View Full Version : Travers 2016 Contenders | Value Line | Analysis

08-27-2016, 01:11 PM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/7.jpg Exaggerator (8-5)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/2.jpg American Freedom (5-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/12.jpg Creator (15-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/13.jpg Laoban (17-1)

It's tempting to look at Exaggerator as a mud freak. I know. I almost did scanning down his PPs for this race. As I was scrolling down his list of races, I started asking myself (knowing full well what the answer was, but asking nonetheless), has this horse ever won on a fast track? Not only has he won on a fast track, but he's won on a fast track at Saratoga. And his TimeFormUS figs have remained pretty consistent, even between his wet track victories and his fast track losses (the only exception being the Belmont Stakes, and I think we can all agree it wasn't the fast track that made him run a sub-par effort in that one).

So, don't be tempted to downgrade Exaggerator today because the track will be fast. In fact, I think this race sets up for him quite well given the expected fast pace up front. Do I think he offers the best value in the race? Definitely not. But I think he WILL represent value nonetheless, because I think a lot of people will push him down a notch or two precisely because it will be a fast track today, and that should give the Exaggerator backers plenty of value if he's anywhere near his 3-1 morning line odds, as I see him as a legit even money horse (which translates to the 8-5 betting line with my 25% overlay requirement).

But I prefer betting on boxcar horses in races like this, and see at least one who is very interesting in this spot, and that horse's name is Creator. Yes, he didn't run a lick in the Jim Dandy over this strip last time out. Yes, a bunch of horses running back in the Travers beat him in the Jim Dandy. And yes, Exaggerator is a better horse with a similar, but slightly more advantageous running style. Yes, this race sets up for both these horses pace-wise. But if Creator is back on his game, I think the distance of this race suits Creator more than it does Exaggerator. And I'm hoping the wagering public really slams Creator for that last race, because there is zero room for wagering with him being 15-1 on my betting line and 15-1 on the morning line.

Finally, the scary horse to me in this race is American Freedom. He's still lightly raced, still improving, and he's the kind of horse I love...he can slug it out on the front and still be there at the end. Does he absolutely have to set the pace? I don't think so, and I'm hoping Bejarano lets Laoban do the dirty work while he sits back a bit, as this will be the longest race he's ever run. But again, this horse doesn't seem like he'll offer much value to me.

Now that I think about it, my second paragraph here was wrong. When you get right down to it, maybe the biggest value in the race IS Exaggerator, but I detest betting on favorites, even the lukewarm kind.