The biggest racing event of the summer is almost here: the Travers Stakes! If you’re new to horse racing and betting, you may be unfamiliar with the Travers — it’s less publicized in the mainstream media than the Triple Crown — but the Saratoga race draws thousands of spectators and bettors each year to watch young racers at their best.
What is the Travers Stakes?
The Travers Stakes was first run in 1864, making it the oldest stakes race for its class. The race is named after the former president of the old Saratoga Racing Association, William R. Travers, whose horse, Kentucky, won the very first running of the Travers.
Since its inception, the Travers has been a prestigious event for three-year-old horses looking to make their mark on racing history.
When is the Travers Stakes?
The Travers Stakes is held each summer annually. The 153rd Travers Stakes is set to run on Saturday, August 27th, 2022.
Where is the Travers Stakes run?
The Travers Stakes is run at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. The race is nicknamed Saratoga’s Midsummer Derby, drawing more than 40,000 spectators to the course each year.
What horses are entered in the Travers Stakes?
The Travers Stakes is limited to 3-year-old Thoroughbreds of any sex — it’s the third-ranked race for American three-year-olds behind the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. The Travers Stakes is a popular stop for Triple Crown contenders, boasting some of the biggest names in Thoroughbred racing among its past competitors, including the legendary Man o’ War and 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
How long is the Travers Stakes?
While initially a one-mile-long race, the distance of the Travers Stakes was extended to 1 ¼ mile (10 furlongs) in 1904 and has since remained unchanged.
Travers Stakes Traditions
Leading up to the day of the Travers, Saratoga Springs usually hosts the Travers Festival, featuring several celebrations and special events, including wine and beer tastings, arts and crafts shows, cocktail parties, and live music, with many of the events benefitting local charities.
The winner of each year’s Travers Stakes is recognized with several traditions, including the presentation of the Man O’ War Cup. The trophy was designed by Tiffany & Co. and was awarded to Man O’ War in 1920. Owner Samuel Riddle donated the cup in 1936 to honor the Stakes winners, whose names are inscribed on the cup.
Today, a gold-plated replica is presented to each year’s winners by a member of the Riddle family, along with a handmade blanket of more than a thousand carnations. Since 1961, Travers winners have had their silks colors painted onto the Travers Canoe, located in the infield pond.
Betting on the Travers Stakes
Like any major Thoroughbred race, the Travers is a popular destination for racing enthusiasts and casual bettors alike. If you’re looking to wager on the Travers this year, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the competitors, their histories and their teams.
Green Sheet Racing is here to help with tip sheets that have been trusted since 1947. Learn more by exploring our available sheets and prepare to become a better bettor today.