SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Aiken-trained colt Alpha and long-shot Golden Ticket finished in a historic dead heat in the $1 million Travers Stakes on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
It appeared as if Golden Ticket would pull off a huge upset in the field of 11 3-year-olds. But 2-1 favorite Alpha closed strongly in the final yards and the two hit the finish line in tandem.
The photo finish sign flashed on the toteboard, and a few minutes later, the crowd roared when the dead heat sign made it official. It was the first dead heat in the 143 runnings of the Travers, and a rare finish for any Grade 1 race.
Alpha paid $4.10 and 33-1 shot Golden Ticket returned $26.80 to win.