Horse Racing: 2023 Travers Stakes Odds, Pace Scenario, Potential Bets
Parody personified marks Saturday’s 154th Travers Stakes, a tantalizing summit of the nation’s top three-year-old thoroughbreds, in one of the industry’s few remaining top matchups that is sure to help determine one of the favorites in Breeders’ Cup Classic odds. The elite seven-horse field at Saratoga sports the three winners from this year’s Triple Crown races – Kentucky Derby champion Mage, National Treasure from the Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Arcangelo. It’s the first time that has happened since 2017 and creates a loaded field for betting Travers odds.
Nationwide bettors can access the Travers, along with horse racing odds for a superlative day-long card starting at 11:40 a.m. ET, via the FanDuel Racing app. New FanDuel Racing users can click PLAY NOW below to get their first win bet up to $100 insured. That is 5x larger than the usual $20 offer, but it will not last long! If your first win bet loses, you’ll get it back as site credit.
2023 Travers Stakes Morning Line Odds
The field goes to the post at 6:11 p.m. ET and is part of Saratoga’s nearly $4.5 million in purse money for Saturday’s races, tops in the industry. This will be one of the biggest betting days of the year in horse racing. Supporting races include the $750,000 Sword Dancer on turf, along with the $500,000 Allen Jerkens Memorial, Forego and Ballerina dirt races, all at seven furlongs.
Click on the odds in the table below to bet now.
|1||Forte||7-5||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz|
|2||Arcangelo||5-2||Jena Antonucci||Javier Castellano|
|3||Tapit Trice||12-1||Todd Pletcher||Jose Ortiz|
|4||Mage||4-1||Gustave Delgado||Flavien Prat|
|5||National Treasure||8-1||Bob Baffert||John Velazquez|
|6||Disarm||8-1||Steve Asmussen||Joel Rosario|
|7||Scotland||12-1||Bill Mott||Junior Alvarado|
Here is a look at the Tavers field with past performances. Official odds won’t be final until the race starts, per pari-mutuel regulations.
1. Forte (7-5)
Tries to notch the third consecutive Jim Dandy-Travers sweep, as Essential Quality and Epicenter did in 2021 and 2022. Has run extremely well, but there’s been something to doubt from his last three races.
In the Florida Derby, he looked vulnerable before catching Mage (who had a wide trip) at the wire. In the Belmont Stakes, he had been affected by missing the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with a foot injury. Barely notched second, but wasn’t gaining as much on victorious Arcangelo as it seemed. Won the Jim Dandy, but survived a bumping incident with Angel of Empire that would probably be ruled a disqualification at least half the time.
What benefits him now is he comes back after a month on the track he prevailed at. Forte also notched a 105 Beyer, tied with Mage in the Kentucky Derby as the highest in this race. Backers will believe he’s due. He’s too good not to have won a big race yet. Maybe it’s this one. Will stalk and come late, needs a presumed speed duel between National Treasure and Scotland. Gets blinkers.
2. Arcangelo (5-2)
The arc points up. Way up. His victory in the Belmont summarizes the three-year-old circuit this season. Trainers boldly bring horses up from lower-level races and they run surprisingly well in much higher company. That’s different than past years.
Won at maiden special weights, then the $200,000 Peter Pan and the $1 million Belmont Stakes back-to-back. Also went 1 1/2 miles for the first time in winning the Belmont. Major emerging star. Thunderous run after adroit stalking rail trip in the Belmont. Outgunned Forte and Tapit Trice in the Belmont homestretch. Lightly raced, could have more upside.
Trainer Jena Antonucci is one of the year’s top stories after being the first female trainer of a Triple Crown winner. Horse has been working well. Hard to believe Arcangelo lost first two races this year in maiden company. Will make strong case for an Eclipse Award if he gets this. And nothing says he couldn’t.
Only concern for some is this being his first race in 2 1/2 months.
3. Tapit Trice (5-1)
Bloom has come off the rose for bettors after disappointing fifth in the Haskell. Was third in the Belmont, but looks to have hit a form-cycle wall. Would need a wicked duel in a small field and then his best performance in several months to beat this field. Gets blinkers, just like stablemate Forte.
4. Mage (4-1)
Excellent price, if it stands, on the Kentucky Derby winner. Returns to the 1 1/4-mile distance he prevailed at in the Run for the Roses. Gave excellent closing bids in the Preakness and the Haskell, finishing a respective third and second. Ran down National Treasure in the Belmont, but does not have as much track to work with this time.
Backers would feel more positive had Il Miracolo entered, as expected, to make it three speed horses. But no Il Miracolo. Mage supporters have to hope for a ding-dong battle up front between Scotland and National Treasure.
Will get Flavien Prat in the irons after jockey Luis Saez suffered a dislocated right collarbone and fractured left wrist from a fall on Wednesday.
5. National Treasure (8-1)
Come and catch me. Bob Baffert’s horse got away with dawdling fractions in the Preakness, and hung on to win. The pace was more feverish in the 1 1/2 mile Belmont Stakes and he wilted in the last quarter of a mile.
But that quarter of a mile does not exist here. National Treasure survived a contentious pace as the leader at a distance far enough to carry this race. Might be able to do it again.
6. Disarm (8-1)
Gamblers still waiting for his breakout race. He’s had strong enough paces to run in enough of his efforts that he should have come up big in at least one of them. Will be running late. Has been able to hit the bottom of the board in exotics, but nothing more.
7. Scotland (12-1)
Bettors might devour a Saratoga angle. Scotland comes off a nice victory in the $135,000 Curlin, as a frontrunner. He wired a field that included 3-5 chalk Blazing Sevens, the Preakness runner-up. Reminded me of the Alabama, won by Randomized, a speedball who graduated a four-horse field in the $135,000 Wilton Stakes. He took the lead in the Alabama and never relinquished, despite the major step up. Gamblers bet Randomized down to 7-1 that day.
If Scotland gets bet down into that neighborhood, gamblers expect the same possibility. New York bettors are sharp, the odds they give him will reveal a lot. Figures to tangle with National Treasure up front and be the key to this race, one way or another.
Pace Scenario For Handicapping Travers Stakes Odds
It means everything in this event.
Saratoga has been speed-favoring in recent big races. Horses get to the front and don’t give it up the way form suggests they will. Scotland or National Treasure may try to steal this. The question is whether they bang head-to-head or if they separate from one another, allowing the opportunity to rate.
Forte, Arcangelo and Mage are in the stalk-to-deep-close category. Disarm and Tapit Trice come from the clouds.
Betting Considerations And Potential PiCKS FROM Travers Stakes Odds
A win bet conviction before the post parade is too early. Just look at 2-5 chalk Cody’s Wish in the Whitney. He was fractious before the race and compounded that with a bad break. It was enough for White Abarrio and Zandon to beat him handily after he’d blown them out the previous month.
The reversal was anywhere from 10-15 lengths. If the horse isn’t in the mood, you can’t change that. The angle means even more here with the Triple Crown-race winners assembled.
Early Betting Options For Travers Odds
My only early conviction will be No. 4 Mage as a key because he’s the only horse in the race to win at this distance.
Other early considerations include one exacta box with No. 4 Mage and No. 2 Arcangelo, costing $4 for every $2 box.
So is a No. 4 and No. 1 exacta box with Mage and Forte, as they finished together in the Florida Derby. This is the rematch they didn’t get in the Kentucky Derby because Forte was scratched with a foot injury.
I’ll toss in a $1 trifecta box 1-4-2 (Forte, Mage, Arcangelo): ticket costs $6. Will throw in one 50-cent trifecta box 1-2-4-5, adding No. 5 National Treasure to the mix to respect the speed angle. The cost is $12.
That’s it for early bets. Remaining wagers will happen in the last 10 minutes, depending on looks, etc. What’s your angle? Good luck figuring this one out! Very little separates this field. Some hard decisions will have to be made within 2023 Travers odds.