Travers Stakes Edition with DRF Dan Illman & Writer Brien Bouyea
August 25, 2022
Hosted by John Engelhardt
DRF’s Dan Illman will join us for Travers Day coverage. A popular Winningponies guest, Dan is one of the most widely watched handicappers on the internet through his drf.com platform. Almost daily, he matches wits with Mike Beer for interesting angles and observations of the Race of the Day. There is no doubt what the race of the day will be on Saturday as Saratoga presents the 153rd running of the Travers Stakes. Trainer Eric Reed joined us last week and wasn’t surprised that Rich Strike will be a longshot once again. The Kentucky Derby winner at odds of 80-1, Rich Strike drew post 2 and was made the 10-1 sixth choice in the field of eight entered Tuesday for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers at Saratoga, a race where Epicenter, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up, was made the 7-5 favorite on David Aragona’s morning-line. “That’s fair,” Eric said of his odds. “His running style makes him hard to pick no matter what. He’s got all the speed in the world, but for whatever reason he wants to spot these horses.” Epicenter has already proven he can handle Saratoga’s main track, having taken the Grade 2 Jim Dandy here on July 30. Epicenter is still seeking his first victory in a Grade 1 stakes. Cyberknife, the lone dual Grade 1 winner in the 3-year-old division, drew the rail for the Travers. He had that same post when he won the Grade 1 Haskell, setting a stakes and track record for 1 1/8 miles. The Travers undercard includes four Grade 1's topped by the Sword Dancer and DRF’s David Grening posted this thumbnail outline of these top races. First contested in 1864, the Travers is the oldest race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds in the United States. It has been won by numerous immortals of the sport, including Man o’ War, Twenty Grand, Whirlaway, Native Dancer, Gallant Man, Buckpasser, Damascus, and Holy Bull, among others. The race’s 150th renewal will take place on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Saratoga Race Course. Brien Bouyea is the Hall of Fame and Communications Director at the National Museum of Racing and he will join the show again to put a spotlight on Saturday’s “Mid-Summer Derby,” the race that traditionally draws the best 3-year-olds in training to test their mettle again at 1 ¼ miles. Prior to joining the Museum, Bouyea spent 10 years working as a sports writer and editor at the Troy Record and The Saratogian, where he won numerous national and state writing awards. He is co-author of “The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race,” along with Michael Veitch. “The Travers” was a finalist for the Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award. Bouyea is also the sports editor for Saratoga Living magazine, writing mostly about horse racing and Capital Region sports. He has also done work for New York Horse magazine and the Albany Times Union. He enjoys photography, is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, and basically lives at Saratoga Race Course from mid-July through Labor Day when he isn’t in the Museum.
Thursday at 5 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
On the show we will talk about the Sport of Kings. We will delve into the different features of the WinningPonies.com website. John Engelhardt will talk about the issues of the day that affect horse racing, such as synthetic surfaces, medication rule changes, the fate of the industry as a whole, VLTs and Casinos, and human interest stories of triumph and defeat. You will also hear our spot play of the week, where John will handicap the feature races for the upcoming weekend, and will give out his best plays. We will keep you abreast racing’s big events. Featured on the show will be guests (trainers, jockeys, owners, celebrity handicappers and industry insiders). Promotional giveaways will be featured, such as brand merchandise and free WinningCredits.
"Winning Ponies" is broadcast live every Thursday at 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.
You may recognize him as "Racing's Regular Guy." For ten years, John Engelhardt hosted the informative and sometimes irreverent handicapping show from his base at River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio. He developed a passion for thoroughbred racing as a youngster at Saratoga, and has been able to make his love of the sport his life's calling.
Engelhardt, a native of Syracuse, New York is a graduate of the University of Dayton. His professional career in racing began as the track photographer at Beulah Park in 1983 and he has worked in racing ever since. John produced "The Stretch Run" for eight years, which aired on the CBS affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. For four years Engelhardt co-hosted "The Regular Guy Handicapping Show on HOMER 1530-AM in Cincinnati with former "Winning Ponies" host Ed Meyer.
John served as the President of the Turf Publicists of America in 2009 and 2010, after serving several years as the Midwest Vice-President of that organization. He is currently a consultant for Pinnacle Entertainment handling publicity, public relations, marketing, advertising and special events for River Downs. Under the "nom-de-course" of Heart of an Angel Stable, he has bred and owned thoroughbreds for 18 years.
"Racing's Regular Guy" has been exposed to racing on many levels and greets the sport with enthusiasm and well-rounded knowledge. Tune in Thursdays at 5PM PT, as he welcomes nationally recognized guests, who will help you find those "Winning Ponies.”