A field of 12 sophomores has been drawn for Saturday’s Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga, led by Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit in post position four under Jose Ortiz. Trainer Todd Pletcher said that the colt has been training “exceptionally well” since his Belmont win, and the son of Tapit has been installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite for the Mid-Summer Derby.
Second choice on the morning line is the Bob Baffert-trained West Coast, winner of his last three starts in a row, including a 2 3/4-length win under wraps the G3 Los Alamitos Derby. The son of Flatter will be ridden by Mike Smith on Saturday.
Switching from turf to dirt in his latest start, Jim Dandy winner Good Samaritan will be the third choice on the Travers’ morning line. Breaking from post five, the Bill Mott trainee will be ridden by Joel Rosario.
The Travers will feature all three winners of the 2017 Triple Crown races, which was last seen in the 1982 running of the Travers when all three were beaten by Runaway Groom. Always Dreaming, this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, will break from post seven and is the fourth choice on the morning line for Pletcher and John Velazquez. Preakness winner Cloud Computing, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Javier Castellano,t will leave from the inside stall as the co-fifth choice.
Fifth choice along with Cloud Computing is Irap, winner of the Ohio and Indiana Derbies in his last two starts. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Irap will have regular rider Mario Gutierrez aboard.
Grade 1 Haskell Invitational winner Girvin drew post six for trainer Joe Sharp, while the horse he defeated by a nose in that race, McCraken, drew post nine. Girvin will be ridden again by Robby Albarado, and the Ian Wilkes-trained McCraken will be piloted by regular jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr.
The full field, with morning-line odds, is as follows:
- Cloud Computing 8-1
- Giuseppe the Great 20-1
- West Coast 4-1
- Tapwrit 7-2
- Good Samaritan 5-1
- Girvin 10-1
- Always Dreaming 6-1
- Lookin at Lee 30-1
- McCraken 12-1
- Irap 8-1
- Gunnevera 20-1
- Fayeq 30-1
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