Million Dollar Finish: Pharoah on Pace for Travers Score

By Peter Rotondo, Jr., @retro411

While the Travers is not an official Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, it is the "Midsummer Derby" and it features Triple Crown Phenom American Pharoah!

Don’t forget to tune into NBC at 4 p.m. ET for LIVE coverage of the Forego (#WinandYoureIn for the #BC15 TwinSpires Sprint), the Sword Dancer (#WinandYoureIn for the #BC15 Longines Turf) and, of course, the Travers.

My feeling is that American Phaorah simply galloped around the track in the Haskell, so he should have plenty in the tank for the Travers.

As always, PACE makes the RACE!

There is only other horse with any early pace and that’s Upstart. So, this race is kind of simple in my eyes.

It's likely that American Pharoah goes to the lead OR that he allows Upstart to have the lead, because Irad Ortiz, Jr. will be hustling Upstart away from the gate to maintain forward positioning.

Either way, they'll should slow down the early pace and turn the Travers into a “Merry Go Round!”

Upstart essentially used the Haskell as a prep race for the Travers and ran very well in his first start since May. He’s been training great and he’s set to run a big race.

American Pharaoh should exert his dominance as they turn for home and I’m looking for Upstart to hold on to the second spot safely. The 2014 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champ, Texas Red, will be running on along with a new potential late-blooming runner, Smart Transition.

While Frosted is a very nice horse, I feel like he’s had really tough races against both America Pharoah (Belmont Stakes) and Texas Red (Jim Dandy) so I am looking for him to regress. Keen Ice ran very well last time against American Pharoah but he had an ideal set up with a fast pace and horses that didn’t want to go the Haskell distance. Once again, he’s a very nice horse but he doesn’t get the pace scenario he likely requires and these horses are better than most of the Haskell field.

The rest of the field likes to come from the back and I just don’t think the pace scenario will set for any to make an impact.

$100 Betting Strategy
$25 Superfecta 2/1/4-10/4-10 = $50
$10 Superfecta 2/4-10/1/4-10 = $20
$5 Superfecta 2/4-10/4-10/1 = $10
$4 Superfecta 1/2/4-10/4-10 = $8
.50 Superfecta box 1-2-4-10 = $12

MillionDollarFinish.com (play for free and you can win a trip to Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland!)
1. American Pharaoh
2. Upstart
3. Texas Red
4. Smart Transition
5. Keen Ice
6. Frosted
7. Mid Ocean
8. Tale of Verve
9. Frammento
10. King of New York

If you’re looking for extra action on this epic Travers afternoon, here are a few selections on the #WinandYoureIn races on the card:

Race 6 - Personal Ensign - #2 Sheer Drama - She should sit a perfect trip from her inside post position.

Race 7 - The Ballerina - It’s wide open so I’m rooting for #6 Dame Dorothy. Owned by Bobby Flay and named after his Mom.

Race 9 - The Forego - #4 Wildcat Red - He may be blossoming into a top notch sprinter. He should love seven furlongs and will be a huge price.

Race 10 - The Sword Dancer - #2 Flintshire - One of Europe’s best horses, he should put on a show for the Saratoga fans!