Classic Day

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The long and rich history of America’s oldest 3-year-old stakes annually brings together a vast and varied collection of 3-year-olds.

More often than not the Travers Stakes, which will be run today for the 148th time at Saratoga Race Course, features a field of late-developing 3-year-olds squaring off with each other or meeting a bona fide contender for season-end honors. Other times, like going into last year’s running when the race featured two winners from the Triple Crown series, it looks like a race to determine a divisional leader.

Rare is the day when it brings together three individual winners of the spring classics, either to settle a score or more importantly to further build a championship resume. Today’s Travers brings three classic winners together for the first time in 35 years as Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, Preakness winner Cloud Computing and Belmont winner Tapwrit headline an eclectic field of 12 vying for a $1.25 million purse on Saratoga’s biggest day.

The last time the Travers featured three American classic winners was 1982 when Gato Del Sol, Aloma’s Ruler and Conquistador Cielo tasted defeat from an invader from the north in Canadian classic winner Runaway Groom.

The Travers has featured the winner of three classics in Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who was foiled by an overly ambitious travel schedule and an improving foe in Keen Ice in 2015.

The Travers of 1987 also brought together the winners of the Derby, Preakness and Belmont when Alysheba, the winner of the first two classics, met his spoiler from the third in Bet Twice; and it happened again in 1991 when Derby winner Strike The Gold met Preakness and Belmont winner Hansel and both lost to Corporate Report.

To read the rest of the Travers Day preview, download Saturday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special.