Friday, August 27, 2010

The Travers-a Holy Race of Obligation

This week I have been reading the marvelous "The History and Art of 25 Travers" by Vic Zast and featuring the wonderful art & posters of Greg Montgomery. While reading it I came across Bob Summers, racing columnist for The Buffalo News quoting a horseplayer who called The Travers a "Holy Day of Obligation".

How perfect I thought-- for me that is what it is. Some people never miss Sunday Church, but for me my Church is on Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs NY and it would be a sin to miss a Stakes day, especially the Travers Stakes. This will be my eighth attended Travers in a row and though it might seem silly to some, I can't see myself missing one anytime soon.

We all have our favorites but among the ones I have attended I remember 2004 when Birdstone proved the Belmont upset of Smarty Jones was no fluke. I never forget how dark it got when the race went off and how the heavens opened up with a violent thunderstorm as Birdstone crossed the finish line the winner.

As for the 2010 Travers, every time I look at the past performances I come up with another horse I think can win the thing. For me it comes down to who can get the classic Mile and a quarter distance. Maybe come post time I will change my mind yet again, but right now I like Fly Down on top with First Dude, Afleet Express and Ice Box underneath.


Denis said...

I like Trappe Shot over A Little Warm and Miner's Reserve...I see a solid pace with Trappe stalking to score as First Dude and A Little Warm wears down. I wouldn't want to write off Ice Box or Super Saver.

I might key Trappe SHot with the other 5 underneath in a triple for $20.

EquiSpace said...

We call Bob, the Happy Handicapper in these parts. Unfortanately with a lot of turf writers these days he is granted very little space for horse racing articles. See you later today.

Track Philosopher said...

You studied your Catechism very well. Just below the Holy Days of Obligation is the list you refer to. There was even talk about adding a seventh commandment of the Church, "Contribute to the Support of your local track".
The race is going to be a dandy... but just not on TV. What is that all about?