The 2012 edition of the G1 Travers Stakes on August 25 brought excitement that no one expected when Golden Ticket and Alpha dead-heated.
However, last year’s Travers had a much different result when Repole Stable’s Stay Thirsty won the race by one and a quarter lengths over Rattlesnake Bridge. Like the 2012 edition, the 2011 Travers attracted a large field, with 10 horses making their way to the starting gate. All the horses made starts later in the year and all but one have raced in 2012.
But where exactly are the members of the 2011 Travers class a year later? Let’s take a look.
Stay Thirsty, the 2011 Travers winner, came on strong in the latter half of the year, finishing third in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes in October. His last race of the year was the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic where he finished 11th.
This year, he debuted in May, finishing second in the Vanlandingham Stakes before finishing fifth in the G2 Suburban Handicap. He is currently pointing towards the Woodward Stakes on September 1.
After his second-place finish in the Travers Stakes, Rattlesnake Bridge finished third in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby. He got “revenge” on Stay Thirsty in the Breeders’ Cup Classic where he finished two spots ahead of the horse, in ninth.
He has not raced in 2012. According to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in December, the horse was at Vinery in Florida for a break.
A Sky Mesa gelding, J W Blue's Travers third-place finish was by far the best finish of his career. The horse had placed in ungraded stakes races before his Travers third-place finish, but had never come close to his performance.
After the Travers, J W Blue finished fifth in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby, then took the rest of the year off. In 2012, he has raced three times with his best finish being a third in an Optional Claimer in March. His last race was a fourth-place finish in an Optional Claiming event in May.
Ruler on Ice's fourth in the Travers was part of the gelding's solid year that included a win in the G1 Belmont Stakes.
Ruler on Ice finished second in the G2 Pennsylvania Derby in his next start and followed that up with a third-place finish in the G1 Breeders' Cup Classic. He ended the year with a fifth in the G1 Clark Handicap.
In 2012, Ruler on Ice hasn't had as much luck, finishing eighth in the G1 Donn Handicap and taking seventh and second, respectively, in Optional Claiming events this summer.
Malibu Glow's fifth place in the G1 Travers started a downward 2011 spiral for the colt. He then finished sixth in the G2 Super Derby before finishing eighth in the ungraded Oklahoma Derby.
However, he started his 2012 season off with a neck win in an Optional Claimer. After an eighth-place finish in the G3 Skip Away Stakes, he finished third in the Joseph French Memorial Stakes. His last start was a fifth-place finish in the Wild and Wonderful Stakes.
Moonshine Mullin made his way to the Travers after a win in the Victoria Park Stakes and a second in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes. After finishing sixth in the Travers, the colt returned to Woodbine where he finished third in the Ontario Derby. He ended his season with a second-place finish in an Optional Claiming event.
In 2012, it took Moonshine Mullin four starts to hit the board, but he did so in a big way with a win in an Optional Claimer at Arlington Park. However, the colt has finished eighth and fourth, respectively, in his last two starts.
Bowman's Causeway had a hard time after his seventh-place finish in the Travers, finishing fourth in the Ontario Derby for his last start of 2011.
His 2012 season started out rough with a seventh and a fifth at Keeneland and Woodbine in allowance company on the turf, but after returning to the Woodbine all-weather track, the colt is on a two-race winning streak.
The Travers seemed to be a big turning point for G1 Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford. After his eighth-place finish in the race, he went on to finish second in both the G2 Indiana Derby and G1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile to finish off his year.
He returned in 2012 with a disappointing seventh-place finish in the G1 Donn Handicap but that again seemed to turn the horse back into a machine. He came out and finished third in the G1 Carter Handicap behind Jackson Bend and Caleb's Posse, but started a two-race winning streak in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes. He then bested Caleb's Posse by a hard-fought nose in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap.
His last race was the G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap over a sloppy track in early August where he finished due to not liking the track. He is pointed to the September 1 Forego Stakes.
After his disappointing ninth-place finish, Raison D'Etat returned in mid-November to finish third in the G3 Discovery Handicap. He ended his year almost a month later with a second-place finish in an allowance.
Raison D'Etat's 2012 season didn't start as planned with the horse finishing sixth in an allowance in late January. After a sixth-month break, he returned July 28 to win an Optional Claimer at Saratoga by four and three-quarter lengths.
After a win in the G1 Haskell Invitational Stakes, Coil entered the Travers as one of the favorites but it wasn't meant to be as the horse finished last in the field of 10. Coil returned a little over a month later in the G1 Goodwood Stakes where he took third behind Game On Dude and Awesome Gem.
The Goodwood would be the last time Coil would be seen until late July of 2012 where he won a seven furlong Optional Claimer on the all-weather track at Del Mar by a length. He returned on August 26 at the same track where he finished second in the seven furlong G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes, beaten a half-length by Capital Account and beating Camp Victory.
There's been no word of where Coil will go next.