Here are the 5 most important questions for the Travers Stakes:
- Does anyone challenge Bayern for the lead and how aggressively is he pressed? I think this is a more important question than whether Bayern can “get” the distance. If he does go unchallenged and puts up moderate fractions, this race could be over.
- Will V.E. Day continue his hot form and keep improving? He’s been on a nice roll since leaving Gulfstream, and I like horses that keep winning quickly as they move up the class chain. You certainly can’t complain about a jockey change to Javier Castellano.
- Does Tonalist move forward off the Jim Dandy? You would think he’d be likely to, but if he doesn’t he’ll take a lot of public money down with him
- Which style will we see from Wicked Strong? Will it be the “new” Wicked Strong (the one with blinkers) to press Bayern? Or might they try to take him back? He’s either versatile, or simply an enigma.
- Will Mr. Speaker like the dirt? He’s been training well, but that’s a whole different ballgame. He’s already a Grade I winner on turf and it seems like a worthwhile attempt by Shug. But, that said, there’s plenty of reason he might not translate his speed to the dirt, so price accordingly.
Image: Mike L. “Stay Thirsty.” Copyright 2011.