What Is The Saratoga Travers Stakes? – Travers Day At Saratoga
Living in the Saratoga/Albany Area all of my life, I’ve often heard ‘local’ people comment that they really don’t know what the Travers Stakes is all about. Sure we all know traffic will be backed up, it’s the busiest day at the track, and downtown Saratoga will be bustling all week. But why is the race so special?
After a little research, I’d like to share some facts about the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. According to NYRA, The Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course is also known as “The Mid-Summer Derby,” the oldest stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds in the United States and the highlight of the Saratoga meeting. The race is named for the first president of Saratoga Race Course, Mr. William R. Travers, who won its inaugural running in 1864, with a horse called Kentucky.
The Travers was run at Belmont Park in 1943, 1944, and 1945. Not run in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1911, and 1912. Run at a mile and three quarters prior to 1890; a mile and a half in 1890, 1891, and 1892; a mile and a furlong in 1895, 1901, 1902, and 1903.
The 143rd Travers Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, August 25, 2012. According to NYRA, Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course will have a special first post time of 11:35 a.m. Gates open at 7 a.m. for the 143rd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Travers as the sport’s top 3-year-olds clash in one of the most historic stakes races in North America. The Travers Day undercard will include the Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop; the Grade 1 Test; and the Grade 2 Ballston Spa presented by Jose Cuervo. The Travers, Foxwoods King’s Bishop, Test and Ballston Spa will be shown live on NBC from 4 to 6 p.m.
By the way, next year, 2013, Saratoga Race Course will celebrate it’s 150th year of thoroughbred horse racing!
Watch the 2011 Travers Stakes Race