Hofburg heads the entries for the 2018 Grade One Travers Stakes next month at Saratoga Racecourse in New York, where he will be bidding for his maiden success at the top level. William Mott’s runner was third in the Belmont Stakes back in June in the race that was won by Justify, who completed the Triple Crown to add his name to the record books.
The three-year-old is dropping back down in trip for the Travers Stakes, where he will be running over 2000 metres and, if successful, he will join the likes of Arrogate and West Coast, who have been victorious in this race over the last two runnings. The son of Tapit started the year with back-to-back victories at Gulfstream Park and then he really established himself as one of the leading thoroughbreds in the USA when he came home second in the Grade One Florida Derby. Mott’s colt was just three lengths behind the winner Audible on that occasion and it led to his connections entering their horse in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
Hofburg is the +325 favourite in the Paddy Power horse racing betting for the contest. A victory at Saratoga will see his odds shorten for the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November, while he would then also likely line up in the richest race on the planet, the Pegasus World Cup in January. With Justify now retired to stud, there is the opportunity for another horse from his age group to try and establish itself as the number one horse in the division.
Chad Brown Has A Duo Of Hopefuls
American trainer Chad Brown is also vying for his maiden success in the Travers Stakes this year and he has a couple of strong fancies in Good Magic and Gronkowski. Good Magic won the Grade Two Toyota Blue Grass Stakes earlier in the season, while he then followed that up with an impressive second place finish in the Kentucky Derby where he was only two lengths behind Justify when crossing the line. The three-year-old, who is sired by the great Curlin, is available at +350 in the betting and if there is strong market support arriving for the horse on the day of the race, he could go off as favourite once the stalls open.
Gronkowski is also a horse who has a big reputation going into the Travers Stakes, despite only having one run so far in the USA. The three-year-old ran in the Belmont Stakes where he chased home Justify. He was scheduled to appear in the Kentucky Derby, but an injury just before the Triple Crown contest ruled him out of appearing at Churchill Downs. Before arriving into Brown’s yard, the colt was campaigned in the UK with trainer Jeremy Noseda. Gronkowski won four of his six starts in Europe, with his biggest success coming in a Listed race at Newcastle.
The 2018 Travers Stakes takes place on August 25 and can be seen live on NBC Sports.