​2022 Travers Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

The $1.25 million Travers Stakes is the most eagerly-awaited three-year-old race of the year, and the 2022 field drew all of the active leaders of the three-year-old males’ division.

The $1.25 million Travers Stakes is the most eagerly-awaited three-year-old race of the year, and the 2022 field drew all of the active leaders of the three-year-old males’ division. The field of eight includes Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Rich Strike, Preakness (G1) winner Early Voting, Haskell (G1) winner Cyberknife, Jim Dandy (G2) winner Epicenter, and Blue Grass (G1) winner Zandon. With a field this good, it should bring some clarity to a deep division.

In addition to these marquee race winners, three others will try to join the conversation. Artorius has just three starts underneath him, but one of those was a win in the Curlin, one of the local Travers preps. Iowa-bred Ain’t Life Grand beat open company in the Iowa Derby and now tries even tougher foes. Finally, Gilded Age will try to turn the tables on Artorius, the only horse who finished ahead of him in the Curlin.

Keep reading to learn more about everyone in the starting gate, and to find out how to watch and wager on the Travers Stakes on TVG!

Travers Stakes 2022 Information

Race Date: Saturday, August 27, 2022
Track: Saratoga Race Course
Post Time: 5:44 p.m. Eastern time
Distance: 1 1/4 miles on dirt
Age/Sex: 3-year-olds
Where to Watch:
Where to Bet: and FanDuel Racing

Travers Stakes Odds

Saratoga hosted a Travers Stakes draw the evening of Tuesday, August 23 and assigned morning lines shortly thereafter. Though the morning line is not guaranteed to reflect the tote board, it tends to be a good indicator of which horses will take money at the windows on Saturday and which others will not.

This is the eight-horse field for the 2022 Travers Stakes, in order of post position. The chart also includes their trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds.

Post Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Cyberknife Brad Cox Florent Geroux 7-2
2 Rich Strike Eric Reed Sonny Leon 10-1
3 Ain't Life Grand Kelly Von Hemel Tyler Gaffalione 20-1
4 Gilded Age Bill Mott Junior Alvarado 30-1
5 Artorius Chad Brown Irad Ortiz 9-2
6 Epicenter Steve Asmussen Joel Rosario 7-5
7 Early Voting Chad Brown Jose Ortiz 8-1
8 Zandon Chad Brown Flavien Prat 5-1

Stay tuned to TVG or for the latest news on all of the Travers Stakes contenders. It will help you stay on top of how every horse is coming into the race, and will also help you track the odds as post time draws closer.

Watching the odds can help you make smart bets. If a horse you expected to take a lot of money is not taking money, you can make an educated decision as to whether that means you are getting value or there is a good reason to reassess your decision to play that horse. On the other hand, if a surprising horse takes a lot of money, you can decide whether that means the horse is more live than the morning line maker thought, or if it just means you will be getting better value on some other contender.

Travers Stakes Prep Results

The Travers is late enough in the Saratoga meet that there are two preparatory races over the track earlier in the season. Typically the stronger local prep is the Jim Dandy, which was held on July 30 this year. Epicenter rallied from last in a four-horse field to win the 2022 Jim Dandy by 1 1/2 lengths, a strong effort that led to him being named morning-line favorite in the Travers. Second-place Zandon and fourth-place Early Voting also return for the Midsummer Derby.

The other local prep is the Curlin Stakes, a race restricted to horses who have not won a graded stakes at a mile or more this year, is held the day before the Jim Dandy. Artorius romped to win the Curlin by 4 3/4 lengths over deep closer Gilded Age. These top two finishers are the only Travers contenders coming out of the Curlin this year.

Two other Travers contenders were last seen in Grade 1 races. Rich Strike has rested since a sixth-place finish in the Belmont (G1) over two months ago. Cyberknife was last seen a month ago in the Haskell (G1), where he set a track record when winning it by a head over Taiba. Finally, Ain’t Life Grand took his final Travers prep in the restricted Iowa Stallion Stakes at Prairie Meadows, a race he won by seven lengths in what amounted to a paid workout.

Travers Stakes Contenders

Cyberknife: Though Cyberknife did not have his best day in the Kentucky Derby, flattening to finish 18th, the rest of his recent form has been razor-sharp. He won the Arkansas Derby strongly over Barber Road and Secret Oath, bounced back after the Derby with a victory in the Matt Winn (G3), and then rallied smartly to take the Haskell (G1). He has yet to prove himself at a mile and a quarter, but his pedigree supports the stretch out, and he also has the versatility to work a trip.

Rich Strike: A shock winner of the Kentucky Derby, he did not match that form in the Belmont. However, his off-pace running style tends to be a liability, giving those who support him an argument to cross the Belmont out. His biggest concern is pace, as he is a deep closer who got a perfect setup in the Derby. Judging from the lineup of the Travers, Rich Strike is unlikely to get the hot pace he needs to upset again.

Ain't Life Grand: This Iowa-bred did beat open company two back in the Iowa Derby, but has a much stiffer test this time. It is hard to truly say how he does away from Prairie Meadows, as his only start away from that home base came in a sprint at Oaklawn after a long layoff. He is fitter now, and also a better horse routing. He also has a versatile running style. However, he needs to take a sharp step up to keep pace if the divisional leaders are on their game.

Gilded Age: The good news is, trainer Bill Mott does not usually enter a horse in an ambitious spot unless he has a very good reason to do so. However, this will be an uphill climb. His late-running style puts him in the same pace trouble as Rich Strike, since there is not a likely pace collapse in the Travers. Furthermore, his speed figures lag behind his foes’, to the point that he needs a serious step up. His pedigree suggests the extra furlong may help, but he isn’t the only distance-bred horse in the field.

Artorius: With only three starts so far, Artorius cedes experience to his foes but also still has some upside to improve. He was defeated on debut this spring at Keeneland, but has won both his starts at a mile or longer, including a decisive victory at Saratoga in the Curlin. His stalking to midpack style shouldn’t leave him too much to do late, and his pedigree appeals for the stretch out to a mile and a quarter.

Epicenter: The divisional leader reasserted his place last out in the Jim Dandy, where he caused a few anxious moments by settling at the rear in a four-horse field … and then put them all to rest when he blew past the likes of Zandon and Early Voting in the lane. Though he has shown some speed earlier in his career, recent starts suggest he may prefer to be settled off the pace. With a local win and good races at Classic distances, this consistent colt is the one to beat.

Early Voting: Was his last-place finish in the Jim Dandy a one-off, or is Early Voting truly Cloud Computing Redux: a lightly-raced horse who popped in the Preakness for Chad Brown and Klaravich Stables, but didn’t do anything afterwards? Those who support that Early Voting can bounce back may get the price to do so this time around, as Early Voting should be able to get his own way on the lead. However, he had his own way early in the Jim Dandy as well, and could not hold off his pursuers—and will now go an extra furlong.

Zandon: Though he was no match for Epicenter in the Jim Dandy, it was interesting that Zandon forsook his more recent closing style and instead tried a closer-to-the-pace style in that race. It was something Zandon did effectively earlier in his career, suggesting that he still has that extra dimension. On the other hand, Zandon will have to turn the tables on Epicenter, who has finished ahead of him all three times they’ve clashed.

Travers Stakes Past Winners Past Performances

Looking at Travers results over the last ten years, the Jim Dandy is the most important source of winners. Out of the eleven winners in that time frame (Golden Ticket and Alpha dead-heated in 2012), three of the winners came from the Jim Dandy: Alpha (2012) and Essential Quality (2021) won the Jim Dandy, and Will Take Charge (2013) was second. V. E. Day (2014) also prepared at Saratoga, though he took the Curlin Stakes route.

No individual race produced more than one next-out Travers winner over the last ten years. Travers winners prepared in the Haskell, Los Alamitos Derby, Dwyer, Belmont, and even the Belmont Derby over the grass, in the case of Catholic Boy (2016). Two winners over the last ten years even came straight out of allowance company: Golden Ticket (2012) ran second, and Arrogate (2016) won.

The most important trend among recent Travers winners is finish position. All eleven Travers winners over the last ten years finished no worse than second in their last race before the Midsummer Derby. Looking more recently, the last six Travers winners all won their final prep: in 2022, the entrants who won their last race include Cyberknife, Ain’t Life Grand, Artorius, and Epicenter.

Travers Stakes Undercard

The Travers Day card is the biggest and most important Saratoga card of the summer. The Travers is the 11th of 13 races on tap for Saturday at the Spa. Six of the races are graded, including five at the Grade 1 level. With some of the best horses in the country pointing all summer for this card, you cannot miss the quality of the racing, or the betting opportunities. Be sure to watch and wager all day long at and FanDuel!

Saratoga Race Course

Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Saratoga Race Course is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. John Hunter, who became the first chairman of The Jockey Club, and William R. Travers built the horse racing track in 1864.

Saratoga has two popular nicknames—The Spa, named for the nearby mineral springs, and the Graveyard of Favorites, named for the historic upsets recorded there in years past. Perhaps most notable is Man o' War’s only defeat in 21 starts, Secretariat’s loss to Onion after winning the Triple Crown, and Rachel Alexandra losing there in her four-year-old season.

There are three separate horse racing tracks at Saratoga: a main dirt track; an outer turf track known as the Mellon Turf Course, and an inner turf horse racing track. The main dirt track has a 1 1/8 mile circumference, the Mellon Turf Course is a 1-mile turf track and the inner turf track is 7 furlongs. Additionally, there is the Oklahoma Track, used for morning training.

Travers Stakes FAQ

Q: When is the Travers Stakes?
A: Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 5:44 p.m. Eastern time.

Q: Where is the Travers Stakes?
A: The Travers Stakes takes place at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Travers Stakes?
A: Trainer Bert Mulholland won a record five editions of the Travers between 1939 and 1963, including the 1962 edition with Jaipur: who is now the namesake of a Grade 1 sprint on the Belmont grass! Among trainers who have horses in the 2022 Travers, the only one who has won it before is Brad Cox, who won in 2021 with Essential Quality.

Q: Who is the favorite for the Travers Stakes?
A: Epicenter is the 7-5 morning-line favorite for the Travers Stakes, off of his confident victory in the Jim Dandy, the most important local prep race.

Q: Who is the best Travers Stakes jockey?
A: Javier Castellano has won the Travers a record six times, most recently with Catholic Boy in 2018. Castellano does not have a call in the 2022 Travers. None of the riders in this year’s edition have won the Travers before, though it is worth noting that current Saratoga leading rider Irad Ortiz has the call on Artorius.

Q: Who won the Travers Stakes in 2021?
A: Essential Quality, the 2021 Belmont Stakes winner, won the Travers for trainer Brad Cox and jockey Luis Saez. Cox has Cybernife in this year’s edition, though Saez will not be in the starting gate.