The 150th edition of the Travers Stakes, the Midsummer Derby for three-year-olds, will be run at Saratoga Race Course this Saturday. The Travers trophy has legendary origins of its own, as I discussed here, but 2019 features something new for racing fans: an epic book on the history of the Travers Stakes, written by Brien Bouyea and Michael Veitch.
Bouyea, communications director at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and Veitch, a longtime writer for the Saratogian, chronicle each Travers, dating all the way back to its first edition in 1864. Named for William Travers, the first president of Saratoga Race Course, the race has become one of the most prestigious races for three-year-olds in North America, the perfect destination for any top-name contender in the second half of the year. This book is not only essential for any fan of horse racing, but it is also one of the best references ever produced. If these two gentlemen could turn their attention to the Triple Crown races next, I can guarantee that you would want to have all of these books on your shelf. This Travers book is gorgeous, hardbound and printed with high-quality paper, highlighted by Greg Montgomery’s wonderful artwork.
The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race is $65 (including shipping). You can order from the link or, if you’re in the Saratoga Springs area, you can purchase the book at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame or any of their upcoming events.
The field for this year’s Travers includes my picks Tacitus and Code of Honor.
- Owendale – Florent Geroux – Brad Cox – 6-1
- Code of Honor – John Velazquez – Shug McGaughey – 4-1
- Highest Honors – Luis Saez- Chad Brown – 10-1
- Laughing Fox – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – Steve Asmussen – 30-1
- Everfast – Martin Chuan – Dale Romans – 30-1
- Tacitus – Jose Ortiz – Bill Mott – 5-2
- Mucho Gusto – Joe Talamo – Bob Baffert – 6-1
- Chess Chief – Mike Smith – Dallas Stewart – 30-1
- Looking at Bikinis – Javier Castellano – Chad Brown – 10-1
- Scars Are Cool – Tyler Gaffalione – Stanley Hough – 30-1
- Endorsed – Joel Rosario – Kiaran McLaughlin – 15-1
- Tax – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Danny Gargan – 6-1
Catch the race Saturday on Fox (5 – 6 pm Eastern). Fox Sports 2 will broadcast the Travers undercard from 11:30 am to 5 pm Eastern.
Now, in celebration of this Saturday’s 150th Travers Stakes, here is the greatest Travers ever.