The Whitney Stakes, a Grade I stakes for 4-year-olds and upward, will be run at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. Our horse racing expert delivers his top selections for the race, which will be run at 5:43 p.m. ET and broadcast by NBC.
Whitney Stakes Picks
Win – (6) Life Is Good (6-5)
Place – (4) Olympiad (2-1)
Show – (1) Americanrevolution (5-1)
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New users only. 21+. AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, IO, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MT, NH, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, VT, VI, WA, WV, WI, WY only. Full T&C Apply.
Living Life at the top
This year’s Whitney, one of Saratoga’s premier events, could be renamed the Todd Pletcher invitational.
Pletcher has three of the six entrants in the race, including morning-line favorite Life Is Good.
One thing’s for certain – Life Is Good will head right to the front. He’s done that in all nine of his races and remained there in all but two of his starts. One of those came here last year when he was edged in a sprint race by another star, Jackie’s Warrior. The other loss came in this year’s Dubai World Cup, when he found 1 ¼ miles a little too far for his liking.
His previous race, the Pegasus World Cup, was run at Saturday’s distance of 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream and he had no trouble lasting on the lead. Life Is Good cruised to victory in that nine-horse field, which included Breeders Cup Classic winner Knicks Go.
There doesn’t appear to be another speed horse that can challenge Life Is Good for the early lead. He tuned up for this event with a sprint victory at Belmont Park, defeating a very good opponent in Speaker’s Corner in the process. Pletcher has won this stakes three times, most recently with Cross Traffic in 2013. He’s due for another trip to the winner’s circle.
Seeking a six-bagger for 2022
Olympiad ran his first three lifetime races at Saratoga but has made his mark at tracks outside New York.
Under the care of Bill Mott, Olympiad has won five consecutive two-turn races, including four graded stakes. He captured the Grade 3 Mineshaft at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, then collected a trio of Grade 2 victories – the New Orleans Classic at the Fair Grounds and the Alysheba and Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs.
In each of those events, jockey Junior Alvarado employed the same tactics. He placed his mount second in the early going, then pushed him to the front early in the stretch. All of those graded stakes wins were by two-plus lengths.
Olympiad will be chasing Life Is Good all the way around on Saturday. The reason why the streak is likely to be broken is that he hasn’t had to catch a frontrunner with the championship resume that Life Is Good possesses.
Betting on Sports?
Time for a revolutionary outcome?
Americanrevolution, Life Is Good’s stablemate, should get a ground-saving trip after drawing the rail.
This colt finished second to Olympiad in the Stephen Foster with the third horse another three lengths back. That was just the second start of the year for Americanrevolution and he may be primed for a career-best effort on Saturday.
The New York-bred is quite familiar with Saratoga. He won a statebred stakes race at this distance on the Saratoga dirt last year by a wide margin.
His biggest accomplishment to date came at Aqueduct in December when he rallied to win the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. That also happened to be the last time Olympiad was defeated, as Mott’s colt finished fourth.
Americanrevolution won’t drop too far back but it will be tough to catch his stablemate unless a speed duel develops between the top two horses.