It seems the question my friends keep asking is one I wish to avoid: If today's winner of the Travers is one of the 3 YOs to have won a major Grade I already, will he be a lock for horse of the year? How quickly we jump to canonize in our society. I won't rant today, it's too much of a holiday for me, these Travers Stakes days, but let's allow the year play out folks.
I put a personal favorite of mine up today, a fine picture of Point Given by Tom Killips, the 2001 winner, being led to the winners circle by the ageless master, Trainer Bob Baffert. Point Given's greatness was cemented by the time this race ended: A Preakness, a Belmont, a Haskell and a Travers in consecutive starts will do that for you. This year's three year olds have been battered and bruised for lacking a real division leader, and the question of if it's depth of talent or mediocrity is a topic I've had some wonderfully engaged discussions on with readers here and within the social media universe, as well as over cigars at a few paddocks. If the year plays out like it has, someone different will step forward.
What do I suspect today? A chance to break the cycle. I'm leaning towards a horse with raw talent to burn and the DNA of greatness, Coil, yes the one career start on dirt Coil, son of Point Given. Whoever wins, and I'm still keen on Shackleford, there's this little hootenanny called the Breeders' Cup Classic with no strong candidate currently to win. I'm more interested in allowing greatness to announce itself on the biggest stage. Someone will kick the door open today, Let's get after it!
The Travers Stakes Day Pick 6 Race 8-13 post time 3:28 ET
I'm not an advocate of the Pick Six as a betting option for the traditional bettor; It's sexy, it's daunting, it feels like a wise guy thing to do, but it's a black hole of failure to casual bettors. I've never hit one, but I think I've only personally bet a P6 a handful of times.
The Turk was a member of a Pick Six group for a short period of time. I was humbled that I was invited to join with some pretty serious fellas and smart enough to know I wasn't that into the action. My readers and friends know I'm an exotics fella, but there are much softer spots to invest in.
All that said, I've assembled a $24 $1 P6 bet. If I'm going to play it, I want to win it betting a little as possible. To me that's got a cool factor and something worth hunting for a few times a year.
It always starts with the base handicap for me, regardless of what betting menu option I choose. Once you've done the work you can take the race program either horizontally or vertically.
I'll let my spreadsheet speak for me and keep my comments short until my post race analysis, and then I'll take a little extra time to explain what I was thinking.
Have fun with the card and only bet what you are 100% prepared to lose.