At first glance, the $750,000 Grade One Whitney is loaded with 11 horses that all seem capable of winning the featured race today at Saratoga.
Aside from talent, the weather will be a big factor in the outcome of the race as the possibility of heavy ran is becoming more and more probable.
Flat Out, jockeyed by Alex Solis, is the morning line favorite at 4-1. The Charles Dickey trained five-year-old was absolutely brilliant in winning the Grade Two Suburban on July 2 in 1:46.3. Based on that race, this horse should be a factor today.
Friend or Foe was also awesome in his last race, winning the Easy Goer at Belmont in 1:40 flat. Jose Lezcano picks up the mount of this horse as Solis opts to ride Flat Out. This four-year-old is winless in two starts at Saratoga.
Morning Line, with John Velazquez, is an incredible value at 10-1. This Nicholas Zito horse has two wins and two second-place finishes at the distance and has a win and second at the Saratoga main track. He's never run over a wet track but has the breeding to absolutely love it.
While Giant Oak is the best closer in this race, I don't think anyone will come from far back off the pace today, so I think it's essential Shaun Bridgmohan keeps this horse close today. This horse has only five wins in 27 starts but rarely runs poorly.
Tizway is the clear pace setter in this Grade One. I expect Tizway to make a bold move at the four-furlong point and try to hold off the stalkers and closers. In the Met Mile on May 30, Tizway crushed the field by nearly three lengths in a 1:32.4. The only thing I don't like is that this horse is just one for eight at nine furlongs.
I absolutely love Mission Impazible if—and that's a big if—the track isn't wet. Javier Castellano rides this solid four-year-old for Todd Pletcher. Mission Impazible is two for three at the distance with the one loss being by a neck. If the track has any moisture, I don't like his chances as he's winless in three starts over an off track.
Rail Trip is 12-1 with Ramon Dominguez, despite having eight wins in 14 starts, including a win at nine furlongs. Rail Trip will probably be the leader from the gate until Tizway makes a big move. This horse is very talented, but I just don't like how the race sets up for this six-year-old gelding.
Headache is making a huge class jump and appears outmatched. This five-year-old gelding is coming off two solid wins but is an exotics possibility at best.
Rodman is 20-1 with Edgar Prado but also appears to be in a very tough spot. Rodman has won both both races over the dirt at Saratoga, but both races were just seven furlongs. I'm going to pass on this horse.
Apart is another quality horse in this field, with five wins in his career, but I also think this field is just a bit much for the four-year-old. His July 22 work at Saratoga is encouraging, but I'm leaving this horse out.
Duke of Mischief is the real problem in this race for me. At 8-1, this five-year-old is the play if the track has any substantial moisture in it. With three wins in four lifetime starts over off tracks, this stalker appears the one who is most likely to run down Tizway and hold off the rest of the field.
If I'm betting this race, I'm keying Tizway and Duke of Mischief over Flat Out, Friend or Foe, Morning Line, and Mission Impazible in a partial triple key. I won't be surprised if this race is run in a solid 1:48 or slightly better.