Travers Stakes odds, lineup, contenders, predictions 2019: Legendary expert reveals top picks, best bets

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will try to win the Travers Stakes for the first time on Saturday when he saddles the favored Tacitus for the 150th running of the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Beginning in 1995, Mott has started eight horses in the storied race known as the Midsummer Derby; his best finish is second, which he did twice, in 1999 and 2009. Tacitus has been installed the 5-2 favorite on the morning line despite losing his last three starts. Code of Honor is the 4-1 second choice in the 2019 Travers Stakes odds. Three horses -- Mucho Gusto, Owendale and Tax -- are the co-third choices, at 6-1. Post time for the 1¼-mile race is 5:44 p.m. ET. With such an evenly matched field of contenders set to enter the starting gate, you need to see the horse racing predictions from Hank "The Hammer" Goldberg before making any 2019 Travers Stakes picks of your own. 

The former horse racing analyst for ESPN and NBC, Goldberg became a legendary handicapper by going straight to the source. In 2004, he had dinner before the Belmont Stakes with trainer Nick Zito at a pizzeria in Queens. The dinner led Goldberg to play Zito's 36-1 monster long shot Birdstone to win and on top of his exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets. If you had laid $300 on Goldberg's Belmont plays, you would have cashed for more than $21,000. That's just one of many success stories during Goldberg's legendary handicapping career.

Now Goldberg has studied the 2019 Travers Stakes lineup and released his picks, predictions and exotic bets only at SportsLine. 

We can tell you that Goldberg is fading Tax, one of the three horses at 6-1 in the Travers Stakes 2019 odds. The Hammer says that the horse doesn't even hit the board. This son of Arch has won three times in eight starts and is coming off an upset victory over Tacitus in the Jim Dandy Stakes. Since that race, Tax has trained well, turning in a bullet four-furlong workout in a little more than 47 seconds on Aug. 16.

But Tax was compromised badly by Tuesday's post draw. Marooned out on the far outside in post No. 12, Tax will have to use his speed early in order to secure his preferred forward racing position. After the draw, even trainer Danny Gargan admitted Tax would have to go for the lead. Even then, he could still lose ground while racing wide on both turns. Against a lesser field, losing ground may not be a problem, but against this field it is.

Instead, Goldberg is high on a double-digit long shot to make a strong run at the title. The Hammer is including this horse in his exactas, trifectas and superfectas, and so should you. He's sharing which horse to back only at SportsLine.

Which horse wins the Travers Stakes 2019? And which long shot shocks horse racing? Check out the latest 2019 Travers Stakes odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Goldberg's picks for the Travers Stakes.

2019 Travers Stakes field (odds in parentheses)

Owendale (6-1)
Code of Honor (4-1)
Highest Honors (10-1)
Laughing Fox (30-1)
Everfast (30-1)
Tacitus (5-2)
Mucho Gusto (6-1)
Chess Chief (30-1)
Looking At Bikinis (10-1)
Scars Are Cool (30-1)
Endorsed (15-1)
Tax (6-1)

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