Our horse racing expert delivers your Whitney Stakes Day picks for all 12 races on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course. FS2 will cover the races from 12:30-5 p.m. NBC will broadcast the Test and Whitney Stakes from 5-6 p.m.
2022 Whitney Stakes Day predictions
Race 1, 12.35 – (5) Red Route One
Race 2, 1:08 – (6) Afilada
Race 3, 1:44 – (2) Khali Magic
Race 4, 2.18 – (1A) Dream Works
Race 5, 2.50 – (8) Somelikeithotbrown
Race 6, 3.24 – (1A) Point Proven
Race 7, 3.58 – (2) Virginia Joy
Race 8, 4.34 – (8) Saint Tapit
Race 9, 5.07 – (1) Matareya
Race 10, 5.43 – (6) Life Is Good
Race 11, 6.20 – (9) Classic Causeway
Race 12, 6.53 – (4) Action Jackson
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12:35, Race 1 – Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles, turf)
Joel Rosario has delivered one perfect ride after another in Saratoga turf races. His presence on firster RED ROUTE ONE points out this Steve Asmussen-trained son of Gun Runner. The colt’s full brother won the Texas Turf Mile this year for Asmussen. MULLINGAR goes dirt to turf for Hall of Famer Bill Mott and is well-bred for the grass. Firster BATTLE OF NORMANDY was purchased for $500K and has worked on the turf.
TIP: (5) Red Route One Trifecta: 5 – 4 – 7
1:08, Race 2 – Maiden Claiming (7 furlongs, dirt)
AFILADA finished a solid second in her first start off a claim. Could be graduation day after six in-the-money finishes. TEKILA makes her third start of the year after a long layoff and has shown more early speed than any other entrant. MOSTLY HARMLESS is dangerous off the Carlos Martin claim after posting strong speed figures on turf.
TIP: (6) Afilada Trifecta: 6 – 8 – 5
1:44, Race 3 – Allowance Optional Claiming (6 furlongs, dirt)
KHALI MAGIC has already won over the track and should have plenty of pace to set up his late kick. Linda Rice is very capable of winning off a layoff which makes BEAUTIFUL KAREN dangerous, especially with Irad Ortiz named to ride. MOSIENKO finished second to Khali Magic in his last – shorter distance and perhaps different tactics may turn the table.
TIP: (2) Khali Magic Trifecta: 2 – 8 – 7
2:18, Race 4 – Allowance Optional Claiming (1 mile, turf)
DREAM WORKS and EYES ON TARGET form a powerful entry. Dream Works makes his first U.S. start and Chad Brown is 37 percent with overseas shippers; Eyes On Target finished a close second in a similar race at Belmont last out. Longshot FAMISHED is in top form and looks like the value play here. GOOD GOVERANCE broke his maiden here three years ago and has never run a poor race.
TIP: (1A) Dream Works Trifecta: 1 – 5 – 2
2:50, Race 5 – Lure Stakes (1 1/16 miles, turf)
SOMELIKEITHOTBROWN won a Grade 2 stakes at this distance two years ago at Saratoga. He was cooked in a speed duel in his last start at Indiana but should lead this group from start to finish. PUBLIC SECTOR won Grade 2 and 3 stakes at Saratoga last year and gets an inside draw. Looms main threat to top choice. SOUTH BEND could sneak into the top three with Rosario aboard.
TIP: (8) Somelikeithotbrown Trifecta: 8 – 1 – 3
3.24, Race 6 – Maiden Special Weight (7 furlongs, dirt)
POINT PROVEN worked fast over the track last week. Todd Pletcher-trained firster was purchased for $675K and seems primed to win at first asking. ROCKET CAN, trained by Bill Mott, has also been training at Saratoga and son of Into Mischief has posted some fast works. DISARM rallied at a shorter distance in career debut at Churchill Downs for Steve Asmussen.
TIP: (1A) Point Proven Trifecta: 1A – 6 – 2
Betting on Sports?
3.58, Race 7 – Glens Falls (1 ½ miles, turf)
In a race lacking a speed horse, VIRGINIA JOY might go to the front early and get the jump on favorite WARLIKE GODDESS. Virginia Joy defeated a four-horse field in that manner two starts back. Warlike Goddess easily won this race last year and should do so again if the top choice doesn’t steal it on the front end. TEMPLE CITY TERROR finished third in this stakes last year and should get a piece of the purse.
TIP: (2) Virginia Joy Trifecta: 2 – 6 – 1
4.34, Race 8 – Allowance (7 furlongs, dirt)
SAINT TAPIT ran like a future stakes horse in his debut for Todd Pletcher. He should be even more formidable with a race under his belt. MONEY SUPPLY got blocked during the stretch run of his last outing at Churchill Downs. Chad Brown is 43 percent when removing blinkers and this colt should be flying in the late going. PRINCE OF PHAROAHS runs his best on the front end and could set the pace here.
TIP: (8) Saint Tapit Trifecta: 8 – 7 – 4
5.07, Race 9 – Test Stakes (7 furlongs, dirt)
This annual sprint stakes drew an unusually modest field. MATAREYA towers over the competition after winning three stakes in a row, including the Grade 1 Acorn. WISH YOU WELL showed serious talent winning her debut, then faltered after a poor start in the Churchill Downs slop. Has worked well since that disappointing outing for trainer George Weaver. CHI TOWN LADY could rally for a share of the purse in a field mainly comprised of speed horses.
TIP: (1) Matareya Trifecta: 1 – 4 – 7
5.43, Race 10 – Whitney (1 1/8 miles, dirt)
Todd Pletcher has half of the entrants in this six-horse field, none more accomplished than LIFE IS GOOD. The 4-year-old colt won the Pegasus Invitational at this distance this winter and should be able to control the pace from start to finish. OLYMPIAD carries a five-race winning streak into this Grade 1 event but hasn’t faced an opponent like Life Is Good during that stretch. AMERICANREVOLUTION won a stakes race here last year and finished second to Olympiad in his last outing.
TIP: (6) Life Is Good Trifecta: 6 – 4 – 1
6.20, Race 11 – Saratoga Derby Invitational ( 1 3/16 miles, turf)
CLASSIC CAUSEWAY showed an affinity for the grass while beating a good chunk of this field at 26-1 odds last out. Rated at 8-1 in the morning line, the frontrunner could pull off another surprise. STOLEN BASE didn’t do any running in that same race but won a Grade 2 in his previous outing. Could pull off a shocker at big odds. ANNAPOLIS is 3-for-3 on firm turf courses and will be tough if the grass isn’t soggy.
TIP: (9) Classic Causeway Trifecta: 9 – 5 – 6
6.53, Race 12 – Maiden Special Weight (1 1/16 miles, turf)
ACTION JACKSON makes his first start of the year for new trainer Jorge Abreu. Has posted a series of works over the Saratoga turf course and Flavien Prat picks up the mount. DREAMPOINT is 0-for-17 but gets rider switch to Joel Rosario. YOUR MISSION finished second in season debut and drew the rail for Todd Pletcher.
TIP: (4) Action Jackson Trifecta: 4 – 8 – 2