curlin winner Outplay’s status will be determined on Tuesday, Pletcher said, adding that Outplay’s potential jockey assignment is also a factor in the decision.

“We’re definitely planning to run Always Dreaming and Tapwrit and we’ll make a decision tomorrow on Outplay,” Pletcher said from his barn Monday morning.

copyright AGameofSkill.comHall of Fame jockey John Velazquez has been the regular rider of Always Dreaming through his 3-year-old campaign and has ridden Outplay in his last two races. Jose Ortiz has been aboard Tapwrit in all five of the colt’s starts this year.

Pletcher has saddled a pair of Travers winners; Flower Alley in 2005 and Stay Thirsty in 2011. Should he have three entrants in the 148th running, for three separate ownership groups, Pletcher said the possible logistical issues of serving different interests should not be a problem.

“It’s really not that challenging. We’re training all three horses whether they are running in the race or not,” Pletcher said. “The owners are very understanding in these situations. Most of the owners I have also have horses with other trainers, so we’ve been in situations where I might be running a horse against one of theirs, so it’s really not an issue for us. Sometimes it gets a little dicier when you try to maneuver maidens into different races than it is in the big events.”

Pletcher said having multiple horses in a prestigious race can sometimes lessen the pressure.

“Sometimes when you only have one, you’re hoping you get there, but sometimes it’s a little safety net to have more than one,” Pletcher said. “But we don’t really look at it on those terms. We’re just happy that we are fortunate to have three horses who are good enough to be considered for the race.”

All three put in their final breezes before Travers Day on the Oklahoma training track Friday, with Always Dreaming working four furlongs in 49.60 seconds in company with Outplay and Tapwrit also putting in a half-mile in 50.24 seconds.

“My main concern was getting those final works in and with the weather being a little dicey, we wanted to get them in on a good surface and we were able to do that on Friday,” Pletcher said. “They [came out] of it well and once we got to that point, you just hope everything continues to go smoothly with the gate schooling and paddock schooling and routine gallops.”

August 26 Travers Stakes Set for a Great Horse Race

walking horse through Saratoga crowdSource: NYRA

Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Girvin shipped in to Barn 77 on Saratoga’s Oklahoma backstretch Monday morning after his victory by a nose over McCraken on Sunday afternoon at Monmouth Park. If all goes well in the next few weeks, the son of Tale of Ekati will make his next start in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers on August 26, said trainer Joe Sharp.

“More than likely, we’ll run here,” Sharp said. “That is the way we are leaning, but we will also look at the Smarty Jones [at Parx, September 4] and the Pennsylvania Derby [September 23]. We always keep our options open.”

“He gives it his all every time, and he did that yesterday,” he added. “He never wins by a lot. He likes to engage other horses, he likes to be in a dogfight. It makes it fun to be around him. He is a very honest horse, he tries very, very hard. He continues to go above and beyond our expectations.”

The Louisiana Derby winner finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby before finishing as the runner-up to Irap in the Ohio Derby. The Travers would be Girvin’s eighth career start.

A Haskell rematch could be in the works in the Travers as Ian Wilkes, trainer of runner-up McCraken, who also returned to the Spa on Monday, has expressed his team’s intentions to point to the Mid-Summer Derby as well.

“Yeah, I am planning on it, the Travers,” Wilkes said. “As long as he trains well, because I’m not just going to run him just to run him. A final decision will be made in a few days after we get him back to the track.”

The son of Ghostzapper finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby, but returned to win the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs in his previous start before the Haskell.

Travers Day Analysis 2016 by Rich Nilsen

Full Card Selections with Spot Plays

Rich Nilsen handicapperRich Nilsen, founder of AGameofSkill.com and one of the top tournament players in the history of the NHC, offers up his full-card analysis for Saratoga on Saturday, August 27th.  The analysis provides selections for every race plus three best bet spot plays.  Each race includes Nilsen’s detailed pace scenario which explains how the race will set up.  Nilsen has a longshot selection for the Travers’ Stakes that can upset the apple cart.

Put an expert on your side as you attack Saratoga on their biggest day of the year.

2016 Travers’s Day Recap:  Nilsen picks top selection Haveyougoneaway who upsets the G1 Ballerina at odds of 10-1!   Nilsen follows that score up by giving out top selection ARROGATE, track-record winner of the G1 Travers Stakes!  $25.40 to win for followers of the sheet.  Another top pick runs 2nd at odds of 17-1 in race 3 on August 27, 2016.

Only $9.97 for all 13 races, in-depth Travers’ analysis and 3 spot plays
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The Travers Day card features over $1.6 Million in Guaranteed wagers. There is a $400,000 Guaranteed Pick 5 beginning on Race 1. The $250,000 Guaranteed Pick 6 begins on Race 6 and the $1 Million Guaranteed Pick 4 begins on Race 8.

Testimonials:

“Great job, Rich!” ~ Jeff S.

“Rich: nice job Travers Day! Thanks to Arrogate, you gave me a good day. How in the world did you land on him? I suspect you’re doing some kind of voodoo pace analysis. If you ever decide to give lessons or a seminar, let me know.” ~ Kelley S.

Travers Stakes Radio Coverage this Saturday

Headphones with microphone

copyright denrud

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY and official radio home of the 2016 Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships, will broadcast live from Saratoga Race Course this Saturday to provide exclusive radio coverage of the 147th Travers Stakes from 3:00-6:00 p.m. ET.

The broadcast, presented by Sunrise Stallions, can be heard throughout North America on SiriusXM channel 93 as well as on terrestrial affiliates across the country with live internet streaming provided on the HRRN website, www.horseracingradio.net. Listeners can also access the live stream on smart phones and tablets.

Travers coverage will also be available in Spanish as part of HRRN’s new HRRN en Español broadcast platform. The Spanish broadcast is available worldwide with live streaming on www.hrrnenespanol.com.

Part of HRRN’s meet long “Saturdays at Saratoga” series, presented by Visitbarbados.org, coverage will include five “Road to the Breeders’ Cup” grade 1 races on the Travers undercard: The

King’s Bishop, Forego and Sword Dancer with the Personal Ensign and Ballerina being aired on taped delay.

The Ballerina is a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint division, while the winner of the Forego will qualify for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The Sword Dancer is a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the winner of the Personal Ensign will earn a spot into the Distaff.

HRRN’s full slate of Travers day programming begins Saturday morning with their popular weekly talk show, the Equine Forum, hosted live from Saratoga from 8:00-10:00 a.m. ET. The Equine Forum airs nationwide on SiriusXM 93 along with terrestrial affiliates across the country and is streamed live and podcast on the HRRN website.

HRRN President Mike Penna will anchor the coverage along with analysts Jude Feld and Anthony Stabile. Acacia Courtney will provide paddock commentary and interviews with NYRA announcer Larry Collmus providing the call of the races.

Roberto “El Potro” Rodriguez, Eloy Vielma and Hall of Fame jockey Ramon Dominguez provide the coverage on HRRN en Español with Luis Grandison providing the Spanish call of each race.

A complete schedule of upcoming broadcasts along with SiriusXM and affiliate information can be found on the HRRN website, www.horseracingradio.net and www.hrrnespanol.com.
About HRRN

The Horse Racing Radio Network is your home for Eclipse Award winning coverage of the biggest events in racing throughout the year. In 2016, HRRN will broadcast more than 100 stakes races from racetracks across the United States and around the world. HRRN is the official radio network of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup World Championships and produces a series of popular talk shows aired throughout the week on SiriusXM satellite radio: Xpressbet Radio on HRRN (Wednesday – Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET), Jock Talk presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Trainer Talk presented by Fasig-Tipton (Wednesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Brisnet Call In Show (Thursday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview (Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET) and the Equine Forum (Saturday, 8-10 a.m. ET). Select race broadcasts are available in Spanish through the HRRN en Español broadcast platform.

No Decision on American Pharoah After Loss in Travers Stakes

Triple Crown SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – They were waiting for their horse, ready to take pictures with cellphones and ready to feed him snacks. On the morning after a startling upset at the Travers Stakes, a small gathering of fans visited racing’s biggest celebrity. This group on Sunday morning was considerably smaller than the throng of 15,000 that… [Read more…]

Great Horse Racing Video Series – Runaway Groom’s Travers

The Great Horse Racing Video Series at Agameofskill.com showcases great horse races in history.  Feel free to post some of your favorite videos in the comment section and we may just feature that race(s) in a future post.

This is horse racing fan Garnet Barnsdale’s favorite, the 1982 Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Pace Predictor Forecast for Travers Stakes day 2014

Pace Predictor: These are not selections but rather forecasts for the anticipated pace scenarios in select races at Saratoga today, Saturday August 23, 2014.  Understanding the race shape is critical for successfully handicapping the races, because how the pace sets up early often determines how things will shake out late. A horse separated by ” / ” indicates possible lone speed.

Let us know how you think we did with the pace predictions in the comments below after today’s races.  Best of luck!

Saratoga, August 15, 2014

R3) # 6 / 2-1

R4) # 7-8-6

R5) # 5-1-4-9

R6) # 4-5-12-3

R7) # 6 / 3-1-10

R8) # 7 / 4-2

R9) # 1-6

R10) # 6-7

R11) # 6 / 1-4-9-5

R12) # 2 / 7-6-10-3

R13) # 3-6-9

R14) # 6-2-10

The Great Horse Racing Video Series – Easy Goer’s Travers Stakes Win

Stakes winner Clevor Trevor tried to take the field gate to wire and hold off the late run of Easy Goer, but he was no match for the son of Alydar.  Watch the 1989 Travers Stakes from Saratoga.

httpv://youtu.be/fNhmtmv8rJo