POST TIME 5:46 EST--The long-awaited Travers Stake is finally here as five combatants from the Triple Crown series reunite in an attempt make a case for 3 year-old of the Year. The headliners include the resurgent #3 Verranzano who arguably submitted one of the top performances of the year in blowing away his competion in the Haskell. Kentucky Derby winner #2 Orb returns to try and polish off some tarnish sustained in Preakness and Belmont defeats. Late bloomer, #8 Palace Malice, seeks voters' attention after his sharp victory in the Jim Dandy. In attempting to anticipate the pace set up of this year's Travers, most punters are anticipating a rather moderate pace. I am thinking that the pace scenario will be hotter than moderate. Yes, connections of #6 Moreno have committed to going to the front early with hopes of being able to get away with easier fractions. That's just not going to happen. #3 Verrazano will be leveraging his high cruising speed and does some of his best running with a target close at hand. Of course, stable mate #8 Palace Malice will be sitting a cozy couple lengths behind this pair securing an ideal trip. I am very surprised, however, that no one is talking about another important pace factor in this race. #9 Transparent, known for not taking kindly to dirt in the face, will be up close probably flanking #8 Palace Malice helping to keep the front pair honest throughout. #3 Verrazano looks best on paper off that last race...anything close to that and say good bye, race over. However, that was a super peak race and, If you recall after the Kentucky Derby, Pletcher mentioned that Verranzano is the type that needs at least 6 weeks between races. With the added distance today and only four weeks since his peak effort in the Haskell, I believe Verranzano is a vulnerable favorite today and is worth taking a stand against .in the win spot #2 Orb makes his long-awaited return after flat performances in the Preakness and Belmont. After the Belmont Stakes, trainer Shug McCaughey indicated that Orb was dead tired and needed a long vacation, which has been achieved. He's working out brilliantly as of late but don't you get the feeling he is going to need a race? A victory is not out of the question, but Orb strikes me as the type that needs to race into peak form. Of the horses that contested one or more of the Triple Crown races, I believe #8 Palace Malice and #5 Will Take Charge are the "now" horses that have benefitted from a sharp but not over the top races off the layoff and a move forward for both horses is likely today. My top pick, however, will be long shot #1 Romansh...the "other" Godolphin horse. This fast developing, lightly raced 3 year-old had a horrible trip in the Curlin and was placed first through the disqualification of #9 Transparent. He has improved in each of his races and projects to move forward in a big way today as well. He'll be covered up early and with his keen late turn of foot will be a handful as they come out of that final turn. The 1 1/4 mile distance will pose no problem as his breeding and energy distribution profile indicate. Meet-leading jock, Javier Castellano gets the call, as Junior Alvarado, in a bizarre twist of fate, gets left out in the cold as he was to ride Will Take Charge before Lukas made the switch to Luis Saez.
$1 Superfecta 1 with 5,8 with ALL with ALL
$1 Trifecta 1 with ALL with 2,5,8
$.50 Superfecta 1,2,5,8,9 with 1,2,3,5,8,9 with 1,2 with ALL