Race of the Week- August 8th, 2020: Travers Stakes

The 2020 Runhappy Travers Stakes will be Race 11 on August 8th at Saratoga. Post time is set for 5:15 PM CT. This Grade I Race is one and one fourth miles and has a purse of $1,000,000. The Runhappy Travers is one of the races in the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. This means the winner of the Travers will be awarded 100 points, the second place finisher 40 points, the third place finisher 20 points and the fourth place finisher 10 points. There are eight horses in the field this year. Last year’s winner was Code of Honor. Let’s take a look at the rankings for this year’s field.

In my algorithm, there are several factors I take into consideration including the horse’s past performances, workouts, winnings as well as the jockey’s performances and winnings. Let’s check out the rankings for the eight horses entered in this year’s Runhappy Travers Stakes.

Tiz the Law is the best horse and sitting there at a morning line of 1-1 after winning the Belmont Stakes in his last. He’s won all three races he’s been in this year (Belmont, Florida Derby, Holy Bull). In my Belmont preview, I liked Max Player as my longshot at 15-1 and included him in my exacta behind Tiz the Law. Max Player struggled out of the gate, but ran great after that, finishing third behind Tiz the Law and Dr Post: successfully ruining my exacta.

There’s three other horses that I really believe have a shot in this one and those are Caracaro, Country Grammer and Uncle Chuck. Caracaro and Country Grammer had an awesome duel down the stretch against each other in the Peter Pan (Gr.3) back on July 16th. Another reason to like Country Grammer is that Irad Ortiz Jr. stays on the mount and he’s been the best jockey in the country this year. Uncle Chuck has got a lot of hype and is the morning line second choice at 5/2. He’s shipping in from the west coast for Hall-of-Fame trainer Bob Baffert. He’s lightly raced, but has won both races in his career (both quality races), but hasn’t faced any of the horses in this field before. He is hurt in my ratings by not facing quite the quality of competition that other horses have, but many think he’s the most likely horse to upset Tiz the Law and should definitely be considered here.

Shivaree does rank a bit higher in my rankings and I definitely expect him to be at the front pushing the pace as he did against Tiz the Law in the Florida Derby, but I don’t think he will be able to stay up there down the stretch at a mile and a fourth.

I have run the 2020 Travers Stakes 1,000 times in simulations. Below are the results of those races.

Quick Wrap Up and Betting Strategies

Most Likely to Win: Tiz the Law (1-1)

My Bet: 6-4 Exacta

Longer Shots I Like: Max Player (6-1), Country Grammer (6-1), Caracaro (10-1)

I think any of these could be there down the stretch

Superfecta: 6-4-3-2

I’m debating at what price I’ll bet Tiz the Law in this one. He’s clearly the best horse, however there are four other horses that could have a lot more value (Max Player, Country Grammer, Caracaro, Uncle Chuck). There’s so much hype around Tiz the Law that I’m considering trying to beat him, but he is definitely the horse to beat here and 1-1 odds is about right for me to bet him.

Below are recent races from some of the horses I talked about.

Tiz the Law (8 horse) wins Belmont with Max Player (3 horse) finishing 3rd
Country Grammer (2 horse) and Caracaro (7 horse) duel out the stretch run of the Peter Pan
Uncle Chuck (4 horse) wins Los Alamitos Derby (Gr. 3) in his last start as a 2/5 favorite

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