SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saturday’s Travers card had it all: an evenly matched field in the Grade I, $1.25M race, star power with Songbird and Lady Eli in the undercard, a thrilling Travers result with West Coast’s victory and ideal weather.
All that added up to an all-sources handle of $47,870,987, a five percent increase over 2016 and the second highest total in Travers Day history.
On-track handle of $10,862,095 also exceeded 2016 Travers Day wagering.
The 2015 Travers card, which featured Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, had the highest all-sources handle.
Trainer race tight
With three victories Saturday, defending training champion Chad Brown pulled ahead of 12-time Spa training champion Todd Pletcher.
They each won one race Sunday to make it an exciting final seven days in the meet.
Brown has 33 wins, while Pletcher has 32. Linda Rice, the 2009 training champion, is in third place with 13.
Jose Ortiz leads the jockey standings with 51 wins. His brother Irad is in second with 45.
Ginger N Rye wins
Sagamore Farm’s Ginger N Rye won her second race at Saratoga on Sunday by capturing the $100,000 Smart N Fancy.
The 5-year-old mare found an opening along the rail of the Mellon Turf Course and burst through on her way to a 1 3/4-length victory in a time of 1 minute, 0.75 seconds, just .29 seconds off the course record, under Ricardo Santana Jr.
Ginger N Rye previously won a 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance on July 23 for trainer Horacio DePaz.
“We were bringing her back to go 5 1/2, and then stretch her out to a mile, but she ran so well the first time, we decided to keep her at 5 1/2,” Sagamore Farm President Hunter Rankin said. “It’s such a special place to win a stakes race. Horacio isn’t here today, but he’s done such a great job with her.”