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2012 Travers and King's Bishop Stakes

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Golden Ticket and Alpha dead heat in the 2012 Travers Stakes
Golden Ticket Alpha horse racing

Golden Ticket and Alpha dead heat for win in the 2012 Travers Stakes at Saratoga

© Vanessa Ng
August 25, 2012

The highlight race of the Saratoga meeting is the $1 million Travers Stakes (G1), a 1 1/4 mile trip over the main track for 3-year-olds. A field of 11 contested the "Midsummer Derby" under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 80's, with 46,528 fans in attendance. Jim Dandy (G2) winner Alpha was sent off as the 5-2 favorite. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Nonios, second in both the Haskell (G1) and the Swaps (G2), and 5-1 third choice Neck 'n Neck, second in the Jim Dandy after winning the Matt Winn Stakes (G3).

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sent 52-1 longest shot Speightscity to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.51, 48.06, and 1:12.62 while pressed by 23-1 Stealcase, with favorite Alpha stalking the pacesetters another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Entering the stretch, 33-1 Golden Ticket, who sat fourth early, came through on the rail to gain a short lead over Alpha through 1 mile in 1:37.25. The pair battled through the final furlong and hit the line together in 2:02.74 over the fast main track. The photo finish determined that the pair dead-heated for the win, the first such result in the Travers since 1874. 32-1 Fast Falcon, last early, closed with a strong late rally to finish just a neck back of the winners.

Results chart from DRF

Also on the card were the Ballerina Stakes (G1), Ballston Spa Handicap (G2), and Victory Ride Stakes (G3)

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