The Whitney is always one of the better races of the year and gets a lot of attention. Although it is not typically a prep for The Travers like The Jim Dandy I do remember when Alydar won it after his Triple Crown campaign against Affirmed before taking him on again in The Travers. Alydar won The Whitney with a huge move as a three-year old. I wish we saw more of them try it.

This year we have six set to line up. Cody’s Wish will be a heavy favorite and despite not winning at a mile and an eighth and developing into a 7 furlong and mile specialist he deserves to be. This horse just mows them down in the stretch and is a powerful stretch runner. The Breeders’ Cup Mile is at two turns, so I do not think that, nor the distance beats him. If he gets beat in my opinion it will be the trip.

Let’s look at this year’s Whitney field and see how things shake out.

Zandon from the rail would need a career best race to win. He has yet to run back to his Blue Grass win or nice effort in The Derby. That said Chad Brown has kept him in with the top horses, so we know he thinks that type of race is still there. He comes off a good second to the favorite in The Met Mile but there is a horse out of that race I think ran better all things considered. I respect Chad, and know this guy can run, but I am not in love with his set up for Saturday.

Charge It has shown flashes of brilliance but never delivered on the promise. When against tough horses or when things do not go exactly his way thus far, he has failed to deliver. He will or should insure a legit pace in here. As for the win, he would surprise me if he did it.

Giant Game looks to be in a deeper end of the pool than he’d prefer or even belongs. He should also contribute to the pace up front early.

Last Samurai is a bit of a war horse. I bet hi at 50-1 in The Pegasus and he ran an OK fourth but won two in a row right afterwards. Oh well, a race too soon as they say. He looks like he has tailed off a bit and even at his best would have trouble with a few of these.

White Abarrio is intriguing. He gets Irad Ortiz who has been working him and is the leading rider. He goes second time for Rick Dutrow. He was very wide in The Met Mile after stumbling at the start, and almost got past Zandon late even though he lost all that ground. He should be in the catbird seat stalking the pace and get the jump on both Zandon and Cody’s Wish. I think he runs a big one in here and I’ll likely take a shot with him.

Cody’s Wish at 9 for 13 and a win over the track this Breeder’s Cup winner has no knock in here. The distance nor the two turns concern me. I will bank on none of these horses are machines and maybe we can get the jump on him and beat him with the right trip. Maybe not. We’ll find out soon enough. If not, there is nothing wrong with an ice cold exacta with White Abarrio second but I’ll likely take the aggressive make it count approach.

Don’t forget to watch Saratoga Saturday on Past the Wire TV every Saturday of the Saratoga meet. You can catch The Whitney Saturday edition RIGHT HERE

Enjoy the races and see you next week!

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Jon Stettin

Since childhood, Jon has always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. His years of experience have earned him a well respected spot in the industry as a handicapper. He now is a frequent contributor to AmWager as well as writing for his own site.

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