West Coast is Best Coast on Travers Stakes Day – Super Screener
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West Coast is Best Coast on Travers Stakes Day

Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire

G1 Travers Stakes

Last year, Bob Baffert and Mike Smith came and conquered with the little known Arrogate and top Super Screener win pick for the race at 11-1.  That team introduced us to West Coast in this year’s edition of the G1 Travers. He is the latest rising star out of the Baffert barn, who went wire-to-wire under modest fractions facing no real challengers and he easily defeated a line up that included all 3 Triple Crown race winners. Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about this formidable candidate for 3 year-old of the year:

 

“The “New Shooters” include Bob Baffert’s formidable #3 West Coast who hasn’t missed the Exact in 6 starts and is highly rated by the Screener.  This gigantic colt can run all day long so added ground a big plus here.   Baffert has him cranked for a new lifetime top and money jock, Mike Smith comes along for the ride.  Been prepping well up to this and gets his first real test against a mediocre 3 year-old crop this year.”

 

The Super Screener top three ranked horses finished 1,3,4, but we got slapped by a stunning second place finish from the revived Triple Crown player, Gunnevera.  

Always Dreaming was the Super Screener top pick to fade as a Vulnerable Favorite type.  Taking nothing away from his Kentucky Derby performance, but he has not come back to run anything close to that effort and connections can rest him all they want.  He’s just not one of the top from this crop.

 

G1 Allen Jerkens

The Super Screener Top Board Hitter pick, Practical Joke, sat the perfect trip behind the projected hot and pressured pace which materialized when Takaful and Phi Beta Express set the brisk pace.  Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about this top win pick:

 

“#1 Practical Joke will be the beneficiary of a perfect rail position sitting behind all that speed.  The race just sets up perfect for him and he finally returns to where he will excel…1-turn routes and sprints.  This colt is sitting on a huge race and is one of two key win contenders.”

 

Clearly, Takaful ran the best race here cutting all those aggressive fractions but holding on for a clear 2nd place finish.  He may only get better from here.  The Super Screener penalized him too much for his role in the early fire.  

 

Our top long shot bomber pick, Tale of Silence, came through with a game 4th place finish at incredibly generous odds of nearly 40-1.  

 

“#3 Tale of Silence is a very playable long shot. He produced a lifetime top in his most recent race at Belmont Park finishing just 2 lengths behind #1 Practical Joker at gargantuan odds of 43-1.  We won’t get that kind of value here but odds will be generous in exchange for the modest risk.  Perfect player to use “underneath” in Exotic wagers.”

 

G1 Forego

This was the start of another big day for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith as Drefong led from gate to wire and then drew away with authority and in the process established himself at the one to beat in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The pace was moderate for this type as projected, and he didn’t really get challenged, but takes nothing away from this dominant victory.

Top Screener win pick choice, Divining Rod, finished an okay 4th and as it turned out that 2-week turnaround was probably too quick to lay out another top performance.

 

G1 Sword Dancer

Our top long shot pick, Frank Conversation and the two European shippers, Erupt and the race favorite, Idaho, all inexplicably flopped in this race and, interestingly, they were the top three leaders in the race for the anticipated relatively-soft first 1 ¼.  Sadler’s Joy finally overcame that condition to win with that impressive turn of foot we have been talking about going from last to first down the length of the stretch.  It will be important to note that when we look back at this race, it was ultra kind to closers despite the tepid pace.

 

Another huge holiday weekend of graded stakes action coming our way as we close out the Saratoga and Del Mar meets.  In addition, the horseplayer-friendly Kentucky Downs opens for this Labor Day Weekend as well.  Don’t miss the incredible action that will include some very full fields with big shots for a big score.  

 

Until next weekend…Go fast and win!

 

Mike