The King’s Bishop May Just Be More Interesting than the Travers Stakes this Year

By on Jul 14, 2011

Although it sounds like a move from a grandmaster level chess game, the King’s Bishop is actually a Grade 1 thoroughbred race. The King’s Bishop is a flat sprint over seven furlongs and has been run since 1984. It is typically run on the same day at Saratoga as the Grade 1 Travers Stakes although it has a smaller purse at $250,000.

There are two major reasons that the race is highly regarded. Firstly, the race is one of the premier sprint races in the U.S. for three year olds coming only second behind the Breeders’ Cup Sprint three months later. Secondly, the King’s Bishop is seen as a major indicator for favorites heading into the Breeders’ and is a must prep race for any senior contenders.

Notable winners over the years have included the likes of speedy super sire Forestry and the talented and fast Squirtle Squirt. The best trainer over the years has been the legendary D. Wayne Lukas with five wins, and soon to be nominated Jockey of the Year John Velazquez is tied with most jockey wins at three.

This year’s race will not only have the normal drama of watching the year’s best three year old sprinters charge down the field, but may also have the additional drama of having potential Horse of the Year Uncle Mo run in it. As reported earlier this week on the Beat, Uncle Mo has been moved to Saratoga and word on the track is that he is being lined up for the King’s Bishop race and not the Travers.

Time and Uncle Mo’s health will tell but either way August 27th will be a great day for horse racing.

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