2018 Travers Stakes Preview


August 21st 2018 – Updated August 25th 2018 3:45 PM CST

Below are the post-positions, jockey assignments and morning line odds for the 149th Travers Stakes. As expected, Good Magic is the morning line odds favorite at 2/1. The filly Wonder Gadot is third favorite at 5/1. The race will be televised Saturday between 4pm and 5pm CST on NBC. 

***Update: The track seems to have an inside bias today which will bode well for Wonder Gadot and Gronkowski

Note: I have linked every horse in the field to their Equibase profiles so you can see their recent results and workouts.

The 149th Travers Stakes 

1 1/4th Mile – Race #11 at Saratoga – Post-Time: Saturday August 26th 4:45 PM CST. Televised by NBC

Post/Horse/Jockey/Trainer/Odds/Last Start
1. Trigger Warning – Rosendo/Rone – 30/1 – 2nd in Indiana Derby
2. Wonder Gadot – I.Ortiz Jr./Casse – 5/1 – 1st in Prince of Wales  
3. Gronkowski – Rosario/Brown – 4/1 – 2nd in Belmont Stakes 
4. Bravazo – Saez/Lukas – 12/1 – 2nd in Haskell Invitational
5. Vino Rosso – Velazquez/Pletcher – 10/1 – 3rd in Jim Dandy Stakes 
6. Meistermind – Franco/Asmussen – 30/1 – 5th in allowance race (SCRATCHED)
7. King Zachary – Albarado/Romans – 15/1 – 4th in Indiana Stakes
8. Mendelssohn – Moore/O’Brien – 12/1 – 3rd in Dwyer Stakes 
9. Good Magic – J.Ortiz/Brown – 2/1 – 1st in Haskell Invitational  
10. Tenfold – Santana Jr./Asmussen – 8/1 – 1st in Jim Dandy Stakes 
11. Catholic Boy – Castellano/Thomas – 8/1 – 1st in Belmont Derby (turf)

Race Analysis: Although I would love to see the filly Wonder Gadot beat the boys and pull off the upset, I think Gronkowski is primed for a big win this Saturday. Just watching video of him and Good Magic schooling in the paddock today (Click HERE), Gronkowski looks noticeably bigger and more physically impressive. He got out of the gates poorly in the Belmont Stakes, but ran some of the best fractions in the race after that. 

I calculate that Gronkowsi ran the last 4 furlongs in 49.01 (36.72mph). That is bringing it and more impressive than anything Good Magic or Tenfold did in the Haskell Invitational and Jim Dandy Stakes.

As far as Wonder Gadot, she is a bit of a tough read as her two most more recent starts, both impressive wins, were run on a synthetic surface at Woodbine and over a sloppy dirt track at Fort Erie. However, she did run very well in a second place finish in the 8 furlong Kentucky Oaks. For this reason, I think she has a shot to hit the board and a slight chance of pulling off an upset. But my money will be on Gronkowski.

I like Win and Place bets on Gronkowski. I will make a small $10 straight 3-9 Exacta bet (Gronkowski over Good Magic) but I could see several horses finishing second in this race such as Wonder Gadot, Vino Rosso and Catholic Boy. For my $1 Trifecta, 3,5 over 3,5,9 over 3,5,9–total cost $4. For Superfecta betting, I like a 50 cent Superfecta of 3 over 9 over 2,4,5,11 over 2,4,7, 5,11 would cost $8.

I have a feeling that this Superfecta will be hard to hit as this field has a number of horses who are very close in talent and ability. One horse who may surprise everyone is King Zachary if he runs as well as he did in the Matt Winn Stakes. So I decided to add him in my 4th sport of my Superfecta.



  1. Peter Setiawan · August 22, 2018

    Bonjorno Paisano

    WPS. 3 Exacta box. 2. 3



    • Michael J. Cox · August 22, 2018

      I would love to see Wonder Gadot win but I think this may be Gronkowski’s race


  2. Anonymous · August 24, 2018

    Michael J. Cox, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael J. Cox · August 24, 2018

      Thanks. I just hope that I can get 3 to 1 odds or longer on him on Travers Day


  3. Peter Setiawan · August 25, 2018

    I will also Place 11

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael J. Cox · August 25, 2018

      Catholic Boy could surprise. I am just a little apprehensive about the switch back to dirt.


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