Travers 2019: 150 Years of the Midsummer Derby

Saratogians are proud of the Travers Stakes. Most of the thousands of fans who show up every year probably don’t know that the race was first run in 1864, or that it was named for one of the men who established Saratoga Race Course; they do know that the day of the Travers is something of a local holiday, an excuse for reunions in the backyard at the track, an opportunity to reminisce about Travers past, about big scores and bad beats.

This year, they might know this Travers is the 150th running of the race named for William Travers, because the New York Racing Association, which runs Saratoga Race Course, has stepped up to recognize and promote this milestone, one that only two races in North American can claim. (The other is the Queen’s Plate in Canada.)

This year’s Travers Stakes is sponsored in the name of Runhappy, the stallion whose owner has spent the last two years blanketing racecourses in the horse’s name and colors; its official name, forever in the history books, will be the 150th Runhappy Travers.

Continue reading at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary

Keen Ice edges American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers Stakes. NYRA/Courtney Heeney

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