A solid field of eight line up in Saturday’s $1.2 million Whitney (G1) including Mind Your Biscuits, a multiple Grade 1 winner sprinting who will be making his first start around two turns.
The Chad Summer trainee put in a solid effort in the Met Mile (G1) where he was beaten just a nose and now will stretch out to nine furlongs. If he is successful it certainly opens up the options for this five-year-old, who ran third in the two previous runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
The Whitney is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The race will be televised live by NBCSN along with the co-feature, the $500,00 Test (G1) for three-year-old fillies.
Suburban (G2) winner Diversify is the 7-5 morning line favorite for the Whitney. The gelding won the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last year but his connections elected to skip the Breeders’ Cup Classic and head to the Clark Handicap (G1) where he was the beaten favorite in a fourth-place finish.
The 2017 Belmont Stakes winner Tapwrit (6-1) was fifth in the Suburban and has come up short in his three starts since winning the third jewel of the Triple Crown last spring.
The Chad Brown trained Backyard Heaven (9-2) looked as if he was going to be a major player in the handicap division after his win in the Alysheba (G2), but he failed to fire in the Stephen Foster (G1) in his last start.
Good Samaritan (12-1) won the Jim Dandy (G2) over the Spa main track last year and McCraken (15-1) was eighth last year’s Kentucky Derby and seventh in the Travers (G1) here.
Completing the field are longshots Discreet Love (30-1), third in the Suburban and Dalmore (30-1) who was second in the Cornhusker Handicap (G3) and brings some speed to the table.
Let’s head out to Saratoga for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Saratoga Race 9 The Whitney G1 Post time 5:46 ET
4 Mind Your Biscuits 2-1
2 Backyard Heaven 9-2
6 Diversify 7-5
7 Good Samaritan 12-1
Mind Your Biscuits makes his 23rd career start today, and it will be his first start going around two turns. The all-time leading New York bred earner is a very good sprinter but is coming off a game second in the Met Mile (G1) where he was beaten just a nose. It did not look like the deepest Met Mile we have seen but he was 5 ¼ lengths clear of third place finisher Limousine Liberal, who came back to win the Belmont Sprint (G2) and fifth place finisher Ransom the Moon returned to win the Bing Crosby (G1) at Del Mar in his next outing. Two back our top pick defied the strong inside speed bias to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) at Meydan, his second win in that race. He looks as if he can get more ground and has shown he can handle a wet track, with a pair of wins along with a second and a third in four career trips on off going.
Backyard Heaven ran huge beating Alw-1 foes in his first start against winners with a 108 Beyer and showed that was no fluke winning the Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs with a 105. He was sent off at 4-5 in the Stephen Foster (G1) and he just laid an egg, fading to finish a well beaten sixth. The colt has come back with four works and I am going to just toss that effort and look for a better performance today. The colt handled a wet track breaking his maiden over a main track at the Big A listed as good in his second career start and he has a solid off track pedigree.
Diversify was headed toward the Woodward (G1) but his connections think he bounced out of his huge win in the Suburban (G2) in fine fashion and now he comes back four weeks later. He earned a career top speed fig taking the field gate to wire and drawing clear to win by 6 ½ lengths. After his clunker in the Charles Town Classic (G2) off a five-month layoff he overcame a stumble coming out of the gate to win the state bred Commentator. It looks as if he will get some pace pressure and Irad could take him back with his passive riding style, and that might lead to a regression which makes him tough to play if all we get is the 7-5 morning line.
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EXACTA: 2,4 / 2,4,6,7
TRIFECTA: 4 / 2,6,7 / 1,2,6,7