Gritty Gunnevera can upset the Travers

A stacked field of 12 has assembled for the 148th running of the Grade I, $1.25 million Travers Stakes this Saturday at Saratoga. The 1 1/4-mile event is as wide-open as any rendition in recent memory and has attracted three-year-old colts from all across the country. Going as Race 11 on a stakes-laden 13-race card, post time for the Travers is estimated at 5:44 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#11 GUNNEVERA (20-1) steps up off gloried workout at Gulfstream but has shown Grade I talent before. The Tangelo Stakes he exits was simply a confidence-booster after a much-needed vacation. After winning the Fountain of Youth last March he seemed tired in the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby before bottoming out in the Preakness. GUNNEVERA could be sitting on a career-best effort in his second start off a layoff and should get pace to close into with #1 CLOUD COMPUTING, #3 WEST COAST, #7 ALWAYS DREAMING, #10 IRAP and #12 FAYEQ all possibly flashing early foot. Edgard Zayas ships up to ride for Antonio Sano.

#4 TAPWRIT (7-2, morning-line favorite) was last seen prevailing in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes for Todd Pletcher. That race has come back unproductive so far, but TAPWRIT still merits consideration off that lifetime-best performance. TAPWRIT’s Tampa Bay Derby victory demonstrates that his Belmont effort was no fluke. Jose Ortiz maintains the mount.

#10 IRAP (8-1) owns back-to-back Grade III wins, the Ohio Derby and Indiana Derby, and has won three of his last four races (the lone loss coming in the Kentucky Derby). He should be prominent early under Mario Gutierrez and has competitive speed figures to boast.

#5 GOOD SAMARITAN (5-1) sprang an upset in the Jim Dandy when both CLOUD COMPUTING and ALWAYS DREAMING misfired. He earned a good speed figure in that heat and drew off to win by over four lengths. He could be very dangerous in the Travers in just his second career dirt start. Joel Rosario, as usual, has the assignment.

The play: $5 win/place 11 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Joel Rosario has 10 mounts on Saturday, with all but two at 6-1 or below in odds. Chief among those are Forever Unbridled (Personal Ensign), Practical Joke (Jerkens), Mind Your Biscuits (Forego), and GOOD SAMARITAN.

Jose Ortiz should also have a highly-productive Saturday. He rides in 10 races and has just one mount above 8-1 in odds. His stakes assignments include Paulassilverlining (Ballerina), Takaful (Jerkens), Bigger Picture (Sword Dancer), and TAPWRIT.

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