The Whitney – Grade I [BC]
SAR Race #10 1 1/8m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $1,200.000 For Three Year Olds And Upward.
This really is a who’s who of dirt routers and looks a great dress rehearsal for the BC in November. Hopefully with only one three year old who is drawn wide the chances are that the older horses may actually grab a win but there are plenty of chances including that three year old so lets look at the runners.
1 Its My Party, trained by Yahudi Stables
He was bought at auction by Yahudi Stables for $76.000 after tackling a mile for the first time in a long while and winning the Commentator by a nose. Prior to that he had come home clear in a claimer in a very fast winning time and there were plenty of signs he was on a steep improve. In his last start and first for the new owner he cruised home under a penalty in The Saginaw to win by four lengths and with rapidly improving works and an inside draw he could easily be the dark horse that topples the more established superstars.
2 Mach Love, trained by Mb Stables
A lightly raced sort who has some decent form to his name including a good win in the OP Handicap two back. In his last start he whacked away to be fifth in The Gold Cup which suggested he may be a tick off a grade one sort but his mile work at BEL in July suggests he has the legs if he has the hidden class gene too. You cant write anything off from this stable but he takes on a stellar field here and will have to be on top of his game to get any sort of payday.
3 Edwin Drood, trained by Sanny Village
Achieved the almost impossible last time from a car park draw in winning the CT Classic on the almost circular track that tends to favor inside draws and on that sort of form he will be hard to beat from this handy draw. Whilst he has had the odd disappointing performance he is just about as consistent as it is possible to be at HRP and a strong track work in June suggests that even though he is very lightly raced he will be ready to start favourite and probably win.
4 Surprising, trained by Mb Stables
Ran well in the Suburban Handicap last time running on late to be third and those tactics certainly worked better than his on pace run in the Metropolitan Handicap in the race before. Prior to those two efforts he had looked like a late improver winning three in a row and starting to work like a stakes horse. I would be surprised to see him beating the principles here but there is no reason with a little luck in running that he cant get in the first four.
5 Copper Beast, trained by John Henry
Behind Edwin Drood in the CT Classic he has mixed his form up a little so is a little hard to weigh up. A great second in the BC Classic at the end of last year that was a stunning effort considering he had been on the go all season including of course very nearly winning the 2016 KYD. So with a grade one win in 2016 and a second in two of the most competitive races of the season it was some sort of shock that he ran fourteenth in the SA Handicap in March. Since then he has managed fourth in both the CT Classic and the Foster Handicap and whilst they werent bad efforts they certainly werent the runs of a horse that had achieved so much. He obviously has the class to win this but i think a busy three year old campaign may have caught up with him and i am not sure he can win this.
6 Atomic Twister, trained by Blushing Meadows
The 2016 BC Classic winner he was huge this year in the SA Handicap when winning that by an easy two lengths. He was drawn one in the CT classic next time but was beaten by Edwin Drood and then ran a cracker in the Gold Cup last time when a very close second. At his best he could win this and certainly is working as well as ever and is drawn OK so there are plenty of positives. His trainer was leaving the business a few weeks ago but clearly feels it was worth sticking around for this sort of race, lets hope he runs well enough to convince them to stay a little longer.
7 Stranger, trained by Sanny Village
Fifth in this race last year his form is in the same ball park this season so he may do well to get the same sort of place. He was part of a remarkable race last time when he dead heated in the Alysheba some 11 lengths clear of the rest so is clearly in good form. That is his only start this year as he has been waiting for the autumn races and i guess the only question is, has he improved as a five year old?
8 Port On The Horizon, trained by D J C Racing Stables
The winner of only six from 28 he has managed a great purse haul of over $3,000.000 with many of his best races being in defeat. Close up in the 2016 KYD he won four graded stakes as a three year old but since then has only won once in two seasons. Peppered in amongst his efforts are great runs in the Clark and SA handicaps as well as a third in the pacific Classic so whilst winning doesnt come easy for him he could easily sneak a paycheck.
9 Rising Light, trained by Nakamura Stables
The 2016 BC Derby winner finds a tough draw here and looks held in a great field. Solid efforts this year have seen him beaten less than a length in the Razorback Handicap and the Excelsior but he may be just below grade one class.
10 Farley On Wheels, trained by Tiratzo
For me this is the most interesting runner in the race and not only because he is the only three year old in the race. He ran a stunning race in the Wood Memorial from a wide draw proving that he can cope with todays draw and whilst he has failed pretty spectacularly since that win a work last week suggests that with a five pound weight allowance he could just be the shock winner against his far more accomplished rivals.
Normally i would ignore everything else and just say the three year old will win. However, here we have two of the best dirt routers in the game and to be honest if they get beaten by the three year old we may as well all get the shotguns out for anything over the age of three. It’s a fascinating race but for me Edwin Drood just gets the nod over Atomic Twister with Its My Party spicing up the exotics.
Categories: Grade I