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V.E. Day tops Wicked Strong in Travers

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) - V.E. Day caught Wicked Strong late to take the 145th running of the Travers Stakes by a nose Saturday over an impressive field that included Belmont champion Tonalist and favorite Bayern.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, V.E. Day beat out the co-second choices after going off at nearly 20-1 and returning $41.00, $13.20, and $7.30 in the $1.25 million Grade 1 stakes race.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens swept the top two spots in the 1-1/4-mile Grade 1 stakes for three-year-olds, with the more well-regarded Wicked Strong coming second and retuning $4.40 and $3.10.

''I wasn't absolutely sure it was V. E. Day because he had so much mud on him, until they got a little closer and I saw the silks and then I knew it was him,'' Jerkens said. ''I said, `Man, what a feeling. I know I'm going to win the Travers. I just don't know with who.'''

Bayern, trained by Bob Baffert, had nothing to give after winning the Haskell Invitational in his most recent start and ran out of steam approaching the quarter pole. Mr. Speaker, who won the Grade 1 Belmont Derby on the grass in July finished fifth. Tonalist paid $3.40 to show.

''I'm happy for Jimmy,'' Castellano said. ''He's a great horseman. He does such a good job.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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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.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, 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 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.

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Jerry Sessa Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.
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In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

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