Four Breeders’ Cup Challenge Races Saturday at the Spa

Four ‘Win and You’re In’ BC Challenge Series Races Set at Saratoga

Travers Day is the biggest day of the Saratoga Summer Meet, and Saturday, Aug. 26 promises to deliver some exciting graded stakes action. The $1,250,000 Travers Stakes headlines a stacked line-up at the Spa, and some significant purse increases will put more money in the horsemen’s pockets. Same too for the horse handicappers and gamblers, who will see some solid overlays with full fields on a huge day of racing in Saratoga Springs, NY. The record Travers Day handle could fall, with just under $50 million wagered on 2015 Travers Day.

  • Travers presented by NYRA Bets (G1) $1,250,000 — 148th running for 3-year-olds
  • Sword Dancer (G1) $1,000,000
  • Personal Ensign (G1) $700,000
  • Forego (G1) $600,000
  • H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) $500,000
  • Ketel One Ballerina (G1) $500,000
  • Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa (G2) $400,000

The Personal Ensign, Ballerina, Forego and Sword Dancer are all Breeders’ Cup Challenge SeriesWin and You’re In‘ races.

Race 6 is the Personal Ensign for Fillies and Mares 3-years-old and up. The winner of the 1 1/8 mile race receives a fees paid entry to the Breeders’ Cup $2 Million Longines Distaff Nov. 3 at Del Mar. Songbird with Mike Smith riding is the heavy 2-5 favorite in a field of five.

Race 7 is the Kettle One Ballerina for Fillies and Mares 3-years-old and up running 7 furlongs. The winner is invited to the Breeders’ Cup $1 Million Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 4 at Del Mar. Paulassilverlining (2-1) is the favorite of seven, followed by By the Moon (3-1), Curina Mia (7-2) and Curlin’s Approval (4-1). Chad Brown trains both Paulassilverlining and Carina Mia.

Race 9 is the Forego for 3-year-olds and up running 7 furlongs. The winner can take a trip to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup $1 Million Las Vegas Dirt Mile on Nov. 3. The Forego drew a field of 10 with Drefong (5-2) breaking from the far outside as the favorite for trainer Bob Baffert and ‘Big Money’ Mike Smith in the irons. Mind Your Biscuits (3-1), Divining Rod (5-1) and Awesome Slew (6-1) are strong contenders.

Race 10 completes the BC Challenge Series races Saturday at the Spa, and $1 Million Sword Dancer will crown a deserving and much richer champion after they grind out a victory in the 1 ½ mile marathon on Saratoga’s inner turf course. The winner will also earn a spot in the starting gate for the $4 Million Longines Turf Nov. 4 at Del Mar.

The richest and most revered stakes race of the day is Race 11, the $1.25 Million Travers Stakes. A field of 12 including seven Kentucky Derby runners take their shot at a big prize along with going down in Travers history among the greats of the sport.

For more details on the horses running in the Travers Stakes, check out this cheat sheet. The Travers will be the featured race in a 90-minute broadcast from NBC Sports. The TV coverage will also include the Sword Dancer, airing on NBC from 4:30 – 6 p.m. ET.

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