The Travers Stakes, held yearly at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, is America's oldest stakes race in continuous existence. First run in 1864, it was named so in honor of William Travers, who had the Saratoga race track built the year before, along with Leonard Jerome and John Hunter.
The race was inaugurated in 1864 at Saratoga Race Course and has been run in all but five years since, and with all but three runnings at Saratoga. Due to war-time restrictions on travel, the 1943, 1944 and 1945 Saratoga meetings were conducted at Belmont Park.
Named in honor of William R. Travers, one of the original founders of Saratoga Race Course, this race has become a true testament to the enduring spirit of the sport. Over the years, the Travers Stakes has seen countless unforgettable moments and has established itself as the ultimate test for three-year-old thoroughbreds.
That Travers and Hunter co-owned the first winner, a colt named Kentucky, of the race named for Travers is not unusual during those times. In the 1800s, the men who built racetracks were often the ones who bred and owned many of the best horses at these meetings. They built tracks to showcase their horses more than to make money.
The field for the Travers Stakes is limited to three-year-olds, Colts and geldings carrying 126 pounds (57 kg) and fillies carrying 123 pounds (56 kg). The first prize is $1,250,000.
Throughout its illustrious history, the Travers Stakes has been graced by the presence of some of the greatest horses to ever set hoof on American soil. Legendary names like Man o' War, Whirlaway, Native Dancer, Secretariat, and American Pharoah have all triumphed in this race, etching their names into the annals of racing history. Witnessing these majestic champions fly down the stretch is an experience like no other.
A plethora of awe-inspiring moments that have left spectators breathless and created lifelong memories. From "The Race of the Century" in 1962, where Jaipur and Ridan battled neck and neck to the wire, to the remarkable performance of Arrogate in 2016, shattering the track record with an astounding display of speed and power, each edition of the Travers Stakes has its unique story to tell.