08/29/2016 1:30PM

Strong business figures for stacked Travers card


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – All-sources handle for Saturday’s Travers card at Saratoga was $45,596,366, the second-highest in history.

The figure was down 8.1 percent from last year’s figure of $49,668,754, when Triple Crown winner American Pharoah participated in the race, finishing second to Keen Ice.

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Ontrack handle Saturday was $10,778,992, the fourth-highest in Travers history. It was down 6 percent from $11,472,451 last year. Ontrack figures that surpassed this year’s total were in 2013 ($10,980,379) and 2014 ($10,850,894).

This was the second year that the Travers card was stacked with six Grade 1 races and seven graded races overall. There were 13 races on the card each year, but there were 124 betting interests on Saturday, up from 117 last year.

Announced paid admissions on Saturday was 48,630, down 2.7 percent from last year’s capped crowd of 50,000. New York Racing Association officials had capped this year’s crowd at 50,000 as well, but it didn’t quite get there.

Those who did attend the Travers saw a record-setting performance by the Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate, who ran 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.36, smashing the track record of 2:00 set by General Assembly in 1979. Arrogate’s 13 1/2-length margin of victory was the third-largest in Travers history behind Damascus (22 lengths in 1967) and General Assembly (15 lengths in 1979).

Arrogate was ridden by Mike Smith, who joined Bill Shoemaker, Jerry Bailey, Eric Guerin, and Chris McCarron as three-time winners of the Travers. Four jockeys have won four editions of the Travers, while Javier Castellano owns the record of five Travers victories.