FIELD OF TEN HEADING INTO $1 MILLION TRAVERS

BY WAY OF CLN, MAGGIE WOLFENDALE
(Eric Miller/The Saratogian)

Preakness winner Shackleford, Belmont winner Ruler On Ice, Jim Dandy winner Stay Thirsty and Haskell winner Coil were among the top choices when post positions were drawn and morning line odds established for the Grade 1, $1 million Travers.

All are considered top runners in the division, and a Travers victory added to any of their resumes would put him ahead of the class in what’s been a rollercoaster year.

“A race like this, if any of the top four horses win, he’s the leading 3-year-old,” said Mike Repole, who owns Stay Thirsty. “If any of them win this race they become the leader of the 3-year-old division, so this is the race. But the way things have been going this year, don’t be surprised if one of the other six horses win it.”

Jim Dandy winner Stay Thirsty was installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite by oddsmaker Jason Donovan. The colt drew post 9 under jockey Javier Castellano, who won his second Travers last year aboard Afleet Express. Stay Thirsty, a son of 2006 Travers winner Bernardini, has a well-known affinity for Saratoga. The colt broke his maiden here last summer and finished second in the Hopeful, and of course, won the local prep this year.

Stay Thirsty’s other top performances have all come in New York; he won the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct in March and finished second in the Belmont Stakes in June.

“He loves this place (Saratoga),” owner Mike Repole, a native New Yorker, said. “I think he loves it more than me and that’s hard to do. … I think he’s a lot like his owner, he just functions better in New York. When you go outside of New York, he just doesn’t do well.”

The second choice at 3-1 on the morning line is Haskell winner Coil, who drew post 7. This is the first Travers ride for jockey Martin Garcia.

The Travers will go off as the 12th race on a marathon 13-race card with a first post of 11:35 a.m. The race will be preceded, in order, by the Grade 2 Ballston Spa for fillies and mares on the turf; the Grade 3 Victory Ride for 3-year-old fillies sprinting; the Grade 1 Ballerina for female sprinters; and the Grade 1 King’s Bishop for 3-year-old sprinters. The King’s Bishop — featuring the return of Eclipse champion Uncle Mo — and Travers will be broadcast nationally on NBC from 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern.

PP HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY ODDS

1 Bowman’s Causeway Chad Brown Ramon Dominguez 12-1
2 Rattlesnake Bridge Kiaran McLaughlin John Velazquez 8-1

3 Moonshine Mullin Reade Baker Emma-Jayne Wilson 20-1

4 Ruler On Ice Kelly Breen Jose Valdivia 6-1

5 Malibu Glow George Weaver Rajiv Maragh 20-1

6 Raison d’Etat Bill Mott Eddie Castro 10-1

7 Coil Bob Baffert Martin Garcia 3-1

8 J W Blue Tony Dutrow Cornelio Velasquez 20-1

9 Stay Thirsty Todd Pletcher Javier Castellano 5-2

10 Shackleford Dale Romans Jesus Castanon 9-2