Travers Results 2017: West Coast Takes Wire-to-Wire Win

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2017

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - AUGUST 26: Practical Joke (red cap, inside) #1, with Joel Rosario comes up the rail on the turn for home en route to winning the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes on Travers Stakes Day at Saratoga Race Course on August 26, 2017 in Saratoga Springs, New York. (Photo by Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

West Coast won the 2017 Travers Stakes on Saturday evening at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, leading the race from beginning to end.

The Bob Baffert-trained horse, which sat out the Triple Crown races, held off Gunnevera and Irap to earn the victory.

Tapwrit finished fourth, followed by Good Samaritan, Giuseppe the Great, McCraken, Cloud Computing, Always Dreaming, Lookin at Lee, Girvin and Fayeq. 

All three Triple Crown race winners were in action Saturday, and all—Always Dreaming (Kentucky Derby), Cloud Computing (Preakness Stakes), and Tapwrit (Belmont Stakes)—were unable to finish in the money.

NBC Sports shared the replay of the 148th Travers: 

And Mike MacAdam of the Daily Gazette passed along the the payout information.

West Coast:

  • Win: $14.20
  • Place: $7.60
  • Show: $5.30

Gunnevera:

  • Place: $18.40
  • Show: $10.40

Irap

  • Show: $5.40

It was the second consecutive triumph for jockey Mike Smith and Baffert at the Travers, as they paired up to win the race last year on Arrogate.

While West Coast didn't dominate as thoroughly as Arrogate did a year ago, the horse showed surprising early speed and was able to hold off the pack. Gunnevera looked like he might chase down the wire-to-wire leader coming out of the final turn, but West Coast quickly pulled away to claim a decisive 3 ¼ lengths victory.

"Might have been something people didn't think, but when Bob texted me before the race, he said, 'Listen, he is yours, you ride him however you want,' with a big 'ever,'" Smith said after the race, per Paulick Report. "So that kind of made me think I could get a little aggressive with him. And that is what I wanted to do with no pace in the race."

"We warmed him up sharp," he continued. "And I digged him out of there and he was responsive, and after that, he was just in such a beautiful rhythm, and I said, 'Oh guys, it's going to be a hard out running from here.' And I thank the lord that he ran his race and he came back happy and sound and he didn't turn a hair."

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