A field of ten, led by Jim Dandy winner Stay Thirsty (5/2 morning line favorite) will line up in the starting gate this Saturday for the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga (Post time: 5:45 Eastern; TV: NBC). Haskell winner Coil is the 2nd choice on the morning line at 3/1, while Preakness winner Shackleford drew post position number 10 and is the 3rd choice at 9/2.
Malibu Glow, a recent allowance winner at Saratoga, was a late addition to the Travers field.
While many are describing this year's Travers as the race to decide which horse will be crowned champion three-year-old colt of 2011, I think the most it will do is put one horse in the driver's seat. If one of the big four (Ruler On Ice, Coil, Stay Thirsty, or Shackleford) wins on Saturday, that horse will be in firm command of the division. But just like in 2007 when Street Sense won both the Kentucky Derby and the Travers, that might not be enough to lock up divisional honors.
If one of the horses that doesn't win the Travers were able to come back and win the Breeders' Cup Classic (a distinct possibility given the weakness of the older horses this year), that would likely be enough to seal the deal.
There is, of course, another scenario that could come into play: none of the Big 4 win the Travers and the division is thrown into complete chaos. But we'll deal with that later.
|1||Bowman's Causeway||R. Dominguez
|2||Rattlesnake Bridge||J. Velaquez
|3||Moonshine Mullin||E. Wilson
|4||Ruler On Ice||J. Waldivia
|5||Malibu Glow||R. Maragh||G. Weaver||20/1|
|6||Raison d'Etat||E. Castro
|7||Coil||M. Garcia||B. Baffert||3/1|
|8||J W Blue||C. Velasquez
|9||Stay Thirsty||J. Castellano
|10||Shackleford||J. Castanon||D. Romans||9/2|