This is the link for all your Travers coverage LIVE from Saratoga with photos and updates from the paddock, finish line, winners’ circle & all over the track!
7 p.m. – Wrapping up an awesome Travers day where we saw huge performances all day. LADY ELI was very good in her return to get second and just couldn’t hold off the eventual winner STRIKE CHARMER in the Grade-2 Ballston Spa.
Here are some photos from the Travers and Ballston Spa. More coming soon on RacingDudes.com this week on the reaction to a HUGE TRAVERS DAY!
6 p.m. – FASTEST TRAVERS EVER! Arrogate went beast mode on them! Took it gate to wire and won by a massive 13 1/2 lengths. Photos coming to RacingDudes.com soon. Need to get down to the paddock to see Lady Eli!
5 p.m. – Jockey Javier Castellano took his time on FLINTSHIRE after a fast pace set by stablemate Inordinate and bulled his way up the hedge to just throttle the field in the Grade-1 Sword Dancer. FLINTSHIRE is just too good at this point and possibly some Europeans will come over for the Breeders’ Cup to try to challenge him.
4:30 p.m. – Not too much to say about the Forego. A.P. Indian is just too good right now and the 2 1/2 length win was under wraps as jockey Joe Bravo had this field put away at the 1/8 pole. With the scratches of Marking and Anchor Down, A.P. Indian just took it to them. Now it’s the FLINTSHIRE Show up next. Here’s a great photo of Joe Bravo celebrating on A.P. Indian:
3:50 p.m. – Hall-of-fame jockey Mike Smith just put them to bed on DREFONG on the front end to win the Grade-1 King’s Bishop, as he took the lead early from the outside 13 post and never looked back drawing off by 3 & 1/4 lengths. The 3/1 favorite for trainer Bob Baffert shipped in from California early in the week and it was for a reason. A dominant winner with that West Coast speed, DREFONG has been working with ARROGATE in the morning for Baffert, so that’s a good sign for his chances in the Travers later in the card. Here’s a few photos of Mike Smith and DREFONG:
3:15 p.m. – Trainer Tom Morley is now a Grade-1 winning trainer as HAVEYOUGONEAWAY won the Ballerina closing late. After favorite CARINA MIA drifted in the stretch after pressing and then taking the lead, it set up perfectly for the late kick of HAVEYOUGONEAWAY for a half-lenght win. Here are some photos of the exciting win for Team Morley:
2:30 p.m. – The Personal Ensign was an extremely tight four way finish that went to CAVORTING for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Stonestreet Stables with a half length win. A great ride by Javier Castellano to sit CAVORTING back of the pack and make one huge move to get up in time. Here’s a few shots of the finish and winners’ circle:
1:30 p.m. – Very happy for one of my favorite trainers, Christophe Clement, who I interviewed at the beginning of the meet (full story here) as he gets a nice win with turfer STELLA ROSE for the Stronach Group with Joel Rosario up. Clement has GOVERNOR MALIBU later in the Travers, so maybe the Clement barn will finally heat up late in the meet. Here’s a few photos of STELLA ROSE:
1:12 p.m. – Quick update on MARKING, who had to scratch out of the Grade-1 Forego today. Walking out of the paddock, I got a chance to catch up with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and he said that they found a “boo boo” on one of his legs this morning and has was “not 100%.” McLaughlin said that they are not sure what’s wrong and will need to look into further. McLaughlin said that it’s a tough scratch since they are trying to make him a stallion and this was a very good chance at a Grade-1 win.
1:05 p.m. – Trainer Chad Brown gets his first win of the day and jockey Irad Ortiz takes back the jockey leader in the standings as THREEFIVEINDIA gets the win.
Some emotions in the winners’ circle as assistant trainer Cherie Devaux is here to see the star turner run later in LADY ELI. Devaux is one of the main reasons that LADY ELI has gotten back to the races after getting laminitis after stepping on a nail after her 2015 Belmont Oaks win. She has been running the string of Chad Brown runners down at Belmont Park and brought THREEFIVEINDIA up here for the big win. Here’s some photos of the finish and winners’ circle.
12:15 p.m. – Trainer Bill Mott gets on the board on the Travers card as PATERSON CROSS makes a late run on the outside to take over late under Jose Lezcano. With only 6 entries on the day (2 in this race), Mott gets going early and will have the big girl CARINA MIA in the Grade-1 Ballerina later.
12:00 p.m. – Moving to the 2nd race, SPORT found all kinds of traffic in his last race on August 6 at the Spa. Doesn’t look like a ton of pace in here and as the 5/2 favorite, it may not set up for his late closing kick.
11:40 a.m. – RAPID REACTION: Strong front-end win by RECKLING in the opener for Steve Asmussen with Ricardo Santana, Jr. up. Able to hold off pressure early and the late run by MO TOWN fro trainer Tony Dutrow late. The win by RECKLING flatters the horse that beat him in his first race, THEORY, for trainer Todd Pletcher that is pointed to the Grade-1 Hopeful next weekend.
10:55 a.m. – It’s 40 minutes to post in the opener and the weather couldn’t be any better here at Saratoga. Here’s a view of the track:
10 a.m. – Crowd filling into Saratoga for Travers Day! The scratches and changes are up at Equibase and screenshot included below. Major scratches in the Forego with second choice in the morning line Marking scratched. Also, Anchor Down will scratch out of the Forego. Jazzy Times shipped all the way from California for the King’s Bishop, but will scratch for trainer Bob Baffert.