History Will Be Made

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 25, 2009 in General Discussion, Other Events | No Comments >>

In the summer, we know it is almost over when the Travers Stakes is coming our way. The Spa offers some of the best racing in the country, and it never disappoints.

The Mid-Summers Derby, as it is called, is the oldest stakes race in the U.S., and is the highlight of the Saratoga meet.

The race itself is named for the first president of Saratoga Race Course, Mr. William R. Travers. It was inaugurated in 1864 by a horse named Kentucky.

The race was held at Belmont for: 1943, 1944, and 1945. This was due to war-time travel restrictions.  The track and race hold much history in the making.

Travers was a prominent businessman in New York, and passed away at the age of 68 years old. He left racing a much bigger game. His name will always be associated with the advancement of the sport.

The current distance is 1 1/4 miles. It was held at 1 3/4 for the first 25 years of the race. Many distances were tried and ran, but in 1904 the race remained at the historic distance of 1 1/4. The trophy originally designed by Tiffany’s in 1920, is known as the Man O’ War Cup.

There are many fantastic runnings of this historic race, and if you survey many fans of the sport, they will recall the 1962 battle between Jaipur and Ridan. This is still recounted as one of the greatest moments in racing.

So, no matter who you like, and win or lose, this race is the maker of champions. It is the right of summer, to hold this race where so many will converge and enjoy the start and finish of the contest. Be sure to be on hand, as this is history. It is made and marked every August, and serves as a reminder that races are meant to be run, and champions are meant to be crowned.

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