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  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 9 days ago
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  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 10 days ago
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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

The Travers List

Golden Ticket Alpha  615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire


With the Mid-Summer Derby just around the corner, I decided to have a little fun with the historic and prestigious race. There have been 35 winners of the Travers since the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, was disqualified and placed behind his great rival, Alydar. That pair remain the best two horses I have ever seen in the Travers. Today, I took on the unenviable task of ranking all the winners since, 1 through 35. My basis for the ranking was on their overall racing career and a blending of excellence and accomplishments. Have fun and please let me know where you think I may have gone astray...

 1. Easy Goer 20-14-5-1

 2. Holy Bull 16-13-0-0

 3. Point Given 13-9-3-0

 4. Forty Niner 19-11-5-0

 5. Chief’s Crown 21-12-3-3

 6. Thunder Gulch 16-9-2-2 

 7. Street Sense 13-6-4-2

 8. Java Gold 15-9-3-1

 9. Bernardini 8-6-1-0

10. Coronado’s Quest 17-10-2-0 

11. General Assembly 17-7-6-1

12. Medaglia d’Oro 17-8-7-0

13. Lemon Drop Kid 24-10-3-3

14. Temperence Hill 31-11-4-2

15. Will’s Way 13-6-2-3 

16. Summer Bird 8-4-1-1

17. Sea Hero 24-6-3-4

18. Play Fellow 22-9-6-1

19. Birdstone 9-5-0-0

20. Runaway Groom 18-6-5-1

21. Deputy Commander 13-4-3-2

22. Carr De Naskra 18-7-6-1

23. Flower Alley 14-5-3-1

24. Thunder Rumble 19-8-0-1

25. Stay Thirsty 17-5-5-1

26. Rhythm 20-6-3-4

27. Ten Most Wanted 13-5-3-1

28. Afleet Express 7-4-1-1

29. Colonel John 15-6-3-1

30. Wise Times 25-7-3-2

31. Unshaded 20-6-3-3

32. Alpha 15-5-2-0

33. Corporate Report 10-3-5-0

34. Willow Hour 22-6-5-2

35. Golden Ticket 18-5-5-3 


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Older Comments about The Travers List...

chiefs crown won 5 2yr old stakes and bernardini only lost was to a hall of famer. You should take this list down, Thunder gulch was slow, your list is way off please take it down.
I really liked the 94 Travers. The Bull/Concern. As GAME as a race horse can be.
thanks buckpasser for the clarification...misread it...thought Zip was ranking all-time... for what its worth, the 1962 travers is my fav
They often show just how long both Jaipur and Ridan were at each other's throats as an advertisement for the race.
Guess that would really score major points for Mine That Bird, eh, Little Tommy? Or, Strike The Gold?
Although Jaipur's Travers win over Ridan in 1962 was a battle for the ages, I don't think he was included in the list since Brian was only ranking the winners from Affirmed and Alydar in 1978 on.
He didn't make the Zipse 35, so I'm wondering where Jaipur is?
Cause take your winning percentages and enjoy them He won the damn Derby.That race alone makes him far more valuable than the rest.The Travers was the icing on the cake.The Derby is worth 3 Grade 1's.
You took on a very hard task here, Candyman. Hard to argue with much of it, though I might move General Assembly up a bit, and C-Quest down. That said...looking at this list, I think I'd probably take this group ---as a whole--- over a similar list of the winners of any of the 3 Triple Crown races.
How does a colt's record OUTSIDE the race at hand MATTER??
Glad you tackled that daunting task. Nice job, Brian. Where will you put this year's winner if it's Palace Malice, Orb, or Verrazano?
I noticed that Sea Hero had the worst Win Pct. of all 35 winners. Guess that would be a good reason to downgrade him. As Brian said, Street Sense was a great horse. He happened to meet up with Curlin, and if my memory serves me correct, they met only three times(Derby, Preakness, and BCC?). So, he held up his reputation against Curlin. The one I never understood was Coronado's Quest. Seems that he had a hard time with the crowd.
Brian good comeback post.just want you to know,rumors are unfounded that is me using another alias.controversy will ensue any top list.
Please ... Chief's Crown won more grade 1 races than Bernardini won races.
what idiot came up with this list?? bernardini is in the top 3, chiefs crown is an allowance horse
Street Sense was a romping winner of the BC Juvenile, 2yo champion, big winner of the Derby, lost the Preakness in the final jump. He gets my narrow nod as the best Travers winner of the 21st century.
I think Bernardini should be a little higher and Street Sense a lot lower. Street Sense beat no one in the Travers and wasn’t the best of his generation, but Bernardini scared off competition and beat a very good Bluegrass Cat. Further, 2 of Bernardini’s sons have subsequently won the Travers and could possibly have a 3rd this year.
I understand street sense because he won the DERBY also but much better horses below him
1930 Jim Dandy over Whichone and Gallant Fox at 100/1

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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