2020 Travers Stakes Betting Preview - Can Caracaro Challenge Tiz the Law?

SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo handicaps Saturday’s Travers Stakes from Saratoga, with bonus picks for the Hambletonian from the Meadowlands!
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The SI Gambling Horse handicapping experts had a great win last month in the Blue Grass Stakes as Art Collector (6.60) came through in dominating fashion; helping us hit the Exacta (12/1), Trifecta (60/1) and Superfecta (443/1). Now, the boys are back with some sharp plays from Saratoga for this Saturday’s Travers Stakes, featuring Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law.

This Saturday, racing fans are treated to an outstanding race being run at historic Saratoga. When we refer to it as historic it is due to its beauty, however it's also imperative to highlight what it has become known as among horse bettors: “Graveyard of Favorites”. Don’t believe in nicknames? Read this stat. The post-time favorite has won just two of the last 12 editions of the Travers.

Race 11 on the Saratoga card is the 151st running of the Grade I $1,000,000 Travers Stakes which has potential Kentucky Derby points at stake for the first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic altering the racing schedule. The top four finishers in the Travers earn qualifying points (100-40-20-10) towards eligibility for the Derby.

The race has drawn an ultra competitive field of eight. The cast is led by morning line favorite Tiz the Law (1/1), who has won three consecutive stakes races, including five of six in his career overall. He heads into the Travers off an impressive effort in the Grade I Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park back on June 20.

Among the chief rivals are Bob Baffert’s Uncle Chuck (5/2), who is fresh off his win in the Los Alamitos Derby back on July 4. In addition Chad Brown’s talented colt Country Grammer (6/1) enters off an impressive win in the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes. Finally, an interesting longshot is Caracaro (10/1), a son of Uncle Mo who will look to build upon his runner-up finish to Country Grammer in the Peter Pan.

Who will cross the finish line first? Let’s take a look at the odds and dive deeper into these races.

Travers Stakes (GI)

Racetrack: Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York

Date: Saturday, August 8, 2020

Purse: $1,000,000

Distance: 1 1/4 mile, Dirt

Race: 11

Post Time: 6:15 p.m. EST / 3:15 PST

TV: FOX

HORSES OF NOTE: Listed by post number, name, and odds:

#6 Tiz The Law (1/1) - Three starts and three wins as a three-year old have landed this Barclay Tagg colt as the early favorite for next month’s Kentucky Derby . This horse checks in top form, thus landing as the most probable winner in this tightly contested field of some upcoming foes who come in peak form as well. Top Choice

#7 Caracaro (10/1) - This lightly raced son of Uncle Mo is an interesting longshot looking to pull the upset on Saturday. Caracaro was last seen in the Peter Pan Stakes (G3), his first start in nearly six months, beaten by the smallest of margins by Country Grammer. This horse could seriously relish the added distance. Top Longshot

#3 Uncle Chuck (5/2) - I am an avid backer for any offspring of Uncle Mo and this guy looked solid in his win in the Los Alamitos Derby (GIII) back on July 4. Off to a 2-2 record in his career, this colt is on the improve and looks primed to fire. Contender

#2 Country Grammer (6/1) - Off his impressive win we highlighted above in the Peter Pan, second off the pine, has this boy primed for a big effort on Saturday. Anytime you have Chad Brown teaming up with Irad Ortiz you need to take notice. Threat

Travers Stakes Formula Rankings

  • #6 Tiz the Law (Manny Franco) - (1/1)
  • #7 Caracaro (Javier Castellano) - (10/1)
  • #3 Uncle Chuck (Luis Saez) - (5/2)
  • #2 Country Grammer (Irad Ortiz Jr.) - (6/1)
  • #4 Max Player (Joel Rosario) - (6/1)
  • #5 Shivaree (Junior Alvarado) - (30/1)
  • #8 South Bend (Jose Ortiz) - (15/1)
  • #1 First Line (David Cohen) - (30/1)

Travers Stakes Betting Breakdown

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)

This is a competitive race that offers decent betting potential. My top play is Tiz the Law (1/1) who I will use over Uncle Chuck (5/2). I will use Caracaro (10/1) and Country Grammer (6/1) in exotics.

TOP Exacta Part-Wheel: 6 / 2,3,7 $1 wager: $3

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 6 with 2,3,7 with 2,3,4,5,7 $1 wager: $12

SUPERFECTA: 6 with 7 with 2,3,4,5 with 2,3,4,5 $1 wager: $12

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll

Destin Heath, Trainer at Winstar Farms, Versailles, KY (@DestinHeath)

Top Choice: #6 Tiz the Law (1/1)

Use Underneath: #3 Uncle Chuck (5/2) and #2 Country Grammer (6/1)

Sneaky Longshot For Exotics: #1 First Line (30/1)

BONUS

$1,000,000 HAMBLETONIAN

Racetrack: Meadowlands Racetrack, New Jersey

Date: Saturday, August 8, 2020

Purse: $1,000,000

Distance: 1 mile, Trot

Race: 11

Post Time: 3:30 p.m. EST / 12:30 PST

TV: CBS Sports Network

The 95th running of the Hambletonian also known as the “Kentucky Derby of Harness Racing”, takes place on Saturday with a wide-open field of 10. The filly Ramona Hill enters the race after an eye-popping win in the Hambletonian Elimination where she came from dead last and overcame a horrible trip with an explosive move late down the lane (see video above). She will face stiff competition from the rail in Ready for Moni and from post six from ThreeFiftyTwo. 

Hambletonian Betting Breakdown

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)

This is a competitive race that offers decent betting potential. My top play is Ramona Hill (5/2) who I will use over Ready for Moni (3/1), Back of the Neck (4/1) and ThreeFiftyTwo (6/1). The filly Ramona Hill will be very tough to catch in here. My top longshot is Hollywood Story (15/1).

TOP Exacta Part-Wheel: 5 / 1,2,6 $1 wager: $3

PROTECTIVE Exacta Box: 1-2-3-5-6 $1 wager: $20

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 5 with 1 with 2,3,6 $1 wager: $6

SPREAD Part-Wheel: 1,5 with 1,5 with 1,2,3,4,5,6,9 $1 wager: $10

SUPERFECTA: 5 with 1 with 2,6 with 2,3,4,6,8,9,10 ¢.10 wager: $1.20

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll