The Travers Stakes is a beloved contest for three-year-old Thoroughbreds held every August at Saratoga in New York. The race is nicknamed as the Midsummer Classic because it typically brings the winners of the Triple Crown races together to do battle over 1 1/4 miles for a purse of $1 million.
The 2020 Travers Stakes was won by Tiz the Law, who has enjoyed an excellent year at the races.
Congratulations to New York–bred Tiz the Law on today’s win at the Travers Stakes in Saratoga Springs.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 8, 2020
The odds to win The Travers Stakes are available. The odds are subject to change, as such we'll update this page to ensure our readers get the latest. The odds were last updated on September 3, 2020:
|2021 The Travers Stakes winners odds|
The 2020 Travers Stakes (G1) will be run August 8, earlier than normal due to the rescheduling of the Kentucky Derby to September 5. Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tiz the Law is expected to head the field. Check your favorite bookmakers to find the best Travers Stakes betting odds.
Travers Stakes Live Odds
Travers Stakes Entries
The Travers Stakes entries and odds are officially drawn the Wednesday before the race, which in 2020 means Wednesday, August 5. The field is expected to include 2020 Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law, who is five for six lifetimes and also won the Florida Derby (G1). Barcaly Tagg trains the son of Constitution, who was a Grade 1 winner at two.
His top competition includes Max Player, Uncle Chuck, and Country Grammer. Max Player was third in the Belmont Stakes after winning the Withers Stakes (G3) for trainer Linda Rice. Uncle Chuck is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert including the Los Alamitos Derby (G3), which is a prep race for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. Country Grammer has a Grade 3 win over the Saratoga surface already.
Travers Stakes Picks
Tiz the Law is a deserving favorite in the Travers Stakes and should win. However, Saratoga is known as the Graveyard of Champions. Horses that have gone down in defeat there include Man o'War, Secretariat, American Pharoah, and Rachel Alexandra. Only two favorites have won the Travers in the last 10 years, and one of those was a dead heat with a longshot. It is worth it to find a price play in a race that is typically won by a horse with mid or longer odds.
Max Player ran very well in the Belmont Stakes, and trainer Bob Baffert has won the Travers Stakes twice in the last few years with Arrogate and West Coast. If he sends the highly touted Uncle Chuck to the race, that could be the horse that upsets Tiz the Law. Country Grammer won the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) locally on opening weekend and could round out the superfecta.
Travers Stakes Picks:
- $10 Win Tiz the Law
- $5 Win Uncle Chuck
- $1 Trifecta Box Tiz the Law, Uncle Chuck, and Max Player
- $1 Superfecta Key, Key Tiz the Law on top, with Uncle Chuck, Max Player, and Country Grammer underneath
Travers Stakes History
The Travers Stakes is older than any of the three Triple Crown races. It has not been run continually, missing editions in 1896, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1911, and 1912. The $1 million race is over 1 1/4 miles currently but has been over 1 3/4 miles, 1 1/2 miles, and 1 1/8 miles. It is one of the most prestigious races in North America.
The winner receives a blanket of red and white carnations, the Man o' War Cup trophy, and the winning silks are painted on a canoe in the Saratoga infield.
The very first Travers Stakes was won by Kentucky in 1864. Seven fillies have won the Travers, including Ruthless, with the most recent filly winner being Lady Rotha in 1915.
A horse named Hindoo won the race in 1881 as part of an 18 race win streak. The mighty Man o' War won the Travers in 1920 over Upset, the horse who handed him the only loss of his career, in record time.
Whirlaway became the first and only Triple Crown winner to win the Travers in 1941. American Pharoah tried to match that feat in 2015 but finished behind Keen Ice in an upset.
The most talked-about edition of the Travers was in 1962 when top three-year-olds Ridan and Jaipur broke together and battled for the entire 1 1/14 miles. Jaipur ultimately won by a nose in track record time.
Damascus has the margin record for the Travers at 22 lengths. That happened in 1967.
In 1978, arch-rivals Affirmed and Alydar met for the final time in their 10-race rivalry. Affirmed had defeated Alydar in all three Triple Crown races, and crossed the finish line first in the Travers, but was disqualified for interference.
Three times in history, all three horses that won Triple Crown races have been upset by an outsider in the Travers. In 1918 Sun Briar defeated Belmont Stakes winner Johren, Preakness winner War Cloud, and Kentucky Derby winner Exterminator. In 1982, Canadian-bred Runaway Groom won at odds of 13-1, defeating Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol, Preakness winner Aloma's Ruler, and Belmont Stakes winner Conquistador Cielo. Most recently this happened in 2017, with Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing, and Belmont Stakes hero Tapwrit. West Coast, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, went wire to wire to win.
In 2001, Point Given became the first horse to ever win four consecutive $1 million races when he won the Travers after already winning the Preakness, Belmont, and Haskell. He went on to be named Horse of the Year.
The first dead heat for the win in Travers history came in 2012, with favored Alpha and longshot Golden Ticket being inseparable at the wire. Saratoga had to add a second canoe in the infield pond and a second winning jockey's statue in the paddock.
General Assembly, one of the best sons of Secretariat, set a Travers record of 2:00.0 in 1979, which stood until Arrogate won by over 13 lengths in 1:59.36 to set a new record.
The most wins by a trainer is five for Bert Mulholland, with his most recent win coming in 1963. Trainer Shug McGaughey is closest to breaking that record with four wins.
Kentucky Derby winners that have also won the Travers include Street Sense (2007), Thunder Gulch (1995), and Sea Hero (1993). 2006 Preakness Stakes winner Bernardini won the Travers, and Belmont Stakes winners to score include Summer Bird (2009), Birdstone (2004), Point Given (2001), and Lemon Drop Kid (1999).
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Travers Stakes Payouts
Some of the greatest upsets in racing history have happened in the Travers Stakes, which is why the Travers Stakes payouts can be quite high. In 1930, Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox lost to 100-1 shot Jim Dandy in the race; the latter now has a Saratoga race named after him. In 2015, Keen Ice defeated another Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, in a huge upset.
Arrogate was a surprising 11-1 when he scored in 2016 in record time. He went on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic, Pegasus World Cup, and Dubai World Cup in one of the most historic runs in racing lore.
Some recent Travers Stakes payouts include:
2019 - Code of Honor $10.80
2018 - Catholic Boy $16.20
2017 - West Coast $14.20
2016 - Arrogate $25.40
2015 - Keen Ice $34
2014 - V.E. Day $41
2013 - Will Take Charge $21.20
2012 - Golden Ticket $26.80/Alpha $4.10 (dead heat)
2011 - Stay Thirsty $6.80
2010 - Afleet Express $16
Only two favorites have won the Travers Stakes in the last 10 years.
Travers Stakes Field
The 2020 Travers Stakes will be held Saturday, August 8 at Saratoga. The Travers Stakes field will be drawn on August 5.
Watch for jockey Javier Castellano, who has already won the race six times (Keen Ice, V.E. Day, Afleet Express, Catholic Boy, Bernardini, Stay Thirsty) and is in the prime of his riding career. John Velazquez (Flower Alley, Code of Honor) has won it twice in the last 15 years, as has Mike Smith, who has won it four times overall (Arrogate, West Coast, Coronado's Quest, Holy Bull).
As far as trainers, Shug McGaughey has won it four times (Easy Goer, Rhythm, Coronado's Quest, and Code of Honor), and Bob Baffert three times (Point of Honor, Arrogate, West Coast). D. Wayne Lukas has won it three times (Corporate Report, Thunder Gulch, Will Take Charge), and Todd Pletcher twice (Flower Alley, Stay Thirsty). Trainer Chad Brown is still seeking his first win in the Travers as of 2020.