Posted: 8/4/2012 11:18:14 AM
"Whitney Handicap" Preview
(Post Time: 5:45), Surface: Dirt,
1 1/8 Miles, Open, 3 Year Olds And Up, G1 STAKES, Purse: $750,000
The 2012 Whitney Handicap (Gr. 1) is worth $750k and will be contested
at 1 1/8 miles over the main track at Saratoga. Last year’s winner,
Tizway, was a finalist for the Eclipse Award for Champion Older Male. In
2011 we saw Blame run down Quality Road in a stirring rendition of the
race on his way to Horse of the Year honors. Nine horses will try to
take the top spot this year.
RULE (Roman Ruler x Rockcide by Personal Flag) : This lightly raced
five-year-old was last seen taking the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup over Flat
Out. He contested pedestrian fractions before drawing away in his first
race since last October. His only win at today’s distance was against a
horrid field in the Birdstone Stakes last year. Joe Bravo rides for
HUNTER’S BAY (Ghostzapper x Smok’n Frolic by Smoke Glacken) : For the
price, you have to like this Reade Baker pupil. He is riding a three
race win streak and owns a pair of Grade 3 wins in his last two trips to
the track. His running style should have him in a good spot behind the
speed and he has proven he can get today’s trip. Baker shipped in
Moonshine Mullin to a second place finish in last year’s Travers Stakes,
so he knows how to get a bomb to run big at Saratoga. Emma Jayne-Wilson
should be underneath a ton of horse turning for home.
CAIXA ELETRONICA (Arromanches x Edyta by Skip Away) : This ol’ boy just
can get any respect. He won the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, a race
worth $1 million and followed it up with a win in the Grade 2 True North
Handicap. Today’s distance and prospective pace setup will work to his
advantage. He could run a career best number under these circumstances.
For a horse with a 5-2-0-0 record at Saratoga he deserves to be a lower
price than the morning line. JJ Castellano will be in the irons for
trainer Todd Pletcher.
ENDORSEMENT (Distorted Humor x Charmed Gift by A.P. Indy) : Draw a line
through his last race which was the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap. He was
hot and sweaty in the post parade and never looked comfortable. Before
that he ran a bang-up third to be third beaten just a length in the
Grade 3 Pimlico Special. Trainer Eoin Harty and jockey Joel Rosario will
likely agree on having the horse close to the pace. That isn’t the best
style for him because he isn’t fast enough to outgun the quickest two
or three horse early on this race.
TRICKMEISTER (Proud Citizen x Afternoon Trick by Afternoon Deelites) :
This colt is the speed of the speed. Ramon Dominguez will have him a
length or two clear and try to go all the way. He is an improving type,
but if he gets pressured the way he figures to be pressured he will be
fried in the stretch. Richard Dutrow is the trainer.
RON THE GREEK (Full Mandate x Flambe’ by Fortunate Prospect) :
Benefitted from some chaos to win the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap.
Before that he was second in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. His other big
win came three back in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. He is a
grinding type and should like will be in the mix late. Jose Lezcano is
listed to ride.
FLAT OUT (Flatter x Cresta Lil by Cresta Rider) : This is not a horse
that runs well on long rest so the second place finish in the Monmouth
Cup was encouraging. He should move up a little this time, but his best
races are going to come in his third and fourth starts of the year.
Throw in the fact that he is a better one turn horse than he is a two
turn horse. Anna Napravnik retains the mount for Bill Mott.
HYMN BOOK (Arch x Vespers by Known Fact) : This is an underrated horse.
He almost always fires with a good shot. The Grade 1 winning gelding
had a poor beginning last out in the Suburban, but still came on to be
second against what was a stellar field. If things get hot and heavy up
front, which they likely will, he becomes the one to beat. John
Velazquez will get back up for trainer Shug McGaughey.
FORT LARNED (E Dubai x Arlucea by Broad Brush) : Set an easy pace and
drew off for a three length win over Successful Dan last out in the
Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap. He is a speed type, but trainer Ian Wilkes
says he can score from just behind the lead too. He’s going to have to
do that to win this race. Brian Hernandez has a good and improving horse
on his hands.
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