One horse can take a major step towards being named champion three-year-old when the starting gate opens in the 2021 Travers Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. Ten winners of the Travers have gone on to earn champion three-year-old honors at the end of the year, the most recent being West Coast in 2017. This year, Essential Quality is widely considered the frontrunner of the division after his victory in the Belmont Stakes. On Saturday, he's the 4-5 favorite in the Travers Stakes 2021 odds.

Midnight Bourbon is behind him at 9-2 in the seven-horse 2021 Travers Stakes field, while Keepmeinmind and Dynamic One are 6-1. Post time is 6:12 p.m. ET. With a well accomplished field set to enter the starting gate, you'll want to see what racing insider Bob Weir has to say before making any Travers Stakes 2021 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.

This year, he has crushed the three-year-old races. He hit the exacta in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, Tampa Bay Derby and Peter Pan Stakes, the trifecta in the Risen Star Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes and the superfecta in the Belmont Stakes. Those are just some of his scores in 2021.

Now, he has handicapped the 2021 Travers Stakes field, made his picks and constructed his bets. You can only see them here.

Top 2021 Travers Stakes predictions, bets

One surprise: Weir is fading Midnight Bourbon, even though he's one of the top favorites. Trained by North America's all-time winningest trainer, Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bourbon has two wins, three seconds and three thirds in 10 career starts. In his last race, the Haskell, he narrowly avoided disaster after clipping heels in the stretch, which forced him to go down and lose his rider.

But Midnight Bourbon has not won beyond a 1 1/16 miles, and Saturday's Travers distance is 1 1/4 miles. "He hasn't proven yet that he really wants this distance," Weir told SportsLine. Weir likes four 2021 Travers Stakes horses better than Midnight Bourbon.

How to make 2021 Travers Stakes picks

In addition, Weir's top pick is a horse who is poised for a "big effort" on Saturday, giving his backers a strong payout. He's also riding a huge longshot as a value play. Weir is including these horses in his 2021 Travers Stakes bets, and so should you. He's sharing which horses to back only at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2021 Travers Stakes? And which horse is a must-back? Check out the latest Travers odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Weir's picks for the Travers

2021 Travers Stakes odds

Program #HorseOdds
1Midnight Bourbon9-2
2Essential Quality4-5
4Dynamic One6-1
5Miles D12-1
7King Fury15-1