Travers Day 2012 Selections

Tomorrow is the 143rd running of the Travers Stakes. With the defection of many of the higher-ranked three-year-olds in the country, a number of previous “B-List” three-year-olds will be attempting to make a name for themselves in the latter half of the season. Below are my picks for the entire card. As usual, I wrote out hypothetical wagers – $2 to win on a horse, a 3-horse exacta box, and a horse to play across the board for a mythical total of $14 per race.

Race One

$2 Win: #13 Brigand

$1 Exacta Box: #1 Half Nelson – #3 Dehere of the Cat – #13 Brigand

$2 W/P/S: #2 Sky Music

Race Two

$2 Win: #6 Honorable Dillon

$1 Exacta Box: #4 Delhomme – #6 Honorable Dillon – #8 Hot West

$2 W/P/S: #1 Make Your Move

Race Three

$2 Win: #5 Chuckle

$1 Exacta Box: #1 Soulsinging – #4 Saint Vigeur – #4 Chuckle

$2 W/P/S: $4 Saint Vigeur

Race Four

$2 Win: #11 Cinematize

$1 Exacta Box: #11 Cinematize – #13 Divadora – #14 Thetrainwasgone

$2 W/P/S: #14 Thetrainwasgone

Race Five

$2 Win: #9 Cajun Breeze

$1 Exacta Box: #9 Cajun Breeze – #10 Hon. De Leon – #13 Reload

$2 W/P/S: #11 Cribnote

Race Six

$2 Win: #2 Anita Chica

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Anita Chica – #8 Tap Twnety One – #10 Flash Forward

$2 W/P/S: #10 Flash Forward

Race Seven

$2 Win: #9 Gossip Column

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Sneaky Kitten – #6 Kharafa – #9 Gossip Column

$2 W/P/S: #5 Jet Set Cat

Race Eight

$2 Win: #8 Devon Rock

$1 Exacta Box: #4 Which Market – #8 Devon Rock – #12 Battle Hardened

$2 W/P/S: #12 Battle Hardened

Race Nine

$2 Win: #2 Zagora

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Zagora – #4 Hungry Island – #5 Summer Soiree

$2 W/P/S: #7 Ruthenia

Race Ten

$2 Win: #8 Contested

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Aubby K – #3 Book Review – #8 Contested

$2 W/P/S: #2 Aubby K

Race Eleven

$2 Win: #3 Currency Swap

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Gun Boat – #3 Currency Swap – #9 Trinniberg

$2 W/P/S: #7 Ever So Lucky

Race Twelve

$2 Win: #8 Neck ‘n Neck

$1 Exacta Box: #2 Five Sixteen – #8 Neck ‘n Neck – #10 Nonios

$2 W/P/S: #7 Atigun

 

This race is such a great betting race, but at the same time incredibly difficult to make solid picks in. Nonios and Neck ‘n Neck are my two top picks from a “most likely to win” standpoint. Nonios has posted back-to-back 102 speed figures, and I think he is the horse to beat. Neck ‘n Neck doesn’t appear to like an off track, yet still ran respectably behind Alpha’s snail-like pace in the Jim Dandy. He has plenty of form to go back to and is the best bet. I believe Alpha has a good chance but I am mildly skeptical of him and I think he will be a bet-against as the favorite. The two horses I am the most interested in are Five Sixteen and Atigun – I had a hard time deciding which horse to use across the board and honestly the only real bets I will be making on this race will be playing both of them W/P/S. Five Sixteen is steadily improving with every race, and with another step forward I believe he will be competitive. Atigun is a horse I was very high on in the Belmont Stakes and I believe he ran a superb race to finish third after spending 3/4 of the race fighting jockey Julien Leparoux. He made a bold move in that race and flattened out slightly at the end, which is to be expected considering the energy he wasted fighting his rider. In the Jim Dandy, he was again choked back by Leparoux while Alpha loped along on the lead, and ran a dull race throughout. With the jockey switch to Mike Smith and getting to run at 1 1/4, I believe Atigun will show marked improvement. Whether that puts him in the winner’s circle is undetermined, but I expect that we will see what the horse truly has to offer in this race. I think he is going to run the best race of his career – and he will need to in order to be competitive.

Race Thirteen

$2 Win: #12 Kris Royal

$1 Exacta Box: #5 Act of War – #7 Night Site – #12 Kris Royal

$2 W/P/S: #5 Act of War

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