Linda Rice will try to become just the second female trainer to win the Travers Stakes on Saturday. She'll send out Max Player in the 2020 Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, and the 56-year-old Rice is trying to follow Mary Hirsch, who won the 1938 Travers with Thanksgiving. Max Player, a son of Honor Code, is coming off a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes and is listed at 6-1 in the latest 2020 Travers Stakes odds.
Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law is the even-money favorite in the eight-horse 2020 Travers Stakes lineup. He is followed by the Bob Baffert-trained Uncle Chuck (5-2), and post time is 6:15 p.m. ET. With a quality field set to enter the starting gate on Saturday, you'll want to see the horse racing predictions and best bets from proven handicapper Bob Weir before making any 2020 Travers Stakes picks.
Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Weir has been handicapping and following horse racing since reading Andy Beyer's landmark handicapping book "Picking Winners" in the late 1980s. Weir is highly invested in the Beyer Speed Figure, a number assigned to every race run by a horse that measures how fast the horse ran. He uses the figure as the backbone of his handicapping. In fact, thanks to his proficiency with speed figures and top-tier handicapping, he landed one of just eight spots on Beyer's figure-making team in 2017, a position he holds to this day.
Weir's methodology has produced multiple five-figure days. In 2014, he hit a $60,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar. The following year, he nailed a $31,000 Pick 6 at Gulfstream Park. In 2016 and 2017, Weir qualified for the prestigious National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
And this year, his first for SportsLine, Weir has been on fire on his horse racing picks. In January he crushed the Pegasus World Cup, giving out an $8 exacta and a $1 trifecta, winning $757.60. He nailed the late Pick 4 at Gulfstream Park on both April 9 and April 10, hitting for $827.65 and $394.65. On June 13 Weir hit a $2 superfecta in the Ogden Phipps Stakes that paid a whopping $1,039. And he hit the late Pick 4 at Belmont Park on June 18, June 19, June 25, July 2 and July 5 with the June 25 score returning a whopping $2,159.50. Those are just some of his hits this year.
Now, Weir has studied the 2020 Travers Stakes field and has released his picks, predictions and exotic bets. You can see them all over at SportsLine.
Top 2020 Travers Stakes predictions
One shocker: Weir isn't high on Country Grammer, even though he's one of the favorites behind only Tiz the Law and Uncle Chuck. Country Grammer is trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., the leading jockey at the meet. He has two victories in five career starts.
But the last time he faced horses of this caliber, Country Grammer finished fifth in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. "I'm not convinced Country Grammer can compete at this level," Weir told SportsLine.
Instead, Weir is high on Max Player. This son of Honor Code has two wins, one second and one third in four career starts. He is coming off a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.
"If there is a pace meltdown, Max Player might be the one running late," Weir said. "This horse has been improving, and the extra distance should not be a concern."
How to make 2020 Travers Stakes picks
Weir is also high on a double-digit long shot who's a "must-use." This horse could light up the tote board on Saturday. Weir is including this horse in all of his trifectas and superfectas, and so should you. He's sharing which horse to back only at SportsLine.
Who wins the Travers Stakes 2020? And which horses do you need to include in your exactas, trifectas and superfectas? Check out the latest 2020 Travers Stakes odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Travers Stakes, and find out.
2020 Travers Stakes odds
Tiz the Law 1-1
Uncle Chuck 5-2
Country Grammer 6-1
Max Player 6-1
South Bend 15-1
First Line 30-1