Travers Stakes Analysis (08/28/15)

In-depth analysis of the 2015 Travers Stakes including Pace Figures and Past Performances each starter. Please refer to the Legend or Pattern Guide for back-up definitions and patterns.

The Grade I Travers Stakes from Saratoga Race Course is horse racing's Mid-Summer Classic. Run 10 furlongs for just three year-old's, the purse of this Grade I affair has been raised to $1.65mm solely to attract Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah.

The last Triple Crown winner to win the Travers was Whirlaway 75 years ago. TV coverage begins at 4pm ET on Saturday on NBC. The Grade I Forego (7 furlongs) and the Grade I Sword Dancer (12 furlongs on turf) are the pre-cursors to the Travers which has a post time of 5:45pm ET.

We now present the Race Analysis, Pace Figures and Past Performances for the Travers Stakes from the SPA.

Upstart (15/1)

Here's what we had to say about Upstart's chances in the Haskell Stakes.

The Play: Too Slow – very tough to endorse as noted above; add to it the rail, lack of tactical speed and the second choice of 6/1 m/l, and eliminating this runner becomes an important part of hitting the Haskell exacta.

He was heavily bet in the Haskell (as the Violette barn sometimes is) going off at his morning-line odds and ran a decent but unimpressive and distant third. He did run a 78.8 lifetime top, 2.5 points higher than his best effort which came as a two year-old. It's tough to say whether this final figure is him getting back to his pre-Derby form or a “suck-along” effort in a race dominated by the best three year-old in 40 years.

In either case, the jockey switch back to his regular rider, Jose Ortiz Jr. will help greatly, but just not sure it's enough in this field.

Value Play: Average - it's more likely he regresses (than improves) off that final top, especially at 10 furlongs.

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