The best three-year-old race of the summer is coming up on Saturday, August 28 at Saratoga: the Grade 1 Travers Stakes! The one and one-quarter mile dirt race has been a fixture of summer horse racing betting since 1860, and this year’s edition offers runners a $1,250,000 purse and a place in racing history.
Winners of the Travers Stakes over the years have included all-time greats like Ruthless, Man O’ War, Whirlaway, Damascus, and Easy Goer. The 2021 edition of the Travers has drawn a field of seven. Though the field is small, it features several of the most important three-year-olds of the year, headlined by Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality.
2021 Travers Stakes Field
These are the official entrants for the 2021 Travers Stakes, along with their post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:
- Midnight Bourbon (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana, Jr.) – 9-2
- Essential Quality (Brad Cox/Luis Saez) – 4-5
- Keepmeinmind (Robertino Diodoro/Joel Rosario) – 6-1
- Dynamic One (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) – 6-1
- Miles D (Chad Brown/Flavien Prat) – 12-1
- Masqueparade (Albert Stall, Jr./Miguel Mena) – 8-1
- King Fury (Kenneth McPeek/Jose Ortiz) – 15-1
These are the morning line odds, though you are not guaranteed to get these odds in the pools to come race day. Your best chance for the best odds on the Travers Stakes will come if you make an account with one or more of the top online sportsbooks, check the odds as the race draws closer, and place your bets when you are getting an overlay on your chosen horse.
How to Bet the Travers Stakes Online
Though Saratoga’s doors are open again this year, after being closed to fans in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, we cannot all make it to the Spa for a trip. Fortunately, you can get the best odds on the Travers Stakes from anywhere! Betting the race online from the comfort of home will give you an exciting and profitable experience.
Choosing the right online betting site can be difficult since there are so many out there. Our betting experts have done the hard work, testing and vetting the best online sportsbooks. Our reviews offer clear information about which sites offer the most trusted deposit and cash-out options, the best odds and bonuses, and the best wagering features.
Playing the races at the right racebook helps you enjoy the most fun and profitable Travers Stakes betting experience, so sign up today.
Travers Stakes Contenders and Longshots
#2 Essential Quality will almost certainly be odds-on in the Travers. The Belmont winner and two-year-old champion has never done anything wrong on the track. He beat a short but good field in the Jim Dandy last time out, proving he could run well at the Spa, and showing that he was as game as ever when he held Keepmeinmind at bay.
Essential Quality is a top-class horse, consistent as can be, and able to win in either a romp or a fight. He showed during the Triple Crown season that he can get this distance, and also proved in the Southwest that he can win over a wet track. That skill may come in handy, as rain is likely Saturday.
#1 Midnight Bourbon is the most interesting alternative to Essential Quality. Drawn on the rail, Midnight Bourbon will likely send to the front like he did in the Lecomte, the last time he drew the inside. Without anyone likely to put a lot of pressure on him early, he could get a very cozy trip up front.
If anyone challenges Midnight Bourbon up front at all, it would be #6 Masqueparade. Though he doesn’t tend to go straight to the front, he does tend to stalk in range and make an early move, including when he won the Ohio Derby (G3) two starts back.
Though he could get a good trip, he will have to move forward to turn the tables on Essential Quality. He will also have to prove that he can run as well without Lasix as he has with it.
#3 Keepmeinmind and #4 Dynamic One have both recently run good races at the Spa. Keepmeinmind rallied for a close second behind Essential Quality in the Jim Dandy last time out. Dynamic One faced a bit easier company in the Curlin Stakes, but won comfortably over a wet track.
That victory over the wet track at Saratoga is a good thing to see on Dynamic One’s resume, since rain is so likely for Saturday afternoon. He has proven he can run his race and make his rally over wet dirt there, making Dynamic One likely to get involved down the lane.
There are two others in the Travers, both longshots by top-quality stamina sire Curlin.
#5 Miles D, trained by Chad Brown, is the less experienced of the two. He made his stakes debut in the restricted Curlin Stakes last out, running second to Dynamic One that day. He is bred very well for the step up in trip, and also has a good slop pedigree, though he lacks experience compared to his foes, and may be overbet because of his trainer.
#7 King Fury returns to dirt after attempting grass in the Saratoga Derby (G1). He ran poorly in the Saratoga Derby, but his recent dirt starts have been strong. The rain in the forecast also bodes well for him, since he came roaring home to win over an off-track in the Lexington (G3) earlier this year.
Travers Stakes Best Bets
These are free expert picks for the 2021 Travers Stakes:
- $20 Win: #1 Midnight Bourbon
- $5 Exacta Key: #2 Essential Quality with #1 Midnight Bourbon and #4 Dynamic One
- $1 Trifecta Key: #2 Essential Quality with #1 Midnight Bourbon, #4 Dynamic One, and #7 King Fury