Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:49 AM
2020 Travers Stakes Picks, Predictions, and Odds
Betting Resources and Picks
- Date: Saturday, August 8
- Post-Time: 6:15 p.m. ET
- TV Coverage: FOX
- Race: 11
- Distance-Length: Dirt, 1 1/4 Miles
- Qualification: Three-year-olds
- Track: Saratoga Race Course
- Location: Saratoga Springs, New York
1 – First Line (30/1)
Broke his maiden just nine days ago for a barn that is winning races in bunches. Still, this is a big ask. Not for me.
2 – Country Grammer (6/1)
Has won both starts going nine furlongs and appears to be one of the few in here who’ll appreciate the added distance. Gutsy move along the inside under leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. got him the money most recently in the Peter Pan on opening day at Saratoga. Has an inside draw, plenty of speed to set things up and is training nicely for this heat. If someone stops the favorite, I think it’ll be him
3 – Uncle Chuck (5-2)
Will try to give Baffert his fourth Travers win while making just the third start of his career that began less than two months ago. Toyed with recent Shared Belief winner, his stablemate Thousand Words in Los Al Derby last out. Baffert ran him a mile in his debut, an unusual move for him but one that was needed because he felt this guy would be vulnerable in a sprint and would love more ground. So far, he’s been spot on. But this is a big ask. I’m going to try and get him out of the number which may prove to be an even bigger ask.
4 – Max Player (6/1)
Closed nicely and made up some ground when third in the Belmont, his first start in 139 days!!! Prior three efforts, including a win in the Withers, all came around two turns and he gets back to that here. Rosario is having a magnificent meet and got to know him last out. Using him in my exotics.
5 – Shivaree (30/1)
Ships in after setting pace and calling it a day early when he beat just two home in the Blue Grass. Winless in all his starts beyond seven furlongs.
6 – Tiz the Law (1/1)
Impressive winner of the Belmont Stakes comes into this with a sparkling worktab and returns to the scene of his eye-opening debut tally. He figures to sit off a spirited early pace, has a nice outside draw and should relish the added distance. His biggest knock is that he hasn’t gotten faster but I don’t think his trainer has had him primed for his best. He does know as the distances get longer and the water gets deeper. It’s his race to lose. I don’t think he will. The pick.
7 – Caracaro (10/1)
Made the lead in deep stretch in the peter Pan, his first start in over six months and only one around two turns. Some will say the ground saved by Country Grammar beat this guy. I think the better horse won. He’ll be useful down the road but I can see him regressing in a big way here and don’t think the added panel does him any favors.
8 – South Bend (15/1)
Makes his first start for Mott off a private purchase after just missing in the Ohio Derby last out. Was misidentified as a turf horse fir the better part of the year as all three of his wins have come on dirt. It’s worth noting that he’s winless in eight starts since starting his career with a hat trick but I think he’ll enjoy the added ground and could spice up the gimmicks at a price.