The 24-year-old posted a time of 1:41.38 down the famous Birds of Prey course to eclipse his better-known rivals on a day that was dominated by the lesser lights of the Alpine skiing scene.
Ganong's personal best race finish is a 12th place in last season's downhill in Kitzbuehel, but in fast conditions on the slope he indicated he could go better this week.
“The course is great, it's perfect snow – really smooth, you can do whatever you want,” Ganong said. “These conditions give you the freedom of charging if you want and is really forgiving. You can get away with a lot and it’s nice.
"The snow conditions are really fast, in the four years I have raced here this is the fastest I have ever seen it. Especially in the last section, before the Red Tail jump, you can really feel the speed.
“The course set feels as if it turns more than in the past,” Ganong added. "So I doubt we will be able to break the 1:39 record, but we are getting close. It would be cool to break that on race day.
"I don’t look at the other guys, I focus on my skiing and I think today was a very solid run that gives me something to build up on tomorrow and on race day."
Ganong's time was 0.29 better than his nearest rival, Siegmar Klotz. The Italian has never placed better than 13th in super-G and 15th in downhill during his World Cup career.
“I am excited, I don’t even know what my best result in Beaver Creek is, so it’s for sure a nice feeling being this fast – even it’s just a training run, it gives me confidence that I could do well here this year," Klotz said.
Joachim Puchner of Austria rounded off the top three, 0.8 seconds off the leader's pace.
“It’s so much fun to ski here these two days,” Puchner said. “It’s so smooth that even the fact that it’s so fast doesn’t make you feel like you are out of control.
"There was a moment coming down where the speed is so fast that you feel as if there is no chance to make it to the next gate – but then the snow holds perfectly and the skis go in the direction you want them to.“
The third and final training run is scheduled for 10:45am local time (5.45pm UK), although some of the more experienced skiers are expected to skip the run.
Top 10 results:
1 GANONG Travis USA 1:41.38
2 KLOTZ Siegmar ITA 1:41.67
3 PUCHNER Joachim AUT 1:42.18
4 FAYED Guillermo FRA 1:42.41
5 INNERHOFER Christof ITA 1:42.43
6 REICHELT Hannes AUT 1:42.44
7 SULLIVAN Marco USA 1:42.48
8 JANKA Carlo SUI 1:42.54
9 STECHERT Tobias GER 1:42.57
10 PARIS Dominik ITA 1:42.64