Submitted by John Piesen on Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 4:29 PM
TRAVERS, FOREGO AND KING'S BISHOP ARE STACKED, AND THAT MEANS STACKS OF BOXCAR PAYOFF POTENTIAL
Cashing In On Travers Day Stakes Races
If you are a living breathing thoroughbred horse bettor then you are fully aware that not only does this Saturday's Grade I Travers Stakes feature the largest sized field (14 entered runners) in over 40 years but there is absolutely no link to foregone conclusion favorite.
That alone of the 7 Graded Stakes that comprise the BEST RACE DAY since the Belmont Stakes card on June 11th and until the Breeders' Cup the first Friday and Saturday in November at Santa Anita would be enough to get serious bettors on alert.
However, along with the Grade I Travers Stakes the NYRA has assembled 6 additional Graded Stakes.
Race 6 - Grade I Personal Ensign Stakes
Race 7 - Grade I Ballerina Stakes
Race 8 - Grade I King's Bishop Stakes
Race 9 - Grade I Forego Stakes
Race 10 - Grade I Sword Dancer Stakes
Race 11 - Grade I Travers Stakes
Race 12 - Grade II Ballston Spa Stakes
I will go on the record right now that in all my close to 40 years covering Saratoga, whether with the Daily Racing Form, as lead handicapper for the New York Post or as a Public Handicapper for some of the most successful big time bettors in the nation and hopefully you, I have never seen as many big time horses competing in big time races on Travers Day...never!
In addition, I have never felt so confident that the Winners, Exactas, Trifectas, Rolling Daily Doubles, Rolling Pick 3's and Guaranteed $1 Million Payout Pick 4 (Races 8-11) are going to provide lottery-like returns...and that I HAVE THE HORSES TO GET THOSE RETURNS.
Let's just take a look at the Grade I King's Bishop (a field of 13), the Grade I Forego (a field of 12) and the Travers (a field of 14) in order to get an idea of how many handicapping angles must be covered and why there is not a clear cut favorite in any of these races.
KING'S BISHOP FEATURES 8 LAST OUT WINNERS, 5 GRADED STAKES RACE WINNERS AND MOHAYMEN IS 5-1 ON THE MORNING LINE
On Saturday 13 three-year olds will line up to travel 7 furlongs in the Grade I King's Bishop Stakes, race 8 on the card and the third of seven straight stakes I will release as part of my TRAVERS DAY LUCKY SEVEN winning promotion...(check out the details here.)
This race is so competitive that 4 time Grade II winner MOHAYMEN is listed at 5-1 on the morning line and the favorite is the Bob Baffert shipper DEFRONG at 4-1.
The expectation for spread out pools is further reflected in the morning line as four more are listed at between 6-1 and 8-1 and last out Grade II Woody Stephens Stakes (on the Belmont Stakes undercard) winner TOM'S READY, who was clocked in 1:21 1/5 for the same 7 furlongs he will race today is listed at 12-1. He might not go off at that price but he will be a price and should have plenty of speed to run down again as he did on Belmont day.
The ML favorite DEFRONG has won his last three races, his MSW tally and first and second level allowances by a combined 18 ¼ lengths at Del Mar and Santa Anita and Baffert says he's ready for his initial Graded Stakes try. Can he battle on the lead from his outside post?
DEFRONG should have company from Woodbine shipper and last out Bold Venture Stakes winner NOHOLDINGBACKBEAR. Also in the early mix figures another fast but step-up Baffert runner, JAZZY TIMES. From the inside comes the lightly raced SUMMER REVOLUTION, a Rudy Rodriguez trainee who has won both his debit and a 7 furlong allowance by daylight here three Saturdays ago.
Right off those front runners will be FISH TRAPPE ROAD and ECONOMIC MODEL who leave from posts two and one respectively and finished first and second respectively in the Grade III Dwyer in their final prep. Will either or both get good enough position from the rail? I have the answer.
Also figuring to be just off the pace early is BIRD SONG, a winner of his last two at 6 furlongs from close up. Will he improve enough to outrun his Longshot Odds?
Those early runners only scratch the surface of what needs to be plotted because what do you do with MOHAYMEN? The multiple Graded Stakes winner won the first 5 races of his career, including the Grade II Fountain Of Youth at 8 ½ furlongs. In his last three he tracked the pace and finished fourth in the Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby and Jim Dandy. So now, after the Jim Dandy and a pair of sharp half mile drills, including a best of 75 bullet 8 days ago, might MOHAYMEN turn out to be the best 5-1 bet of the summer? I'll let you know.
I mentioned that this race can only pay out big time no matter how the results pair up and a prime example of that is tracking type TALE OF S'AVALL, who is listed at 30-1 on the ML yet comes off the one turn mile Dwyer at Belmont in which he was beaten just 1½ lengths total when third behind FISH TRAPPE ROAD and ECONOMIC MODEL. Will he move forward?
Under normal circumstances that would be enough depth, but I also have a handle on three longshot closers who might or might not be up to the task after showing promise recently.
STAR HILL (20-1) has run in 5 straight Graded Stakes and has finished third in 4 of them, including close up in the Pat Day Mile Kentucky Derby Day, third in the TOM'S READY, FISH TRAPPE ROAD Woody Stephens and third in the Grade III Indiana Derby behind the well-regarded Cupid.
MIND YOUR BISCUITS (15-1) was most impressive in winning the Grade II Amsterdam Stakes when he caught the pace-setters and pressers in the 6 ½ furlong dash here 4 weeks ago.
I have even taken a long look at RATED R SUPERSTAR (20-1) who has won his last two, including the Carry Back Stakes at the distance when he rallied from off the pace and turned in a 103 BRIS number from off the pace, a last out number only surpassed by SUMMER REVOLUTION'S 104.
FOREGO AND TRAVERS STAKES ARE NO DIFFERENT...SOLID CONTENTION TOP TO BOTTOM
You can see why I say I expect to CASH BIG PAYOUTS in the King's Bishop. There is no reason to expect anything different in the Grade I Forego. Like the King's Bishop it will be run at 7 furlongs on the main track, the only difference being it is for 3-year old and up competitors and 12 runners between the ages of 4 and 6 have signed on.
Like the King's Bishop the Forego has a contingent of every type of runner with three projected pace setters, five stalkers/trackers and four closers. The race definitely goes through 5-2 ML pace setter A.P. INDIAN, a winner of three straight. That being said, A.P. INDIAN was able to establish the pace in fields of 8, 6 and 5 runners in those engagements and I promise you with 12 runners signed on and the favorite leaving from post 11 the dynamics are much different, which I'm counting on.
By the time we reach the Travers Stakes we'll have zeroed in on a number of high pay win bets, exotics and horizontal wagers.
There is only one thing I need to tell you about the Travers.
In 2015 10 horses raced and Keen Ice ($34.00) WON and even with 3-10 American Pharoah second the Exacta returned $66.00 and the Trifecta $180.00
In 2014 10 horses raced and V.E. Day ($41.00) WON and the Exacta paid $167.50 and the Trifecta $535.00
In 2013 9 horses ran and Will Take Charge ($21.20) WON to top a $313.00 Exacta and $1,950.00 Trifecta
In 2012 11 horses ran and Golden Ticket ($26.40) and Alpha ($4.10) Dead-Heated for the WIN that resulted in $230.00 and $135.50 Exactas plus $5,275.00 and $2,696.00 Trifectas.
On Saturday I have 14 horses to arrange in a COMBINATION of Win Bets and Exotics. You don't need much imagination to see the possibilities.
Join me for my BIGGEST SARATOGA DAY IN YEARS as we take all the profit from my TRAVERS DAY LUCKY SEVEN!
By John Piesen