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OffTrackBetting.com - The G1 Whitney Stakes will be run this Saturday, August 5 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. Horses three years old and upward will take to Saratoga's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles for the winner's share of the $1.2 million purse.
A field of seven will give it a go in the Whitney Stakes - race 9 on Saratoga's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:46 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this competitive G1 stakes - a "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Steve Asmussen trained colt was tops in the 2016 Road to the Kentucky Derby Standings last year - he is currently rated as the third best race-horse in the world. He had five career starts prior to the Run for the Roses with four wins - two straight wins ahead of the Derby - the G2 Louisiana Derby and the G2 Risen Star Stakes - both results at Fair Grounds. He finished a respectable third in the Derby and recorded a win in the G3 Matt Winn Stakes after that at Churchill Downs last June 16. He has looked good in seven starts since - a win in gate-to-wire fashion by an eye-opening seven lengths last time out in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 17 followed a good second behind Arrogate in the $10 million Dubai World Cup March 25, a 5 3/4 length win in the G3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park February 20, another win in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25 and a second in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Gun Runner has hit the board in his last seven starts overall and has won three of four starts ahead of this weekend against some top quality fields. Florent Geroux will be in the irons of the obvious favorite Saturday hoping to keep an impressive roll going from gate 6.
Posted a win over American Pharoah (the only horse to beat Pharoah so far) in the G1 Travers Stakes at 16-1 August 29, 2016 but has been just OK since - mostly because he had been racing with a cannon bone fracture. Last time out was a nice three length win over the very good Shaman Ghost with a career-best 112 Beyer Speed Figure in the G2 Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park July 8 which followed a seventh in the Dubai World Cup in March and a fourth in the G1 Pegasus World Cup. Before that was an OK second in the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes December 17, a respectable but distant third behind Arrogate and American Pharoah in the Breeders' Cup Classic, another third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park October 7 and an eighth in the 2016 Dubai World Cup. Other good results include a second behind American Pharoah in the G1 Haskell Invitational August 2, 2015 and a respectable third in the 2015 Belmont Stakes. He also had a seventh in the 2015 Kentucky Derby and a fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. Keen Ice has quietly placed in four of his last six starts overall and will be out to build on his first win in nearly two years with Jose Ortiz guiding the morning line second choice from post 5.
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Has placed in his 11 of 21 career starts - five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes. He arrives off a good two length win in the G2 Brooklyn Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park June 10 which followed an OK third in the G2 Charles Town Classic April 22 and consecutive fifths - the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes March 4 and the G1 Pegasus World Cup January 28 - both at Gulfstream. Before that was a good win in the minor Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct December 17, a fourth in the G1 Cigar Mile on that track November 26, an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic and an OK second in the minor Pa Derby Champion Stakes at Parx September 24. He also finished eighth in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. War Story has been trending upward ahead of this weekend and will be after a second straight graded stakes score from the rail. Javier Castellano rides.
Chilean bred Gary Contessa trainee has placed in 16 of 20 career starts - nine wins, three seconds and four third place finishes. He won his last three races at home (all stakes) and has been very good in three North American starts. Last time out was a somewhat disappointing third as favorite in the G2 Brooklyn Invitational at Belmont Park June 10 after a win by an impressive 11 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion in the minor Flat Out Stakes on that track May 7 and a respectable second in the G3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct April 8. He has now won five of his last seven starts overall with a second and a third during that span and will be after a first graded stakes score from gate 4 with Irad Ortiz in the saddle.
Winner of the 2016 G2 Seagram Cup at Woodbine during a streak of six straight placings in stakes action - Reade Baker trainee has just three wins in 20 career starts to go along with five seconds and four third-place finishes. He enters off an OK third in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap June 17 and a fifth in the G2 Alysheba Stakes May 5 - both at Churchill Downs. Before that was an OK second in the G2 New Orleans Stakes at Fair Grounds April 1, an eighth in the G1 Pegasus World Cup January 28 and another second in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. He has placed in just three of his last seven starts overall and will chase his first stakes score overall in over a year - from gate 2 with Luis Contreras aboard.
Uriah Lewis trained colt has three wins, six seconds and four third place finishes in 28 career starts. He enters off an OK third in the minor Carl Hanford Memorial Stakes at Delaware Park July 15 after a seventh in the minor State Dinner Stakes at Belmont Park July 3, a third in the listed Mountainview Stakes at Penn National in May and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Parx April 29. He did post consecutive runner-up finishes on November - the best coming in the minor Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park in November but he's failed to place in his five graded stakes starts. Discreet Lover has hit the board in just three of his last seven starts overall and will be after his first ever stakes score from the outside post 7 Saturday with Eric Cancel guiding him.
Anthony Quartarolo trained gelding has five wins, two seconds and six third place finishes in 28 career starts. He has been just OK lately - an Allowance Optional Claiming score last time out at Thistletown July 10 followed a tenth in the listed Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes at Presque Isle Downs June 19, a second in an Allowance May 17 and an eighth in the G2 Charles Town Classic in April. Before that was a runner-up finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita March 2. a sixth in the minor Damascus Stakes on that track in November, a fourth in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in October and a seventh in the G1 Triple Bend Stakes June 25. Cautious Giant will be chasing his first stakes score Saturday and enters in so-so form from the post 3. Jose Bracho gets the call.
Race 9 on Saratoga's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:46 PM.
|1||War Story||6-1||Javier Castellano||Jorge Navarro|
|2||Breaking Lucky||8-1||Luis Contreras||Reade Baker|
|3||Cautious Giant||30-1||Jose Bracho||Anthony Quartarolo|
|4||Tu Brutus (CHI)||8-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Gary Contessa|
|5||Keen Ice||3-1||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher|
|6||Gun Runner||4-5||Florent Geroux||Steven Asmussen|
|7||Discreet Lover||25-1||Manuel Franco||Uriah St. Lewis|
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