FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 23rd, 2018
GRONKOWSKI & GOOD MAGIC HIGHLIGHT STAR-STUDDED FIELD IN TRAVERS STAKES FROM SARATOGA THIS SAT., AUG. 25 LIVE AT 4 P.M. ET ON NBC
Telecast of “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In – Presented by America’s Best Racing” Features 1½-Mile Sword Dancer Stakes & 7-Furlong Forego With Automatic Bids To Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Stake
STAMFORD, Conn. – Aug. 23, 2018– Led by Gronkowski, the second-place finisher to Triple Crown winner Justify in the Belmont Stakes, and Good Magic, last year’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and recent Haskell Invitational winner, an outstanding field of 11 3-year-olds, including one filly, are set for the 1 1/4 mile, $1.25 million Travers Stakes this Saturday, Aug. 25 at 4:00 p.m. ET on the live NBC broadcast from historic Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The two-hour program is a part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – Presented by America’s Best Racing.”
The broadcast will also include live coverage of the $1 million, 1 ½ mile Sword Dancer Stakes, an automatic “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, and the $600,000, 7 furlong Forego, a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Saturday’s show is the seventh of 11 telecasts in the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, presented by America’s Best Racing,” on NBC and NBCSN, featuring 17 “Win and You’re In” races plus other major stakes on the road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on NBC and NBCSN from some of America’s most iconic racetracks. The series leads to the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs Nov. 2-3 on NBC and NBCSN. Complete series TV schedule can be accessed here:http://www.breederscup.com/challenge-series
Laffit Pincay III hosts Saturday’s telecast, joined by analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, analyst/handicapper Eddie Olczyk, and reporters Britney Eurton and Kenny Rice.
Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) also will broadcast the Travers live from 3:00-6:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM 93 and streaming at www.horseracingradio.net.
Good Magic, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables, and trained by Chad Brown, is the 2-1 favorite for the 149th Travers following an impressive three-length victory in the Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 29, in which he earned a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic. A son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Good Magic won last year’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was named 2-year-old Champion. In 2018, Good Magic won the Blue Grass Stakes, finished second in the Kentucky Derby and was fourth in the Preakness Stakes on May 19, prior to his Haskell triumph.
Brown brings an effective 1-2 punch into the Travers by entering Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ Gronkowski.
There is plenty of additional intrigue in this year’s Travers with the entry of Gary Barber’s talented filly Wonder Gadot, who defeated male rivals in two of Canada’s most prestigious 3-year-old races in the Queen’s Plate and the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. Wonder Gadot is the first filly to start in the Travers since 1979. La Rotha, in 1915, was the last filly to win the Travers.
Another interesting prospect is Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, a fast-closing second behind Justify in the Preakness and second to Good Magic in Haskell for trainer D. Wayne Lukas; as is Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Sienna Farms and partners’ Catholic Boy, the best 3-year-old turf horse in the country off a win in the Belmont Derby for trainer Jonathan Thomas.
Furthering the Travers drama is the entry of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn, whose 3-year-old races in the US this year have not fared as well. Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Mendelssohn finished 20th in the Kentucky Derby and third, beaten by nine lengths, in the Dwyer Stakes at Belmont in July.
The Travers field from the rail out with jockey assignments and morning line odds is as follows:
Trigger Warning (Irwin Rosendo, 30-1), Wonder Gadot (Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-1), Gronkowski (Joel Rosario, 4-1), Bravazo (Luis Saez, 12-1), Vino Rosso (John Velazquez, 10-1), Meistermind (Manny Franco, 30-1), King Zachary (Robby Albarado, 15-1), Mendelssohn (Ryan Moore, 12-1), Good Magic (Jose Ortiz, 2-1), Tenfold (Rafael Santana Jr., 8-1), and Catholic Boy (Javier Castellano, 8-1).
The Sword Dancer on turf could wind up as a battle between Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable’s Channel Maker and Woodslane Farm’s defending champion Sadler’s Joy, who finished first and third, respectively the recent Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga, leading the way for a free starting position into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
The Forego will award an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Mr. and Mrs. William Warren’s City of Light, who won the Triple Bend Handicap at Santa Anita in March and the Oaklawn Handicap in April, faces seven rivals including Katherine G. Ball’s Limousine Liberal who qualified for the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint when he won the Belmont Sprint Championship on July 7 for trainer Ben Colebrook.
Fans can also get in on the excitement of the Travers by playing The $100,000 Capture the Classic Challenge where participants have the chance to predict the winners of designated Classic Division Races televised live on NBC or NBCSN – for an opportunity to become a virtual owner of each winning horse. By properly selecting the winning horse of one of these Classic Division races virtual owners will receive insider access to premium content about their horse(s), such as behind-the-scenes videos and in-depth profiles, as well as a chance to win a $100,000 grand prize should their horse go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on November 3. After the Travers, the final race in the Capture the Classic Challenge is the Awesome Again at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, September 29.
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About NBC Sports Group
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital, which includes NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, GolfChannel.com, the digital assets of the NBC Sports Regional Networks, Rotoworld, the NBC Sports Talk franchise, multiple apps, and two transactional sports businesses, GolfNow and SportsEngine. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, The R&A, PGA of America, Churchill Downs, NYRA, Breeders’ Cup, Premier League, INDYCAR, Rugby World Cup, Six Nations Championship, Tour de France, French Open, and many more.
No purchase necessary – Promotion is sponsored by Breeders’ Cup Limited. Breeders’ Cup Limited is the sole sponsor of the Promotion. NBC Sports and NBCUniversal Media, LLC are not sponsors of the Promotion and are not associated with the administration of the Promotion in any way. Entrants are providing information to sponsors and not to NBC Sports and NBCUniversal Media, LLC.