The $1 million Whitney Stakes (G1) is coming up at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, August 6! The race drew six of the best handicap horses in the United States right now to go a mile and an eighth on the dirt. They are not only battling for a huge purse, but the winner also receives an expenses-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
With so much at stake, it is going to be one of the best betting races of the year. The race has also produced two of the last five Breeders’ Cup Classic winners, with both Gun Runner and Knicks Go winning it en route to winning the big race in November. This year, Life Is Good, and Olympiad are having their long-awaited clash in the Whitney, but four others hope to spoil the show.
Who will earn their way to the Breeders’ Cup at Saratoga this Saturday? Read on to find out!
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Whitney Stakes Handicapping
Now that you have made your online sportsbook account, it is time to start getting to know the 2022 Whitney Stakes horses and find out who you plan to bet!
Whitney Stakes Field and Odds
This is the official field for the 2022 Whitney Stakes in post position order, complete with trainers, jockeys, and morning line odds.
- Americanrevolution (Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez) - 5/1
- Hot Rod Charlie (Doug O’Neill/Flavien Prat) - 9/2
- Zoomer (Mark Casse/Joel Rosario) - 30/1
- Olympiad (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado) - 2/1
- Happy Saver (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez) - 8/1
- Life Is Good (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) - 6/5
The morning line odds are just a guide for what the betting might look like come race day. Remember, if you bet at the track the odds will fluctuate until the moment the gates fling open. Betting at an online sportsbook is better because they allow you to lock in your odds the moment you bet. That way, as soon as you see an overlay on your horse, you know that’s the price you get.
|Life Is Good||-135||-125||-120|
|Hot Rod Charlie||+600||+650||+550|
Top Whitney Stakes Contenders
It will be tough to beat Life Is Good in the Whitney. Though a mile and a quarter proved to be too long for him in the Dubai World Cup (G1), he handled this trip well in the Pegasus (G1). Furthermore, that seven-furlong win last out probably sharpened him up nicely, and he should be able to take the lead and prevail in a game of catch-me-if-you-can.
His toughest competition comes in the form of Olympiad, who has won all five of his starts this year. Olympiad has yet to win a Grade 1, but has been facing quality horses in recent Grade 2 wins and is ready for this step. Running down a horse with the high cruising speed of Life Is Good will be his toughest test yet, but he has talent and if the rain in the forecast happens he is by top slop sire Speightstown.
Hot Rod Charlie will likely be third choice in the betting, because of his consistent presence at the top level and because of his fan favorite status. However, he will probably be an underlay. After all, his only win against older horses came in an inferior Group 2 race in Dubai. Perhaps the blinkers keep him more focused, but the shorter distance means Life Is Good probably turns the tables from the Dubai World Cup, where Hot Rod Charlie was second.
Whitney Stakes Exotic Possibilities
Todd Pletcher, who also trains Life Is Good, has a pair of live exotics candidates in Americanrevolution and Happy Saver. Americanrevolution is the more interesting of the two, especially with a chance of rain in the forecast. He freaked over an off track against New York-breds last year, and if it rains and he runs back to that he might threaten Life Is Good. However, even over a dry track he is good enough to make the frame.
Happy Saver has not won a race since May of last year, but has hit the board in all ten career starts at distances ranging from seven furlongs to a mile and a quarter. His course and distance form are good, and he has enough tactical speed to stay close all the way through.
Zoomer rounds out the field. He won at Saratoga last out, but that was against $50,000 claimers and these are Grade 1 foes. He has some flashes of graded-level form, but not against company quite this good. Though he could move up on the claim to trainer Mark Casse, it is unlikely that he moves up enough.
Free Whitney Stakes Bets
Now that you have made your account and gotten to know the field, these are the best bets for the 2022 Whitney Stakes! Note that in the exacta and trifecta, key Life Is Good on top and use a few underneath: in a situation like this with a shorter field and a strong favorite, narrowing down tickets is the smart play.
- $20 to win - #6 Life Is Good
- $1 exacta - #6 Life Is Good over #1 Americanrevolution and #4 Olympiad
- $0.50 trifecta - #6 Life Is Good over #1 Americanrevolution, #4 Olympiad, and #5 Happy Saver