User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

V.E. Day tops Wicked Strong in 145th Travers

New 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) - Hidden in the shadow of his more heralded stablemate, V. E. Day burst into the spotlight with a thrilling nose victory over Wicked Strong in the Grade 1 $1.25 million Travers Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

The come-from-behind triumph made a double winner out of trainer Jimmy Jerkens. He became the first to saddle the first two finishers in the Mid-Summer Derby since Hall of Famer Nick Zito in 2004.

''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. 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.'''

A son of turf champion English Channel owned by Magalen Bryant, V. E. Day ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.93 and returned $41, $13.20 and $7.30 as the 19-1 sixth choice in a field of 10 3-year-olds. Wicked Strong, co-second choice at 5-2, paid $4.40 and $3.10.

The win payoff was the fourth-largest in Travers history and biggest since Crewman paid $41.90 in 1963.

Unlike Wicked Strong, winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and Grade 2 Jim Dandy and fourth in both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, V. E. Day was untested in graded stakes competition, having captured the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga for his third straight win.

He settled in mid-pack while the Grade 1-winning speedster Bayern led through a quarter-mile in 23.74 seconds, a half-mile in 47.31 and six furlongs in 1:11.27 before tiring.

Wicked Strong, who had tracked the leaders on the outside, took command at the top of the stretch but couldn't shake V. E. Day, gaining steadily under a sustained drive by Castellano, riding for the first time.

''I was very satisfied the way my horse did it today,'' Castellano said. ''In the Curlin, he came from way back. I learned a lot watching that race. I just took my time. I had a lot of patience, and it paid off today.''

Castellano tied Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Arcaro, Braulio Baeza, Pat Day and Jimmy McLaughlin as the only riders to win four Travers. Castellano and Jerkens also teamed up to win in 2010 with Afleet Express, whose victory was the last time a horse had won the Travers by a nose.

''I'm very fortunate to ride a lot of good horses. I'm very blessed to win four Travers,'' Castellano said. ''I'm happy for Jimmy. He's a great horseman. He does such a good job.''

Wicked Strong was 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist in third, followed by Kid Cruz, Mr Speaker, Viva Majorca, Charge Now, Ulanbator, Commanding Curve and Bayern, the 2-1 favorite trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.

''We were hoping to steal it, but the secret was out,'' Baffert said. ''He broke well and was in a good position, but when he turned for home he was out of horse.''

On the undercard, The Big Beast captured the Grade 1 $500,000 Ketel One King's Bishop, Artemis Agrotera won the Grade 1 $500,000 Ballerina, and Abaco took the Grade 2 $250,000 Ballston Spa.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

News: Updated Breeders' Cup Odds
Wild Dude rallies to win Santa Anita Sprint
Tonalist repeats in Jockey Club Gold Cup
American Pharoah works at Santa Anita
King of Jazz wins Santa Anita feature
Giantinthemoonlite wins Belmont feature
Persnickity wins Belmont feature
Breeders' Cup highlights at Keeneland
Julie D wins Belmont feature
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 success 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 Belmont and Churchill Downs 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! Gold Membership
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.
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.

Jerry is always 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 Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, and Santa Anita or choose a package that contains selections from Multiple Tracks for the LOW PRICE of $19.95! 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!
VI Gold Membership