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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2022 Travers Analysis

DAMASCUS - Winner of the 1967 Travers Stakes - defeated his opponents by 22 lengths, a record which is still held to this day

To whom it may concern: This analysis may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, paraphrased or posted without written consent and permission. You may not recreate this analysis or any portion of this analysis in any manner. Screenshots will be used, along with previous evidence already compiled. This analysis is posted on 8/25/2022 at 4:24pm. You have been warned.

Some of these analyses are quite long but this is a very important race and every detail matters when constructing your super ticket. This gives you the opportunity to weigh a bit of outside insight and add into your own handicapping. Good luck everyone.


DP = 3-15-4-0-0 (22) DI = 10.00 CD = 0.95

Mare Profile = 5-5-6-9-4 Speed = 10 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.91 Triads = 16-20-19

Post: 5 M/L: 9/2 Irad Ortiz Jr. Chad Brown Arrogate - Paulassilverlining (Ghostzapper)

This colt has had three races since his debut in April of this year. All three races were very impressive, and his displayed speed is extremely notable. Being the most "unseasoned" on the field, one of the main reasons why he was installed at 4.5 to 1 is because of his sire Arrogate, who holds the track record from 2016 for this very race. This is not to take away from Artorius' magnificent showing to date, but it is a testament to his sire. It is very important to note though, Arrogate and Artorius have completely different scales to work with. This is not to say that Artorius doesn't have the breeding for 10f, but you must be made aware of the magnitude of the differences.

Arrogate: DP = 6-25-7-0-2 (40) DI = 6.27 CD = 0.83

Mare Profile = 4-6-4-7-9 Speed = 10 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.62 Triads = 14-17-20

Unlike most of Baffert's clones, Arrogate had a chart and configurations that were spectacular, and the horse ran directly in line with them. The main portion that stands out is that Arrogate had 40 total chef points which always points out one who has a strong potential across the board in distance capability. They thrive on all types of biases as well. The second item of major interest is that when combined, Arrogate's optimum distance was unquestionable for the 10f Travers. He sat at 10.75f. Even with over 6x the inherited chef speed, his mares contributed 12.3f capability and when combined, he had it easily. A sire has own chart and his own scale and they are almost never the same with the offspring because of the bottom of the chart.

Artorius does not have 40 total chef points like his sire. That is one strike against comparison. When his mares and chefs are combined, he sits at 9.3f. This is quite a major difference from Arrogate's 10.75f. That is strike #2. His mares offer a contribution of 11.25f, again, quite a huge difference against the 12.3f of his sire. Artorius has 10x the inherited speed over stamina from his chefs and because he has 22 chef total points, those numbers will remain fierce. His mare's line straight through is very nice but Arrogate had a 6-point spread as opposed to a 3-point spread leaning to stamina - which is half. Both have Distorted Humor's (prominent non-chef) additional stamina influence, but he falls in Arrogate's 2nd generation and in Artorius' 3rd generation. Most notable is the difference between Arrogate's .62 Mare Index as opposed to Artorius' .91 index.

With all of that said, while Artorius is only showing a 9.3f optimum, we can add in Distorted Humor's influence and give a slight nod to the stamina power of Arrogate. These additions get him to a board hit capability but there is something more to be said about the configurations and the scale. Artorius has a scale that is very similar to Mandaloun, the named winner of the 10f Derby. He never ran another 10f race again but he managed to show up and take the distance that one time. Speed wins races and it is a matter of conditioning for the race, the bias of the track, and the will and determination of the horse in any distance race. To date, Artorius' will and determination and his 10.00 speed has been on full display. There is no question of his talent and his allegiance to his chefs numbers, which is the main reason why I question the :47 breeze at Saratoga in his last workout. That is fast and puts up a red flag. It says that he has a deference to his chefs which in turn will demolish a few on this field but there is a strong possibility that it gets the better of him before 9.7f. Based on the Jim Dandy early pace figures and also based on the ridiculous workout of Ain't Life Grand several days ago, Artorius will not see an 80 to 85 E1 figure and his incredible speed ability will be tested for serious endurance as he nears the final turn. He beats the living daylights out of a few on this list because of that inbred speed and he has just enough in him to capture a board hit. His distance capability is tight but not impossible. As is the case with most every 10f race, the 4th place slot is a crapshoot. Either a speedy guy (Artorius) holds on for his piece or a stamina guy (Rich Strike) displays enough willpower to grab his fair share on the bottom. His numbers are deserving in that regard.


DP = 5-8-11-0-0 (24) DI = 3.36 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 7-1-6-9-7 Speed = 8 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.72 Triads = 14-16-22

Post: 2 M/L 10/1 Sonny Leon Eric Reed Keen Ice - Gold Strike (Smart Strike)

This horse has fantastic numbers, there is no doubt about it. They are Travers numbers, just as they were Derby numbers. He is a 10f horse, any less and his speed isn’t there, any further, and he expends too much energy. 10f is his game. I will not hold the Belmont Stakes against him because quite frankly, this breeding was incorrect for that race. In addition, he was asked to alter his winning ways which always backfires. The Belmont demands even pace and a balanced scale, both of which are non-existent with Rich Strike.

Now that he is running in the Travers, you simply cannot ignore the way that horse weaved his way through traffic – which, in reality, is traffic that was back tracking into him. That is still impressive even if he wasn’t passing them outright. He will not have a :22 opening quarter but that doesn’t matter here. Realistically, there are 2 definite players who do not have the distance (Gilded Age and Ain't Life Grand). He has one other who is borderline (Artorius). In addition, there is Early Voting who did the drunken Sailor dance in the stretch in the Preakness. This leaves a short field of 4 players when it counts, at the top of the stretch. This horse can hit it by default. Between Artorius and Rich Strike (one with severe speed and one with severe late stamina) one of them grabs ahold in the end. He must be used somewhere on that super. He is built properly for the Travers Stakes but we have to consider the possibility that Reed has tried too hard to alter his style. This guy is definitely holding the right stuff in his chart, now it is a matter of what Reed has actually done to him over the last 76 days. That is a scary thought but does not nullify his chart. I’m using him because of those numbers at the 10f distance.


DP = 6-8-8-2-0 (24) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 9-4-3-3-8 Speed = 13 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.14 Triads = 16-10-14

Post: 4 M/L: 30-1 Junior Alvarado Bill Mott Medaglia d'Oro - Angela Renee (Bernardini)

This set-up is even worse than Ain’t Life Grand. This horse is all speed, top and bottom, and those mare’s configurations will never do at 10f. Shipping this horse to compete in the UAE Derby with his breeding is just one step above on the "catastrophe scale" as placing him in the 10f Travers Stakes. There is no reason to type any further.


DP = 2-3-9-0-0 (14) DI = 2.11 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 13-0-1-5-9 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.13 Triads = 14-6-15

Post: 8 M/L: 5/1 Flavien Prat Chad Brown Upstart - Memories Prevail (Creative Cause)

I truly believe that Zandon was just as favored as Rich Strike in the 10f Derby and also capitalized off of that wicked pace. His numbers scream Pennsylvania Derby and are balanced just like McKinzie. Just shy of the 10f, but not by much, these numbers get him to the stretch with the best of them. He has a spectacular will to win and this always gives a horse the extra endurance to persevere. His scale slides even because of the 13 points of brilliant speed he gained from his mares and his tilted .50 CD gets him in line but it is not an easy 10f balance. He needs a breakdown up front (similar to what he had in the Derby) to win this race. His outward and consistent determination will put him in position to do that but he must rely on a crazy pace to dominate this race. There are two on the field that could make that possible but there are three others who will also capitalize in that situation. Zandon is a very talented horse and he definitely stands above half of the field. It is the other half that he has to worry about for a win here.

Zandon is the highest producing offspring from Upstart to date. His combined optimum distance is 9.8f (just like McKinzie) and he has a determination within himself to overlook the .2 to .4 extra that he needs to prevail. He has been outwitted by Epicenter in each of their three meetings based on that distance capability and there is no reason to think that scenario won't play out again, especially since we are back at the 10f oval. He does compete with Epicenter though and because of his skill and determination, leaving this guy off of the 2nd and 3rd spot of any superfecta ticket would be highly ill-advised.


DP = 0-2-6-0-0 (8) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.25

Mare Profile = 3-2-5-12-6 Speed = 5 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.45 Triads = 10-19-23

Post: 1 M/L: 7/2 Florent Geroux Brad Cox Gun Runner - Awesome Flower (Flower Alley)

Cyberknife is the second highest grossing offspring from Gun Runner underneath the filly Echo Zulu. These two know how to win races 9f and under, that’s for sure. Both with incredible displayed speed under the 10f mark to date. Echo was never afforded the opportunity to display stamina but Cyberknife was and unfortunately because of Summer is Tomorrow, we have zero evidence of how he would react at the distance with a conducive pace. His breeding, on the other hand, certainly depicts serious endurance. The .25 CD from his chefs translates to exactly 10f and his mares bring him to a combined 12.6f.

It is obvious from both his disastrous Derby performance and his fantastic record breaking 9f Haskell win that Cyberknife favors his speed side which far exceeds what shows up in his profiles. Just like his Grandsire on the bottom of his chart, Flower Alley, who won the Travers back in 2005 stalking the lead, Cyberknife is more than bred for this particular race. Between his displayed speed, his running style and the mare’s contribution, he has all the muscle he needs for this test. Beating Spend a Buck’s 9f Monmouth track record was nothing short of astonishing based on Cyberknife’s breeding and depicts a horse who apparently gravitates to both his sire Gun Runner and his Grandsire Candy Ride. These types are few and far between but they also need the set-up. The opening quarter of 23.50 that he saw in the Haskell is not too far out of the realm but if Ain’t Life Grand decides to replicate his last workout or run to his Iowa Derby early pace, Cyberknife will have to alter his energy a great deal. Based on what he did in the Derby, that scenario will defeat him. If Artorius showcases his inbred speed simply due to the commotion at the Saratoga track, Cyberknife will again falter before the final turn.

This horse is fast and he has the distance blindfolded. He needs a moderate pace to showcase what he is made of. Does he get it? Early Voting has always led a very moderate opening quarter which plays right into Cyberknife’s comfort zone but we cannot assume the lead, nor how the leader will react once he is there. My gut is saying that there is a strong possibility that Ain’t Life Grand, coming from post 3, may actually beat Early Voting (coming from post 7) to the punch. If that happens, we cannot be assured a moderate pace. Ain’t Life Grand will disintegrate before the final turn (regardless of pace) but he may take a few with him if he secures that lead and goes nuts out front. Early Voting will not go nuts out front if he is there to win. He will however, if he is there to be a rabbit for Zandon and I dont think that is a stretch either. This will give advantage to Epicenter either way - and also Zandon (of course, Rich Strike as well). Pace makes the race. Crazy fast pace and Cyberknife is no match for Epicenter. Conducive pace and Cyberknife competes with Epicenter in a race for the ages down that stretch with Zandon not far behind. Cyberknife is Epicenter's main threat.

Based on both Cyberknife's displayed speed in the Haskell and the way he disintegrated so fast and so hard in the 10f Derby, the only conclusion that one can come to is that he is pace dependent. It must be your call in how you see the race unfolding in the early stages. Two separate tickets could be in order.

Another possibility is that Epicenter is ridden like the days gone by and secures that lead going gate to wire. That right there is wishful thinking! Based on the way Rosario has changed his dominant running style, that probably won’t happen. If we see that moderate pace early - Cyberknife will thrive at Saratoga.


DP = 2-2-9-1-0 (14) DI = 1.55 CD = 0.36

Mare Profile = 6-9-4-5-4 Speed = 15 Stamina = 9 Index = 1.47 Triads = 19-18-13

Post: 3 M/L: 20/1 Kelly Von Hemel Not This Time - Cat d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro)

This colt’s Grandsire, Medaglia d’Oro won the Travers Stakes back in 2002. He also won the Jim Dandy as well. There is no comparison in breeding though and these numbers say it all: Medaglia d’Oro:

DP = 10-14-14-4-0 (42) DI = 2.82 CD = 0.71. Just like Arrogate, loaded chef’s profiles are no joke and they are a major tell-tale sign, especially at the 10f distance. Ain’t Life Grand is nowhere near it and those mare’s numbers are absolutely disasterous for the task at hand. He has a 6 point spread descending to stamina which is horrible for the 10f. Adding in the additional speed of Not This Time and the additional speed inheritance of Storm Cat and Trippi, this horse will be lucky if he sees the final turn. He is giving every bit of evidence that he is a speed demon based on his early pace figures and his completely outrageous 4f workout in less than 46 seconds. Shades of Crown Pride that will not be misread again! He does not have the inbred endurance to sustain that type of speed the full mile and a quarter. Not every “Not This Time” son is a stamina beast like Epicenter. Not even Simplification.


DP = 0-0-4-0-0 (4) DI = 1.00 CD = 0.00

Mare Profile = 5-3-6-8-3 Speed = 8 Stamina = 11 Index = 0.95 Triads = 14-17-17

Post: 7 M/L: 8-1 Jose Ortiz Chad Brown Gun Runner - Amour d'Ete (Tiznow)

There was a reason why Chad Brown left Early Voting to sit and simmer for the Kentucky Derby and I truly believe that there is a reason why he is entering him into the Travers. That reason comes down to one word: Zandon. Early Voting has 11.25 distance capability. This is actually much further than Zandon inherited but Chad left him out of that Derby for the Preakness and not the other way around. No matter what Chad Brown does in his personal life has no bearing on what a spectacular trainer he is. Out of all them out there, Chad Brown is one of the only trainers who somehow always follows the charts and puts his charges on paths that are so strategic and meaningful. He is a master at it.

The problem with Early Voting is not that he doesn’t have the distance, it is because of his energy distribution. He leaves Early Voting out of the most prestigious race of the year, the 10f Derby and then turns around and puts him in the 10f Travers after witnessing the horse wind down in all of his winning races under 10f. The two races that he won after his maiden, both times he had major and extremely high early pace figures, 108 and 110. The 2 times where he lost, his early pace figures were 95 and 90. It appears that Early Voting can only secure a trophy when he runs like a freight train in the first two calls and then he winds down to the wire. This happens under 10f. Chad knows that winning style much greater than anyone else. The only way that Early Voting has a shot at a win is if he pushes quick and secures those high pace figures in the first two calls. Based on his PP's, his energy distribution is wrong for the 10f distance and he will wind down just as he does every time, but this time, there is even more track to conquer. This eventual scenario obviously gives advantage to Zandon and destroys Early Voting.

The evidence portrayed on his PP's depict a horse who only wins when he posts very high pace figures in the first 2 calls of his race and he winds down to the final call. Each of the time under 10f. He loses when he displays lower figures in his first two calls. Now he has to go even further and his energy distribution can't handle his "winning ways" at the distance. That is why I believe that Early Voting is in the Travers Stakes for Zandon. If EV rolls out of that gate and pushes early, he is doomed in favor of his stablemate. If he slows on the pace, he risks a loss either way. Again, there was a reason why Chad left him out of the Derby. Your take may be different than mine but I’m sticking with it. If he somehow manages to correct his energy distribution for the full 10f, then he beats me.


DP = 0-0-9-1-2 (12) DI = 0.60 CD = -0.42

Mare Profile = 1-10-5-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.74 Triads = 16-23-18

Post: 6 M/L: 7/5 Joel Rosario Steve Asmussen Not This Time - Silent Candy (Candy Ride)

Out of 241 listed offspring of Not This Time as of the writing of this article, Epicenter is his highest grossing son by over double. He has raked in $2,270,639– this is even higher than the Kentucky Derby winner, Rich Strike, who took in 1,860,000 from that one race alone. There is a reason for that. It is because Epicenter is the best bred three year old colt out there. I have said it since he was 2 years old and I still say it today. None compare. He is built like a steam engine for the Travers Stakes. I had some thoughts when Charge It was slated for this race and now Cyberknife is the one remaining - which we will get into.

Cyberknife is pace dependent – Epicenter is not. Because of Early Voting and the way that he wins his races (extreme early figures) I can only see this favoring Epicenter (and Zandon.) But I will not assume the lead, nor will I assume the pace ever again, I can only see it with the evidence that is presented on the PP sheet. Again, it may or may not play out that way but we still have another who may also want it that way – Ain’t Life Grand. The probability gets even greater when you throw in a speed demon like Artorius and things really start to lean in the Champ’s favor.

I do not believe that a Champion horse has to go undefeated in his career. Hell, some of the greatest champions have lost races including Damascus, Secretariat, Point Given – I could fill pages with the greatest names of all time who lost races along the way.

A champion horse is built for the classic distance. He demolishes speed along the way. He takes the punches and the defeats and he comes back stronger than ever. He steamrolls through his disadvantages race after race, whether in success or defeat, and he does not need reliance on the faults of his foes to get the job done. This horse is the best of the crop, from day one. He has overcome a suicidal pace that 18 out of 19 other competitors couldn’t. He overcame the worst ride on a speed favoring track in the Preakness and ran out of real estate 1-1/2 lengths before the wire. Those two facts that affect his record does not nullify the dominance of this horse.

After many hours with that Past Performance sheet, no matter what the pace is and no matter how the horse is jockeyed, Epicenter looks disadvantage in the eye every single time that he walks into that gate and he performs. The same cannot be said about any other horse on this field. Not even Cyberknife. For me, I’m sticking with the best. Epicenter is the horse to beat – again.

Wager: 8.00 per every 1.00 ticket wagered

1st – Epicenter

2nd –Cyberknife, Zandon

3rd – Cyberknife, Zandon, Artorius

4th – Cyberknife, Zandon, Artorius, Rich Strike


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