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Travers Stakes 2011 Won By Stay Thirsty

Stay Thirsty followed up a victory in the Jim Dandy Stakes a few weeks ago with an impressive 1 1/4 length victory Saturday in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Stay Thirsty, the betting favorite, paid $6.80, $4.20 and $3.40 to win. Rattlesnake Bridge finished second, paying $10.80 and $7.60. J.W. Blue placed third, paying $11.40. Stay Thirsty's winning time was 2:03.03.

“He’s gotten so much better since the Kentucky Derby [where he placed 12th],” said Stay Thirsty’s trainer Todd Pletcher. “Once Javier [Castellano] geared him up he took off.”

Preakness winner Shackleford dueled Stay Thirsty for the lead throughout the first half of the 1 1/4-mile race, but eventually fell off the pace. Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice (fourth) and Haskell Invitational winner Coil were never factors in the race. Coil, the 5-2 second choice entering the race, finished last in the 10-horse field In fact, once Shackleford fell off the pace Stay Thirsty really was never challenged down the backstretch. Shackleford faded to eighth place.

There was also heavy interest in The King’s Bishop Saturday at Saratoga, with 2-year-old champion Uncle Mo making his return to racing after being felled by an illness prior to the Kentucky Derby. Uncle Mo was edged by Caleb’s Posse in a photo finish. Caleb’s Posse went off at 5-1 and $13.80 to win.