ELMONT, NY - JUNE 11: Jose Valdivia, Jr. rides Ruler On Ice to victory during the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11, 2011 in Elmont, New York. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The wide-open race to be named Champion Three-Year-Old Colt of 2011 will take a decided turn on August 27th when Saratoga runs the Mid-Summer Derby, the Travers Stakes. The race is expected to include the Preakness winner (Shackleford), the Belmont winner (Ruler On Ice), the Haskell winner (Coil), and the Jim Dandy winner (Stay Thirsty). A win by any of those four horses would put them in an excellent position heading into the final races of the season. A win by anybody else would be about par for the course for this season.
Currently, there are around 11 horses that are possible starters for the Travers:
Arthur's Tale: 2nd to Toby's Corner in the Wood; hasn't been seen since.
Bowman's Causeway: Recently 2nd in the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.
Coil: Haskell winner will likely be a major player.
J W Blue: Runner-up in the Barbaro Stakes.
Moonshine Mullin: Runner-up in the Jim Dandy.
Prayer for Relief: West Virginia Derby winner is a Travers possibility.
Rattlesnake Bridge: Coming off nice win in the Long Branch at Monmouth.
Raisan d'Etat: Runner-up in the Curlin Stakes.
Ruler On Ice: Belmont winner tries to rebound.
Shackleford: Preakness winner is always in the mix.
Stay Thirsty: Looked very good in the Jim Dandy and is "on form" right now.