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Man o' War Cup

The 'Man o' War Cup is the solid gold trophy that is given to the winner of the Travers Stakes, held at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga, New York, affectionately called the "Mid-Summer Derby." Winners of the Travers, the oldest grade one stakes race run in the United States, receive the Man o’ War Cup, named after the 1920 winner of the Stakes race, the great Man o' War, who went on to defeat the famed Sir Barton, the first winner of the American Triple Crown.

File:Travers Trophy.jpg
The "Man o' War Trophy" is presented to the winner of the Travers Stakes

Saratoga Race Course has several longstanding traditions witnessed by the Saratoga raceway fans that include the yearly passing down of the Man O’ War Cup. This trophy is better known as the "Travers Trophy " and is presented after the annual renewal of the signature race of the summer meet at America's oldest race course. The first cup was designed by Tiffany and Co. and donated by the wife of the owner of Man o’ War Samuel Riddle, each year a gold trophy is presented by a member of the Riddle family and either the Governor or Lt. Governor of the State of New York.[1] A replica is made each year, that gold-plated smaller version of the permanent trophy is given for permanent possession to the owners of the winning horse.

Another unique fixture of any Travers Stakes is the canoe that sits in an infield lake at Saratoga Race Course. Every year, the colors of the winner of the Travers Stakes are painted on the canoe as lasting semblance for the winner and stays there through out the year until a new winner is crowned. Winning jockeys are also immortalized with a lawn Jockey statue custom-painted in the silk colors of the winning owner to be displayed at the race course entrance for the next year. Lawn Jockey statues are said to bring good luck to all but especially the winning jockey for that next year's mounts. Another tradition of the "Mid-summer Derby" is a blanket of red and white carnations that is draped over the whithers of the winner. That blanket is red in color outlined with a fringe of white carnation and a large "T" also in white.


  1. New York Racing Association, website.


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