Dan's Double: Travers Day Picks

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Fans handicapping at Saratoga. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

Dan’s Double of the Week, featuring handicapping analysis from America's Best Racing's New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

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Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016. Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Saturday, Aug. 26

Saratoga Race Course, Race 11, $1,250,000 Travers Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets, 5:44 p.m. ET

 #12 Fayeq: Emboldened by the fact that we touted a 21-1 winner in this post last week, let’s go ahead and try to outdo ourselves. If this year’s 3-year-old crop has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Very few of the horses entered in the Travers have been able to sustain any level of consistency since the early part of the year. Dating back to April, it could be argued that few have been more steady than #3 West Coast, #6 Girvin and #10 Irap (with the latter two having only run one poor race in that span — the Kentucky Derby).

That said, there’s enough uncertainty to take a swing here with Fayeq who, to date, hasn’t been tested in the same company as many of his other foes in the Travers. What Fayeq has done is win over the dirt at Saratoga and demonstrate improved form going longer distances in each of his last two starts, following a short layoff and stretch-out off of two initial sprints. What you’ve also got to like is knowing that Rachel Alexandra’s half-brother has the Spa in his bloodlines, with Rachel having won the Woodward there in 2009. Her daughter Rachel’s Valentina was also a two-time winner at Saratoga, which is where her brother Jess’s Dream also won on debut. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is always loaded with live runners for Shadwell Stable near the end of the Saratoga meet, and he rarely places horses in over their heads. There are many positive signs here.

 $10 Budget  

$2 win, place and show on #12 Fayeq ($6)

$2 exacta box 6,12 ($4)

$25 Budget

$4 win, place and show on #12 Fayeq ($12)

$2 exacta box 6,10,12 ($12)

$50 Budget 

$10 win, $5 place and show on #12 Fayeq ($20)

$1 exacta box 3,6,10,12 ($12)

$3 exacta box 6,10,12 ($18)

Saratoga Race Course, Race 12, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Ballston Spa Stakes, 6:20 p.m. ET

#5 Antonoe: Sometimes you can learn more about a horse in defeat than you can in their victories. In the Diana last out, it wasn’t so much what happened during the race to Antonoe (though there was significant trip trouble late) that the filly was impressive overcoming, it’s that she broke through the gate before the race and still managed to compose herself enough to get back in (after running off momentarily) and close to finish within just a length of Lady Eli. Sentimentally, Lady Eli would be my choice — speaking nothing even of her near spotless record at Saratoga where she returned in this race last year from near-fatal illness to finish second off of a 13-month layoff. I just think that had Antonoe been given a fairer shake in the Diana, she might very well have caught Lady Eli.

$10 Budget  

$10 win on #5 Antonoe ($10)

$25 Budget  

$10 win on #5 Antonoe ($10)

$5 exacta box 1,5 ($10)

$5 trifecta 5 over 1 over 3 ($5)

$50 Budget

$25 win on #5 Antonoe ($25)

$15 exacta 5 with 1 ($15)

$5 exacta 1 with 5 ($5)

$5 trifecta 5 over 1 over 3 ($5)

2017 ROI: - $147.85

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