The Travers Stakes is an annual rite of summer in Saratoga Springs, New York. Commonly referred to as the Midsummer Derby, the Travers is the oldest race in the United States for 3-year-old thoroughbreds. It traditionally represents the culmination of the prestigious Saratoga racing season and garners national attention in the sporting community. The rich history of this grand event dates back to 1864, when it was the first race contested at Saratoga Race Course, arguably the sport’s most iconic venue.
From the beginning, the Travers was a prominent event on the American racing calendar. The inaugural edition was won by the great colt Kentucky, who was co-owned by William R. Travers, the race’s namesake and the first president of the Saratoga Association.
Throughout its history, the Travers has been won by some of the sport’s most accomplished and celebrated competitors, including 23 members of the Hall of Fame, and numerous other champions and standouts. Some of the immortals counted among the winners of the Midsummer Derby include Man o’ War, Twenty Grand, Whirlaway, Native Dancer, Gallant Man, Sword Dancer, Buckpasser, Damascus, and Holy Bull.