2017 Travers Stakes one-liners

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

August 26th, 2017

By pitting the three winners of the 2017 Triple Crown races and a few others in peak form, the 148th running of the Travers (G1) may help to clarify a muddled three-year-old picture. Given how many twists and turns we’ve seen in this division all year, though, nothing would surprise me.

Here are my one-line synopses of each Travers contender, in post position order:

Cloud Computing showed what he could do with a perfect trip in the Preakness (G1), and remains capable if he can get the right set-up.

Giuseppe the Great has been a consistent type, but his closing second in the Jim Dandy (G2) looks a little opportunistic and less likely to be repeated in the main event.

West Coast is a talented colt on the rise but faces his stiffest class test to date, and it would be remarkable for Baffert to win two straight Travers with horses who missed the classics.

Tapwrit was authoritative in both the Belmont (G1) and his stakes-record Tampa Bay Derby (G2), but he enters off a 2 1/2-month break and it’s not necessarily easy to win this without a prep.

Good Samaritan was a revelation in his Jim Dandy dirt debut, but he might have caught the principals on an off day in their comebacks, and must repeat that effort in a deeper field.

Girvin gets high marks for reliability (his one subpar effort in the Derby due to quarter-crack), but he may have outstayed the opposition in the Haskell (G1) and now meets rivals better equipped for the trip.

Always Dreaming warrants respect as the Kentucky Derby (G1) winner, albeit in a perfect storm for him, but it’s an open question whether he’ll regain his sparkling early-season form.

Lookin at Lee has yet to build on his runner-up effort in the Derby, but the deep closer may find more congenial circumstances here and will be doing his best work late.

McCraken ran the big race I’d hoped for in the Haskell, but just got nabbed, and he’s either more distance-limited than first believed or needs to be produced later for maximum effect (my preference).

Irap has now figured out the game and cultivated the winning habit, and the son of Tiznow is eligible to stay the distance and continue his progress over the second half of the season.

Gunnevera is coming full circle to the site of his first stakes win, and after looking like the Triple Crown trail knocked him out, he could be back to his robust state of old.

Fayeq brings pedigree power as a Malibu Moon half-brother to Rachel Alexandra, but that sums up his appeal as an allowance winner making an ambitious stakes debut.