I know a number of people are disappointed that Hofburg got sick and can’t run, but this Travers field is exceptionally deep and competitive. It’s not that hard to make a case for the majority of the field, and as a bettor, I can easily see my top three picks completely missing the exacta.
The discussion has to start with Good Magic. It is well documented that I am a huge fan of this horse. But as I wrote in a previous post, my nagging thought is that he will be his most competitive at distances from a mile to 9 furlongs. Obviously any horse who ran second in the Kentucky Derby has to be given a shot to win at the Travers distance. But I am wondering if we will see Good Magic in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, or the Dirt Mile.
Still, Good Magic is my favorite horse currently in training, and as a fan, I’ll be rooting for him on Saturday. And as a bettor, I am going to give myself a chance to cash a ticket if he wins. No point in being stubborn. Besides, even if he is NOT at this best going this far, it’s not like any of the others are really that frightening. He might like shorter distances better but still win here.
I used Vino Rosso prominently in the Kentucky Derby, and it’s easy to make excuses for that loss and the two losses since. So I won’t talk anyone off of him, but I suspect I’ll be ripping up a lot of tickets if he wins.
Wonder Gadot is interesting. They passed on the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and the Alabama for this spot. She was Triple Crown nominated, so you can surmise her connections always thought about taking on the boys in America too. I don’t know that Johnny choosing Vino Rosso over Wonder Gadot is necessarily a sign he likes him better than her. It could be loyalty to Pletcher and Repole. Who knows?
Catholic Boy tries dirt again after two nice wins on grass. Don’t forget he won the Remsen.
I don’t plan to use either Tenfold or Bravazo in the Travers. Either could win, but the feeling here is that each would need some help. They just seem a mild notch below at this point.
Mendelssohn is probably where I am going to land. His Kentucky Derby was a total throw out. And I don’t suspect the Dwyer was their main goal. It looks like Coolmore is really determined to get him a Grade 1 dirt win in America, and while they haven’t excelled in this area in there past, we know Mendekssohn has the breeding to love dirt, even if you want to dismiss his UAE Derby win because of the rail.
It’s going to be a fun race to watch. So will the rest of the card. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.