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Homeracing

A Slew of Wagering Opportunities Available on Travers Day

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TwinSpires Staff

August 24th, 2018

Saratoga (Horsephotos.com/Spencer Tulis)

by Scott Shapiro

The Travers Stakes (G1) and the horizontal sequences that surround the "Mid-Summer Derby" will draw the most attention on Saturday’s massive day of racing at Saratoga, but there are a slew of wonderful wagering opportunities spread over the 13-race card tomorrow in New York.

FREE Travers Stakes PPs courtesy of Brisnet.com!

The low takeout early Pick 5 is always a great way to get the day started on the New York Racing Association circuit. The wager offers a 50-cent minimum denomination and the Travers Day undercard presents high-quality events with strong field sizes, making it a must play assuming you have the budget to cover your opinions.

A six-furlong special weight event over the main track kicks the sequence off and looks like a race where horseplayers should be able to narrow the group down to one or two runners. This will allow you to spread deeper in the full field turf events (Races 2, 4 and 5) where using just a couple may not be enough.

For those who are looking for a year-changing score, perhaps the All-Grade 1 Pick 6 that commences in Race 6 is a wager that merits consideration. With logical horses likely to win the H. Allen Jerkens (G1) and Personal Ensign (G1), and a single for me in Marley’s Freedom in the Ballerina (G1), it may not be all that pricey to play a ticket that has a chance.

In my opinion, things get trickier over the second half of the sequence in the Forego (G1), Sword Dancer (G1) and Travers, but some be fine to single a horse like City Of Light or Good Magic in those graded events over the main track.

The most popular horizontal sequence of the day is likely to be the $1-million guaranteed Pick 4 that starts in Race 8 and concludes with the Travers. It may not result in a massive payout, but it is a sequence that should be attractive to folks with smaller to medium sized budgets.

You can find my thoughts on the 1 1/4-mile featured event here.

And on the sequence as a whole here.

As always, there are Daily Double and Pick 3 wagers available throughout the card, which could be the better way to go for players with smaller budgets or those who have strong opinions in just a couple of races. I know I will be looking to construct Daily Double and Pick 3 tickets around Marley’s Freedom in the Ballerina.

Finally, with the excitement that horizontal wagers bring it is easy to forget about in-race wagers like Win bets and Trifectas, but if you have strong opinions make sure to take something out of the race. There are few feelings for a horseplayer worse than being right on your top play of the day, but still losing because you were wrong in the races that surround that opinion.

The racing kicks off early on Saturday at 11:35 a.m. (ET) with the first Grade 1 race at 2:23 p.m. It should be a great day of racing.

Good luck at the windows and enioy the 13-race card at the Spa!

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