2018 Travers Stakes Odds & Predictions
Race 9 – Grade 1 Forego Stakes, $600,000
7 furlongs-Dirt9/5 on the morning line City of Light looks like a play against because he’s going from 1 ¼ miles to this 7-furlong distance. City of Light is a quality horse. He finished third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup in his last. I’m not sure the change in distance will help him. The other favorite, Limousine Liberal, gets the rail. I don’t think he makes a trip from there. The horse I like is No Dozing at 12/1. No Dozing won a deep $80,000 optional claimer over the Saratoga dirt in his last. He likes the track and he should get a nice pace setup. City of Light will try and go immediately to the lead. The change in distance could stop him from getting the lead. He should still be in the top flight. He should be the horse No Dozing runs down in the stretch. Limousine Liberal has 5 wins from 10 races at this 7-furlong distance. He’ll be close enough to make a run, but like I wrote above, making a trip from post-position 1 is tough.
- First: No Dozing
- Second: City of Light
- Third: Limousine Liberal
Race 10 – Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes, $600,000
1 ½ miles-Inner Track TurfLike is often the case in these 1 ½ mile turf races, the Sword Dancer lacks front running speed. Funtastic, 9/2 on the morning line, should take the lead under Jose Ortiz and go gate to wire. Funtastic has won his last 2 races. One of the wins was the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap. He’ll be long gone shortly after they break from the gate. Hi Happy went off the favorite in the Grade 2 Bowling Green. He failed to menace simply because was the race was on soft going. With likely firm turf on Saturday, he should challenge Funtastic, but my guess is he ends up second behind the Chad Brown trainee. At 30/1, Seahenge could finish third in this. Aidan O’Brien tried the son of Scat Daddy on dirt in both the Pat Day Mile and Dwyer. He’s got 2 wins from 5 races over the turf. He also finished third in a Grade 1 over the turf at Newmarket last year. The surface change could help Seahenge blow up the exotics. He might be a worth a few bucks on top of Hi Happy and Funtastic.
- First: Funtastic
- Second: Hi Happy
- Third: Seahenge
Race 10 – Grade 2 Jim Dandy, $600,000
1 1/8 miles-DirtI was all set to bet on Wonder Gadot, but then I looked at Gronkowski’s past performances. The horse named after the best tight-end in the NFL has a fantastic 4 wins and 2 second place finishes from 7 lifetime starts. He was the only horse that made a move to catch Justify in the Belmont Stakes. He’s won races at a mile. A mile and an eighth should be no problem. If jockey Joel Rosario times his move perfectly, Gronkowski should run by his competition as if they’re standing still. Wonder Gadot will get the jump on Gronkowski, though. For that, she deserves respect. The Queen’s Plate winner has won two races in a row since trainer Mark Casse added blinkers. She’s been training beautifully over Saratoga’s dirt. The filly could easily beat the fellas in this. I’ll most likely box her with Gronkowski. Good Magic might bounce off his career effort in the Haskell, which leads me to Tenfold finishing third. The Steve Asmussen trainee bore out in the Jim Dandy after seeing Saratoga’s infield screen. He righted himself a few yards before the wire. If the screen doesn’t freak out Tenfold on Saturday, he could win.
- First: Gronkowski
- Second: Wonder Gadot
- Third: Tenfold