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Travers Stakes

Grade 1 race
Travers Stakes
Travers Stakes logo
Location Saratoga Race Course
Saratoga Springs, N.Y., USA
Inaugurated 1864
Race type Thoroughbred
Website Saratoga Race Course
Race information
Distance 1¼ miles (10 Furlongs)
Track Dirt, Left-handed
Qualification 3-year-old American-bred
Weight Colt/Gelding: 126 lb (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lb (54.9 kg)
Purse US$1 million

The Travers Stakes is an American Grade I Thoroughbred horse race held at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. First held in 1864, it was named for William R. Travers, the president of the old Saratoga Racing Association. His horse, Kentucky, won the first running of the Travers. The race was not run in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1911, and 1912.

The field for the Travers is limited to three-year-olds, Colts and geldings carrying 126 pounds (57 kg) and fillies carrying 123 pounds (56 kg) and since 1999 the purse has been $1,000,000. The race is the highlight of the summer race meeting at Saratoga, just as the Belmont Stakes is the highlight of the spring meeting at Belmont Park.

The Travers has been run at four different distances:

  • 1 3/4 miles (2.81 km): 1864 to 1889
  • 1 1/2 miles (2.41 km): 1890 to 1892
  • 1 1/4 miles (2.01 km): 1893, 1894, 1897 and 1904 to present
  • 1 1/8 miles (1.81 km): 1895 and 1901 to 1903


Notable moments

In 1962, arguably the greatest Travers in history took place. Jaipur won by a nose-bob in track record time over the arguably more talented Ridan after a long, head-to-head battle over the entire mile and a quarter. Still written and talked about today, the race is listed in the 2006 book Horse Racing's Top 100 Moments written by the staff of Blood-Horse Publications. The race result determined which colt would be named the 1962 U.S. Champion 3-Year-Old Horse.

In 1982, Runaway Groom, the Champion Canadian Three year old, trained by John DiMario, arrived at the Saratoga backstretch after a grueling season competing in the Canadian Triple Crown, winning the Prince of Wales Stakes, the Breeders' Stakes, and finishing second in the Queen's Plate. At the Travers that year, Runaway Groom became the only horse in racing history to beat the Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol, the Preakness Stakes winner Aloma's Ruler, and the Belmont Stakes winner Conquistador Cielo in the same race.

The 1997 Travers was another of the memorable races in its history, as it saw U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockeys Jerry Bailey and Chris McCarron (aboard Behrens and Deputy Commander respectively) in a home-stretch duel wherein Deputy Commander prevailed. Adding to the drama was a thunderstorm which produced hail 24 hours before the race, and the uncertainty around whether or not McCarron would be present after the recent death of his mother.[1]

On the day that Point Given won the Travers (August 25, 2001), it was a record Travers Stakes day attendance of 60,486. The race, dubbed the "Midsummer Derby," achieved a total betting handle of $34,529,273. This was also a Saratoga record.

1921 Travers Stakes

The 1921 Travers Stakes is known, unfortunately, for a betting scandal. In those days, bookmaking rather than parimutuel wagering was the primary method of taking bets on horse races.

The original field was fairly light with the favorite, the filly Prudery, owned by Harry Payne Whitney, facing no serious competition. Then Arnold Rothstein entered his colt, Sporting Blood, ostensibly to pick up second place. A few days before the race, however, Rothstein had learned that Prudery was off her feed. He knew he might have a real chance to win.

Initially, the odds on the filly were 1-4 while Rothstein's colt was at 5-2. On the day of the race, however, a leading three-year old, Grey Lag, was entered by trainer Sam Hildreth. Grey Lag immediately becomes the favorite, with Prudery the second choice, driving the odds on Sporting Blood up to 3-1. Rothstein bet $150,000 on his horse.

Just before post time, Grey Lag was scratched with no explanation. During the race, Sporting Blood overtook the ailing Prudery gaining his owner nearly a half million dollars, including wagers and the purse.

Although many smelled foul play, it was never proven that Hildreth received any payoff or that there was a conspiracy between him and Rothstein.

Travers Trophy

The trophy, known as the Man o' War Cup, was designed by Tiffany and Co. Its namesake, the great Man o' War, won this race in 1920. The wife of owner Samuel Riddle donated the trophy as the permanent award for winning the race. A gold-plated replica is presented to the winner each year by a member of the Riddle family.[2]

Travers Canoe

Since 1961, the colors of the Travers winner have been painted onto a canoe which sits on a pond in the infield. The canoe itself has been a fixture at the track since 1926.[3]


On July 18, 2006, the lottery announced its sponsorship of the Travers Stakes.[4]

On March 20, 2008 NYRA announced that Shadwell Farm was going to sponsor for 2008 and 2009 the Travers Stakes and Suburban Handicap [5] Accordingly the event will be listed for 2008 as 139th Travers as presented by Shadwell Farm


Speed record: (at current distance of 1¼ miles)

Most wins by a jockey:

  • 4 - Pat Day (1983, 1987, 1989, 2003)

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

  • 5 - George D. Widener, Jr. (1939, 1950, 1951, 1962, 1963)

Winners of the Travers Stakes







2009 Summer Bird Kent Desormeaux Tim Ice Kalarikkal & Vilasini Jayaraman 2:02.83
2008 Colonel John Garrett K. Gomez Eoin G. Harty WinStar Farm 2:03.20
2007 Street Sense Calvin Borel Carl Nafzger James B. Tafel 2:02.69
2006 Bernardini Javier Castellano Thomas Albertrani Darley Stable 2:01.60
2005 Flower Alley John Velazquez Todd A. Pletcher Melnyk Racing Stables 2:02.76
2004 Birdstone Edgar Prado Nick Zito Marylou Whitney Stables 2:02.45
2003 Ten Most Wanted Pat Day Wallace Dollase J. Paul Reddam 2:02.14
2002 Medaglia d'Oro Jerry Bailey Robert J. Frankel Edmund A. Gann 2:02.53
2001 Point Given Gary Stevens Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corp. 2:01.40
2000 Unshaded Shane Sellers Carl Nafzger James B. Tafel 2:02.59
1999 Lemon Drop Kid Jose Santos Flint S. Schulhofer Jeanne G. Vance 2:02.00
1998 Coronado's Quest Mike E. Smith C. R. McGaughey III Stuart S. Janney III 2:03.40
1997 Deputy Commander Chris McCarron Wallace Dollase Horizon Stable 2:04.00
1996 Will's Way Jorge F. Chavez H. James Bond William Clifton, Jr. 2:02.40
1995 Thunder Gulch Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Michael Tabor 2:03.40
1994 Holy Bull Mike E. Smith Warren A. Croll, Jr. Warren A. Croll, Jr. 2:02.00
1993 Sea Hero Jerry Bailey MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stable 2:01.80
1992 Thunder Rumble Herb McCauley Richard O'Connell Braeburn Farm 2:00.80
1991 Corporate Report Chris McCarron D. Wayne Lukas William T. Young 2:01.20
1990 Rhythm Craig Perret C. R. McGaughey III Ogden Phipps 2:02.60
1989 Easy Goer Pat Day C. R. McGaughey III Ogden Phipps 2:00.80
1988 Forty Niner Chris McCarron Woody Stephens Claiborne Farm 2:01.40
1987 Java Gold Pat Day MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stable 2:02.00
1986 Wise Times Jerry Bailey Phil Gleaves R. L. Reineman Stables 2:03.40
1985 Chief's Crown Angel Cordero, Jr. Roger Laurin Star Crown Stables 2:01.20
1984 Carr de Naskra Laffit Pincay, Jr. Richard J. Lundy Virginia Kraft Payson 2:02.60
1983 Play Fellow Pat Day Harvey L. Vanier Carl Lauer 2:01.00
1982 Runaway Groom Jeffrey Fell John DiMario Albert J. Coppola 2:02.60
1981 Willow Hour Eddie Maple James E. Picou Marcia W. Schott 2:03.60
1980 Temperence Hill Eddie Maple Joseph B. Cantey Loblolly Stable 2:02.80
1979 General Assembly Jacinto Vasquez Leroy Jolley Bertram R. Firestone 2:00.00
1978 Alydar Jorge Velasquez John M. Veitch Calumet Farm 2:02.00
1977 Jatski Sam Maple William Cole William Murray 2:01.60
1976 Honest Pleasure Craig Perret Leroy Jolley Bertram R. Firestone 2:00.20
1975 Wajima Braulio Baeza Stephen A. DiMauro East-West Stable 2:02.00
1974 Holding Pattern Michael Miceli James J. Sarner, Jr. John Gerbas, Jr. 2:05.20
1973 Annihilate 'Em Ron Turcotte Douglas Davis, Jr. Patricia B. Blass 2:02.40
1972 Key To The Mint Braulio Baeza J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stable 2:01.20
1971 Bold Reason Laffit Pincay, Jr. Angel Penna, Sr. William A. Levin 2:02.40
1970 Loud Jacinto Vasquez James W. Maloney William Haggin Perry 2:01.00
1969 Arts and Letters Braulio Baeza J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stable 2:01.60
1968 Chompion Jean Cruguet Ivor G. Balding C. V. Whitney 2:04.80
1967 Damascus Bill Shoemaker Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Edith W. Bancroft 2:01.60
1966 Buckpasser Braulio Baeza Edward A. Neloy Ogden Phipps 2:01.60
1965 Hail To All Johnny Sellers Eddie Yowell Zelda Cohen 2:02.20
1964 Quadrangle Manuel Ycaza J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stable 2:04.40
1963 Crewman Eric Guerin Bert Mulholland George D. Widener, Jr. 2:20.40
1962 Jaipur Bill Shoemaker Bert Mulholland George D. Widener, Jr. 2:01.60
1961 Beau Prince Steve Brooks Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:03.00
1960 Tompion Bill Hartack John J. Greely, Jr. C. V. Whitney 2:03.40
1959 Sword Dancer Manuel Ycaza J. Elliott Burch Brookmeade Stable 2:04.20
1958 Piano Jim Bobby Ussery Oscar White Walter M. Jeffords 2:05.80
1957 Gallant Man Bill Shoemaker John A. Nerud Ralph Lowe 2:04.00
1956 Oh Johnny Hedley Woodhouse Norman R. McLeod Mrs. Wallace Gilroy 2:06.20
1955 Thinking Cap Paul J. Bailey Henry S. Clark Christiana Stable 2:06.40
1954 Fisherman Hedley Woodhouse Sylvester Veitch C. V. Whitney 2:06.00
1953 Native Dancer Eric Guerin William C. Winfrey Alfred G. Vanderbilt II 2:05.60
1952 One Count Eric Guerin Oscar White Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords 2:07.40
1951 Battlefield Eddie Arcaro Bert Mulholland George D. Widener, Jr. 2:06.20
1950 Lights Up George Hettinger Bert Mulholland George D. Widener, Jr. 2:03.00
1949 Arise Con Errico James C. Bentley Addison Stable 2:06.20
1948 Ace Admiral Ted Atkinson James W. Smith Maine Chance Farm 2:05.00
1947 Young Peter Thomas May George M. Odom Cornelia Gerry 2:06.20
1946 Natchez Ted Atkinson Oscar White Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords 2:08.00
1945 Adonis Conn McCreary Willie Booth William G. Helis 2:02.80
1944 By Jimminy Eddie Arcaro James W. Smith Alfred P. Parker 2:03.40
1943 Eurasian Steve Brooks Sol Rutchick Mill River Stable 2:03.80
1942 Shut Out Eddie Arcaro John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 2:04.40
1941 Whirlaway Alfred Robertson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:05.80
1940 Fenelon James Stout Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 2:04.40
1939 Eight Thirty Harry Richards Bert Mulholland George D. Widener, Jr. 2:06.60
1938 Thanksgiving Eddie Arcaro Max Hirsch Mrs. Parker Corning 2:03.60
1937 Burning Star Wayne D. Wright John J. Greely Shandon Farm 2:04.80
1936 Granville James Stout Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 2:05.80
1935 Gold Foam Silvio Coucci J. M. Milburn Starmount Stable 2:04.60
1934 Observant Lee Humphries Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 2:05.60
1933 Inlander Robert Jones Robert A. Smith Brookmeade Stable 2:08.00
1932 War Hero John Gilbert George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 2:05.80
1931 Twenty Grand Linus McAtee James G. Rowe, Jr. Greentree Stable 2:04.60
1930 Jim Dandy Frank Baker James B. McKee Chaffee Earl 2:08.00
1929 Beacon Hill Alfred Robertson James G. Rowe, Jr. Harry P. Whitney 2:04.20
1928 Petee-Wrack Steve O'Donnell Willie Booth John R. Macomber 2:08.00
1927 Brown Bud Laverne Fator A. Gunther Frederick Johnson 2:05.60
1926 Mars Frank Coltiletti Scott P. Harlan Walter M. Jeffords 2:04.60
1925 Dangerous Clarence Kummer William B. Duke Gifford A. Cochran 2:10.80
1924 Sun Flag Frank Keogh Carroll H. Shilling Gifford A. Cochran 2:04.40
1923 Wilderness Benny Marinelli Thomas J. Healey Richard T. Wilson, Jr. 2:04.00
1922 Little Chief Laverne Fator Sam Hildreth Rancocas Stable 2:13.40
1921 Sporting Blood Lucien Lyke Willie Booth Redstone Stable 2:05.80
1920 Man o' War Andy Schuttinger Louis Feustel Glen Riddle Farm 2:01.80
1919 Hannibal Lavelle Ensor Thomas J. Healey Richard T. Wilson, Jr. 2:02.80
1918 Sun Briar William Knapp Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 2:03.20
1917 Omar Khayyam James Butwell Richard F. Carmen Wilfrid Viau 2:08.80
1916 Spur Johnny Loftus James H. McCormick James Butler 2:05.00
1915 Lady Rotha Mack Garner A. J. Goldsborough Andrew Miller 2:11.40
1914 Roamer James H. Butwell A. J. Goldsborough Andrew Miller 2:04.00
1913 Rock View Thomas McTaggart Louis Feustel August Belmont, Jr. 2:06.60
1910 Dalmatian Carroll H. Shilling Sam Hildreth Sam Hildreth 2:10.00
1909 Hilarious Richard Scoville James G. Rowe, Sr. James R. Keene 2:06.00
1908 Dorante J. Lee Rollie Colston, Jr. F. A. Forsythe 2:09.60
1907 Frank Gill Joe Notter J. I. Smith J. L. McGinnis 2:07.00
1906 Gallavant Walter Miller Thomas J. Healey Richard T. Wilson, Jr. 2:08.20
1905 Dandelion Willie Shaw John E. Madden Frank R. Hitchock 2:08.00
1904 Broomstick Thomas H. Burns Robert Tucker Samuel S. Brown 2:06.80
1903 Ada Nay Frank O'Neill A. Jack Joyner James B. A. Haggin 1:57.00
1902 Hermis Ted Rice John H. McCormack H. M. Ziegler 1:54.80
1901 Blues Willie Shaw Thomas Welch C. Fleischmann Sons 1:56.60
1897 Rensselaer Fred Taral Henry Harris John E. McDonald 1:56.60
1895 Liza Henry Griffin John Huggins Pierre Lorillard IV 1:55.50
1894 Henry of Navarre Fred Taral Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 2:10.25
1893 Stowaway Lawrence McDermott H. H. Brandt Woodland Stable 2:10.75
1892 Azra Alonzo Clayton John H. Morris Bashford Manor Stable 2:43.75
1891 Vallera R. Williams Enoch Wishard Scoggan Bros 2:49.00
1890 Sir John Marty Bergen Frank McCabe Dwyer Brothers Stable 2:39.00
1889 Long Dance Shelby "Pike" Barnes G. M. Rye G. M. Rye 3:08.75
1888 Sir Dixon Jim McLaughlin Frank McCabe Dwyer Brothers Stable 3:07.75
1887 Carey Harry Blaylock Edward Corrigan Edward Corrigan 3:17.75
1886 Inspector B. Jim McLaughlin Frank McCabe Dwyer Brothers Stable 3:10.25
1885 Bersan John Spellman Green B. Morris Green B. Morris 3:08.25
1884 Rataplan William Fitzpatrick F. Midgeley Norman W. Kittson 3:07.50
1883 Barnes Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe, Sr. Dwyer Brothers Stable 3:18.00
1882 Carley George Quantrell H. Welch A. Burnham 3:28.75
1881 Hindoo Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe, Sr. Dwyer Brothers Stable 3:07.50
1880 Grenada Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 3:12.50
1879 Falsetto Isaac Burns Murphy Eli Jordan J. W. Hunt Reynolds 3:09.25
1878 Duke of Magenta Lloyd Hughes R. Wyndham Walden George L. Lorillard 3:08.00
1877 Baden-Baden Tom Sayres James Williams William Astor, Jr. 3:15.50
1876 Sultana William Hayward J. McClelland August Belmont 3:15.50
1875 D'Artagnan George Barbee J. B. Pryor J. A. Grinstead 3:06.50
1874 Attila George Barbee William Pryor Pierre Lorillard IV 3:09.50
1873 Tom Bowling Robert Swim Ansel Williamson Hal Price McGrath 3:09.75
1872 Joe Daniels James G. Rowe, Sr. David McDaniel David McDaniel 3:08.25
1871 Harry Bassett W. Miller David McDaniel David McDaniel 3:21.60
1870 Kingfisher Charles Miller Rollie Colston Daniel Swigert 3:15.25
1869 Glenelg Charles Miller Jacob Pincus August Belmont 3:14.00
1868 The Banshee Smith J. H. Davis John M. Clay 3:10.75
1867 Ruthless Gilbert W. Patrick A. Jack Minor Francis Morris 3:18.25
1866 Merrill Abe Ansel Williamson Robert A. Alexander 3:29.00
1865 Maiden W. Sewell T. G. Moore T. G. Moore 3:18.50
1864 Kentucky Gilbert W. Patrick A. Jack Minor J. Hunter / W. R. Travers 3:18.75

See also


  1. Heller, Bill (2004). Saratoga Tales. Albany, N.Y.: Whitston. pp. 4–5. ISBN 0-87875-551-9. 
  2. "The Travers Trophy" (HTML). New York Racing Association. http://www.nyra.com/saratoga/travers2005/trophy.asp. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  3. "The Travers Canoe" (HTML). New York Racing Association. http://www.nyra.com/saratoga/travers2005/canoe.asp. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  4. "New York Lottery is Presenting Sponsor of Travers Stakes". Blood-Horse. 2006-07-18. http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=34486. Retrieved 2006-08-07. 
  5. New York Racing Association - Aqueduct

External links


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