User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Travers favorite is Haskell winner Verrazano

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) - The field for Saturday's $1 million Travers Stakes is so impressive that Kentucky Derby winner Orb isn't even the favorite.

Advertisement
Neither is Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice.

The role of 3-year-old to beat in racing's Mid-Summer Derby at Saratoga Race Course is Verrazano, runaway winner of the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 28.

``It's a great field,'' said Todd Pletcher, who trains Verrazano and Palace Malice. ``From a fan's perspective, it's one of the strongest Travers we've seen in a while. With the exception of (Preakness winner) Oxbow, all the major players are here.''

There's a logical explanation why Verrazano is the 2-1 top choice in the nine-horse field entered Wednesday, with Palace Malice next at 5-2 and Orb at 4-1. It's the ``what have you done for me lately'' approach.

``The last two races with our horses were very powerful,'' Pletcher said, ``and in the sense of what's going on in the moment, that's why (they are the favorites). But we have a lot of respect for Orb, and we know he'll be tough to beat.''

Verrazano ran the worst race of his career in the Derby, finishing 14th over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs. He came back and won the Pegasus at Monmouth before his big effort in the Haskell.

Palace Malice rebounded from his dull 12th-place Derby finish by winning the Belmont by 3 1/4 lengths and then taking the Jim Dandy over Will Take Charge and Moreno on July 27.

``With Palace Malice, you've got very much of a now horse that's always dangerous,'' said Orb's trainer, Shug McGaughey. ``Verrazano, ever since he broke his maiden, has been a top horse. His only blemish was in the Derby, and he bounced out of that pretty well.''

After the Derby, Orb ran fourth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont and then was sent to Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md., to regroup after the Triple Crown grind. McGaughey was thrilled with the way he regained his form and looks forward to seeing if Orb returns to his winning ways - the Derby win was his fifth in a row.

``We've been tickled to death with what he's done since he got up here to Saratoga last week,'' McGaughey said. ``We just hope we can keep it going for the Travers.''

The last Travers to feature the Derby winner was 2010, when Pletcher's Super Saver went off as the fourth betting choice and finished 10th. Before that, though, six of the eight Derby winners who ran in the Travers dating to 1978 went off as favorites.

Verrazano will be ridden by John Velazquez and leave from the No. 3 gate. Palace Malice will have Mike Smith aboard leaving from the No. 8 gate, with Orb and Joel Rosario departing from the No. 2 post.

The rest of the field, from the rail out, is Romansh, Golden Soul, Will Take Charge, Moreno, War Dancer and Transparent.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Dempsey: At the Gate - Thursday
Shared Belief made Pacific favorite
Alexis Tangier wins Del Mar feature
Heart to Heart wins Better Talk Now
Bayern is favorite for Travers Stakes
I Spent It wins Saratoga Special
Moulin de Mougin wins Mabee Stakes
Seek Again wins Fourstardave
Enterprising wins La Jolla Handicap
MORE HEADLINES
 
  HORSE RACING EXPERT
  Mike Dempsey
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.

Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby,  winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.

No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track!

Mike’s Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card.

Join Mike each day with daily picks from Aqueduct or you can get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
  HORSE RACING EXPERT
  Jerry Sessa
Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.

Jerry's is looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

Join Jerry everyday with daily picks from Aqueduct and Santa Anita or choose a package that contains selections from Multiple Tracks for the LOW PRICE of $14.95! Or better yet, how about 30 Days of horse racing picks with his Monthly Racing Package for ONLY $99.95!
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!