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.