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2016 travers stakes field led by preakness winner exaggerator


Led by Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator and the 1-2 finishers in the 2016 Belmont Stakes, Creator and Destin, a total of 22 3-year-olds were nominated to the 147th running of the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers Stakes on August 27 at Saratoga Race Course.

Exaggerator, who as a 2-year-old won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special for Big Chief Racing, has three Grade 1 victories on his resume this year, including the Santa Anita Derby, along with a late-running second to Nyquist in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.

Chad Brown, currently the leading trainer at Saratoga, has three nominated to the 1 ¼-mile Travers: Sheep Pond Partners' My Man Sam, beaten a neck as the favorite facing older horses in an allowance on July 23 at Saratoga; Paul Pompa's Connect, and W. S. Farish's Gift Box, who were first and second in the Curlin on July 29.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, whose Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was upset by Keen Ice in last year's "Mid-Summer Derby," will be represented by Haskell runner-up American Freedom, owned by Gary and Mary West and Arrogate, winner of three straight in California for Juddmonte Farm.

Rounding out the nominees are Whateverybodywants and Anaximandros, second and fourth, respectively, last time out in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby; New York Derby winner Hit It Once More; Majesto, sixth in the Curlin; Ohio Derby winner Mo Tom, and two from trainer Rudy Rodriguez: Summer Revolution, 2-for-2 this year, and Voluntario, most recently fourth in the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont.

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The Grade 1 Travers is the centerpiece of a blockbuster card that include five other Grade 1's: the $1 million Longines Sword Dancer, the $750,000 Personal Ensign the $500,000 Ballerina, the $500,000 Ketel One King's Bishop, and the $700,000 Priority One Forego, along with the Grade 2, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa, in which undefeated Grade 1 winner Lady Eli is expected to make her return to racing.

About the Travers Stakes

Nicknamed the "Midsummer Derby," Saratoga's Travers Stakes is the oldest major Thoroughbred horse race in North America. Inaugurated in 1864, the Travers is held each August and regularly attracts the best three-year-old racehorses in North America. Handicappers welcome the Travers as one of the premier betting events in the United States, and bettors are virtually ensured to be rewarded significantly when their bets are winning ones. Horses that compete in the Travers were likely to have been prevalent throughout the Triple Crown races - the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

In the 2015 Travers Stakes, a race that was supposed to belong to American Pharoah, it was Dale Romans trained Keen Ice that pulled off the huge upset, ending American Pharoah's eight race win streak - as the 16-1 fifth choice.

Can't make it to Saratoga race track? Watch and wager on the Travers Stakes with OffTrackBetting.com, online OTB. All wagers made through OffTrackBetting.com are directly commingled into track pools, so you can play all of your favorite bet types with confidence, knowing that you'll receive full track odds on all wagers made with us. And with free, high-quality video, you can watch the races online or with your mobile device. OffTrackBetting.com is US-based and legal and licensed, and we promise you superior customer service and the best online wagering experience in the industry.

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2017 hals hope stakes preview entries and odds


The G3 Hal's Hope Stakes comes our way this Saturday, January 14 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Horses four years old and upward will be featured when they take to Gulfstream's dirt track and race one mile for the winner's share of the $150,000 purse.

A field of nine older entries will give it a go in the Hal's Hope Stakes - race 11 on Gulfstream's busy Saturday card. Post time is 5:05 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all nine combatants for this G3 stakes.

2017 Hal's Hope Stakes Entries at Gulfstream Park

Tommy Macho - has placed in eight of 11 career starts - four wins, a second and three third place finishes. He won the G3 Discovery Handicap by 4 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct to end his 2015 campaign and has been OK in four starts since. Last time out was a fourth in the minor Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park November 19 which followed a fifth after tiring in the G2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park October 8, eight months away, a good 3 3/4 length win over the terrific Stanford in the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream in February and a second in the minor Queens County Stakes in December, 2015. Tommy Macho has been competitive nearly every time out and will up to chase his third graded stakes score from gate 2 with Luis Saez aboard.

Bird Song - has three wins and a second place finish in seven career starts for trainer Ian Wilkes. He has placed in four of his last five starts ahead of this weekend including three wins, Last time out was one of those wins - a front running Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs November 24 after a second in an Allowance at Keeneland October 27 and a disappointing eighth in his only stakes action to date - the G1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 27. Bird Song has been good against lesser competition, has looked good in works leading up to this weekend and hopes it finally translates in stakes company. Julien Leparoux will be in the saddle from post 3.

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Mr. Jordan - defending fifth place finisher in this race won the 2015 G3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park and has been good since. He enters having placed in eight straight races ahead of this weekend including two straight wins - the minor Millions Classic Preview Stakes by 3 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park November 12 and an Allowance by an impressive 9 1/4 lengths at Parx October 17. Before the wins were a third in the minor Pa Derby Champion Stakes at Parx in September, a good second in the G3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes in August and consecutive thirds - the G2 Monmouth Cup July 31 and the G3 Salvator Mile July 2 - the last three at Monmouth Park. Mr. Jordan has been trending upward and is expected to be competitive again Saturday. Joe Bravo will be in the reins from gate 8.

Ami's Flatter - Josie Carroll trainee has three wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 14 career starts and enters off a disappointing seventh in the G3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park October 29. That followed an OK third in the G2 Ogden Phipps Stakes at Keeneland October 7, a fifth in the G2 Play the King Stakes at Woodbine August 20, another fifth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park June 11 and a career best effort - a win in the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland April 9 with an impressive 105 Beyer Speed Figure. He also had a fourth in the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream February 6, an Allowance score last January 13 and an eighth in the 2015 $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine in July, 2015. Ami's Flatter has been up and down and has failed to place in three of his last four starts overall. John Velazquez has been tabbed with righting the ship from post 5 Saturday.

Team Colors - James Jerkens trainee started his career in Europe where he posted a win, a second and a third place finish in four starts and has been good in seven North American starts - two wins, four seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a good graded stakes debut - a second in the G3 Skip Away Stakes on this track way back on April 2. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here a year ago and consecutive seconds in minor stakes action to end his 2015 campaign - the Tropical Park Derby on this track and the English Channel Stakes at Belmont Park. Team Colors has been a factor every time out and will be chasing his first stakes score from post 7. Jose Lezcano has the mount.

Dolphus - Joe Sharp trained colt has three wins and a third place finish in his seven career starts and makes his graded stakes debut Saturday. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track December 11 which followed consecutive fourths - an Allowance at Keeneland October 27 and the minor Grover Buddy Delp Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park in August. Before that was a fifth in the minor Curlin Stakes at Saratoga in July and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Fair Grounds in January, 2016. Dolphus has been just OK in his career so far and will be after a first stakes score from the rail Saturday. Joel Rosario has been tabbed to ride.

Realm - Barclay Tagg trained gelding has two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in his nine career starts. He made his stakes debut last time out and finished a respectable third in the G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct November 26. Before that was an impressive Allowance score by 5 1/4 lengths on that track November 5, a second, a sixth and a fourth respectively in Allowance races this past summer. Realm has been OK so far and hopes to make a huge statement and for his fist stakes win. Paco Lopez gets the call from gate 4.

Hy Riverside - Antonio Sano trained gelding has four wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 14 career starts. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished a distant fifth in the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes on this track December 17 after a fourth in the minor Millions Classic Preview Stakes at Gulfstream Park West November 12 and two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores here in August. Before that was a respectable second in the minor Trinniberg Stakes here July 30 and another Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track July 16. Hy Riverside has been good against lesser competition and hopes hit the board for the first time in three starts from gate 6 Saturday. Javier Castellano gets the call.

Unbridled Outlaw - finished twelfth in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and has been up and down since. He enters in decent form however - an Allowance score last time out at Churchill Downs November 23 followed consecutive runner-up finishes in Allowance races at Keeneland in October. He failed to place in three previous starts - all graded stakes races. Unbridled Outlaw has been trending upward ahead of this weekend and will chase his first stakes win from the outside post 9 Saturday. Corey Lanerie will be in the irons.