Graded Stakes Preview – Saturday Travers Day, August, 26, 2017

Graded Stakes Preview / BetPTC.com / Ed Meyer

TRAVERS DAY 2017

Saratoga

Race #6 – The G1 Personal Ensign – 1 1/8 – 2:23 pm ET

BetPTC.com Selections – #2 – Songbird / #3 – Going for Broke / #4 – Forever Unbridled

#2 – Songbird = Daughter of Medaglia d’ Oro is 2/2 at the Spa and an impressive 14/14 ITM. Mike Smith aboard for Jerry Hollendorfer and she is making her 3rd start off the layoff (22%) and left California off a very sharp work going 47.1. She cuts back in distance and is 2/2 ITM going 9f. Smith travels in to ride this majestic gal and she can set the pace or lay right behind the leader. If she brings her “A” game she’ll be tough to stop. #3 – Going for Broke = This daughter of Blame is a stone cold closer with one of the strongest finishing riders with Irad Ortiz. She is 3/3 ITM at Saratoga coming from the Chad Brown barn. She’s run second to Songbird and knows how to get rolling late in the lane. The barn wins (32%) going from a sprint to a route, and last out she ran 7f closing late. #4 – Forever Unbridled = She exits a G2 win at CD and is 5/5 ITM going this distance. She’s been away for 2 months from the races and owns a bullet work coming into this affair as she was a 3rd place runner last year.

Race #7 – G1 Ballerina Stakes – 7f – 2:59 pm ET

BetPTC.com Selections – #3 – Paulassilverlining / #4 – By the Moon / #6 – Distinta

#3 – Paulassilverlining = This daughter of Ghostzapper is looking for her 5th straight. She is 3/5 ITM at the Spa and 5/6 ITM going the distance. This is her 2nd off the layoff where Brown wins (22%) and (27%) off the last race win. She has a perfect stalking style and Jose Ortiz is having a super year (23%). She is maturing nicely and has the style that fits the race. #4 – By the Moon = She is a daughter of Indian Charlie and has the services of Rajiv Maragh. He is a very strong finishing rider and her stalking trip can be accentuated with a good late punch. She is 5/5 ITM at Saratoga and has some good works and an excellent sprint race to build upon. #6 – Distinta = John Velasquez in the irons for Todd Pletcher (33%) and she comes in from GP. Her races have been solid but she’ll be making a step up the class ladder.

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Race #8 – The G1 Allen Jerkins Stakes – 7f – 3:35 pm ET

BetPTC.com Selections – #7 – Coal Front / #9 – American Anthem / #1 – Practical Joke

#7 – Coal Front = Son of Stay Thirsty is a perfect 3/3 and looks to add another for the Todd Pletcher barn. He moved up in class off a maiden win in the G2 Amsterdam and was very game when the real running began. Lightly raced and has few things to pick apart. He’s pretty good right now, and we’ll know if he’s ready for that next level after Saturday. #9 – American Anthem = Bob Baffert trainee has been a tough customer and he is 2/2 at the distance. Ever since the SA Derby, he has matured into a very nice colt. He’s rolled off 2 straight going 7f and Mike Smith is his pilot. Baffert is 2/2 ITM at the Spa and wins (29%) off a graded win. #1 – Practical Joke = 2/2 with wins at the Spa and had a troubled trip in the Haskell. Joel Rosario for Chad Brown and they make a cut back in distance from 1 1/8 – 7f where the barn wins (35%). Ever since the Kentucky Derby, he is training well and running strong. The rail is a plus and the trainer knows how to bring them ready.

Race #9 – The G1 Forego – 7f – 4:12 pm ET

BetPTC.com Selections – #10 – Drefong / #6 – Mind Your Biscuits / #2 – Ross

#10 – Drefong = A son of Gio Ponti comes to post for the Bob Baffert barn. Mike “Money-Man” Smith was in the saddle when he ducked into the gap and lost his rider. This is his 2nd start of the 2017 season and the plan looks to return to the left coast for the Breeders’ Cup with a win. He is a monster sprinter and won going 7 panels in the Kings Bishop at the Spa. Smith is a great judge of pace and he looks to be the one to beat as they come back to notch a trip to the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. #6 – Mind Your Biscuits = He came back off a win in the Gr.2 Golden Shaheen at Meydan and rolled in the G2 Belmont Sprint. He is maturing into a big boy and his races are showing a new dimension every trip. He’s been off for 49 days and Chad Brown will have him cranked up as he is ITM (50%) with rested runners. #2 – Ross = A bit of a wild card who is here for a reason. Andrasch Starke aboard for trainer Peter Schiergen from Germany. He exits off a 6 1/2f win at Deauville only 19 days ago and has run in group company on synthetic and turf. I’m going to use him to complete my exotics, and a price may accompany him to the starting gate.

Race #10 – G1 Sword Dancer – 1 1/2 on the turf – 4:49 pm ET

BetPTC.com Selections – #5 – Money Multiplier / #4 – Hunter O’Riley / #2 – Bigger Picture

#5 – Money Multiplier = Javier Castellano for Chad Brown (20%). This son of Lookin At Lucky is making his 2nd start of the year and a very nice win in the G2 Monmouth. He enjoys the Spa going 3/3 ITM and last year got caught up in traffic and was forced to take up in this race last year. He should be stalking mid-pack and moving before they hit the top of the lane. #4 – Hunter O’Riley = Won the G2 Bowling Green as our pick last out to light up the board. I think there’s more in the tank and he’ll come rolling like a down bound train in the stretch. Florent Geroux stays aboard and is a come from the clouds type who would benefit from some early pace. #2 – Bigger Picture = Jose Ortiz for Mike Maker and they are making a 3rd off the layoff move (25%). He is 2/3 ITM at the Spa and is a very strong closer. Ortiz is having a great year and he wins (21%) with turf runners. They have a solid post draw and the rider knows the greensward as well as anyone.

Race #11 – The G1 Travers – 1 1/4 – 5:44 pm ET

BetPTC.com Selections – #2 – Tapwrit / #3 – West Coast / #9 – McCraken

#2 – Tapwrit = Earlier this year he peaked too soon and his best race was the Tampa Bay Derby. He never really got a break until he went on the shelf after the Derby and had three weeks to the Belmont where he bested the field by two lengths. Once Todd Pletcher figured out this son of Tapit, he’s had a two-month break from his victory in the Belmont. He owns some solid works and the rider/trainer are 6/7 ITM the past two weeks. He looks ready and all reports are good. #3 – West Coast = Baffert / Smith team up with a son of Flatter. He is looking for his 4th straight win and was an easy winner of the Los Al Derby. They never raced him as a two -yr-old and he is getting better by the race. You can bet dollars to donuts Smith will have him in the hunt at the top of the lane. #9 – McCraken = He looked like a winner in the G1 Haskell getting nailed on the wire. His only bad race was the Derby and he is 7/8 ITM lifetime. – B.J. Hernandez in the irons once again for Ian Wilkes and do not leave this guy off your ticket. He’ll chase the leaders and make a big move about the 5/16th’s pole hitting high gear. I like his stride, and the rider is underrated. He’ll be looking for some payback after the Haskell and this is a perfect place to show his ability.

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