Commentary

Analyzing favorites at Travers Stakes

Preakness and Belmont winners among the top horses heading into the race

Originally Published: August 27, 2011
By Lane Gold | ESPN Insider
Belmont StakesMaxwell Kruger/US PresswireShackleford put on an impressive performance during his Preakness win.

The Kentucky Derby annually brings the best 3-year-old horses together, but it has proved difficult to get all of those stars to reunite after the Derby. In today's Travers Stakes at Saratoga, however, it appears all but one is accounted for.

The $1 million race showcases not only Preakness winner Shackleford and Belmont victor Ruler on Ice as but also Coil and Stay Thirsty, the winners of the recent Haskell and Jim Dandy. The only glaring omission is Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who is sidelined until next year with an injury.

If one of the top four, who are the top choices in the morning line, wins the Travers, it will have the inside track for year-end honors of top 3-year-old and also a chance to get into the mix for Horse of the Year.

What is surprising is that Shackleford and Ruler on Ice are the highest odds of that top four, which could present some value if bettors believe in the Preakness and Belmont winner.

Here is breakdown on the "big four" in the Travers, as well as a couple of potentially overbet horses:


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Lane Gold

ESPN Insider

A lifelong horse racing fan, Lane Gold hosts a weekly radio show called the Kentucky Winner's Circle and has a horse racing blog.