With the Triple Crown season in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to move on and the focus for some familiar 3-year-olds shifts to the north.
More specifically, the $1.25 million dollar Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 27th.
Here then, are five horses from the Triple Crown trail who can succeed in the 1 1/4 mile Travers.
MO DONEGAL. He Won the Wood Memorial in April, closed for a good 5th (DRB likes a good fifth every once in awhile) in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby after drawing the dreaded rail and Won the Belmont Stakes at 1 1/2 miles. Seems obvious he prefers running in longer routes, which deems the Travers his ideal spot.
ZANDON. After Winning the Blue Grass Stakes in impressive fashion, he could not get by EPICENTER in the stretch of the Kentucky Derby and had to settle for 3rd when RICH STRIKE went by both of them. CREATIVE CAUSE is the damsire of ZANDON, so he should appreciate another shot at 1 1/4 miles in the Travers.
RICH STRIKE. There is no doubt that a majority of horseplayers regard his Kentucky Derby Victory as an anomaly. But he did not receive a good pace in the Belmont Stakes. And while it does seem a bit ambitious (the Travers) for a possible one-hit wonder, RICH STRIKE might excel on the Saratoga surface at 1 1/4 miles if there is more speed to help.
CHARGE IT. He ran a dismal 17th in the Kentucky Derby. But he came into the race as a green colt who ran awkwardly when 2nd in the Florida Derby (G1). Perhaps the KD arrived too soon for him to develop into his potential. With stamina on top and bottom in his pedigree, he should love the Travers, and offer some betting Value.
EPICENTER. There are some who feel he needs to cut back, but he Won the Louisiana Derby (G2) with no problem. To fire his best shot, EPICENTER needs to run either on the lead or around the leaders, and not at the rear. That was his tactic in the Derby, where he ran 2nd to upset Winner RICH STRIKE.
The Saratoga Race Course begins its 2022 season Thursday, July 14th.