Golden Ticket, sent to the post at odds of 33/1, ran a huge race along the rail but couldn't get his nose down in front of the favorite, Alpha, resulting in an improbable dead heat in the 2012 Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga,
the first dead heat in the 143 year history of the race. According to Jon White on HRTV, there was one dead heat in Travers history: the 1874 edition between Attila and Barbie. They had a run-off that Attila subsequently won.
The early pace was solid with Speightscity carving out an opening quarter mile in 23.51 seconds. Alpha sat in the clear in third through the early stages and looked to be in prime position to roll to the lead heading off the far turn. David Cohen sent Golden Ticket through along the rail where he assumed command of the Travers with less than a furlong to go. Alpha and Ramon Dominguez kept coming towards the wire and were able to get up for the dead heat
Nick Zito's Fast Falcon finished third to round out the split trifecta. Atigun finished 4th.
Street Life appeared to injure an ankle during the race and was vanned off.
Golden Ticket is a three-year-old colt by Speightstown out of a Deputy Minister mare (Business Plan) trained by Ken McPeek and ridden by David Cohen.
Alpha is a three-year-old colt by Bernardini out of a Nijinsky II mare (Munnaya) trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Ramon Dominguez.
In the stakes races prior to the Travers, Zagora (FR) closed into a fast pace an won the G2-Ballston Spa comfortably over Hungry Island in a course record time of 1:39.07 for the mile and one sixteenth race. In the G1-Test, even money favorite Contested broke very slowly but closed into suicidal fractions get back into winning form after a tough race in the G1-Mother Goose last time out. Gypsy Robin runs a huge race to finish 2nd. And in the race immediately before the Travers, Steamin' Willie Beamin shocks the field to win the G1-King's Bishop just three days after winning an ungraded stakes race at Saratoga. Two stakes wins in one week? I'd say that's a good amount of work.
Below are the payouts, fractions and internal splits for the Travers Stakes, as well as the G2-Ballston Spa, G1-Test and G1-King's Bishop.
|5-Beautiful But Blue||$4.70|