HAVING PRIVATE NETWORK ISSUES, TECH SUPPORT ARRIVES MONDAY —
WILL POST GRADED SELECTIONS FOR WHITNEY DAY STAKES PICK 5 ASAP
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, August 3, 2021—The headline is misleading in that Saturday’s is more than a match race between 6-5 early line favorite Knicks Go and close second choice, Maxfield.
The 2021 storied Whitney Stakes, a premier event for the world’s leading racehorses, has drawn five runners, including the champion filly Swiss Skydiver.
The field is completed by Silver State, who puts a six-race win streak on the line, and the erstwhile hard-hitter By My Standards. Indeed, there will be plenty of equine bling on display at Saratoga.
The long-range forecast is for cloudy skies, book-ended by bright, sun-shiny days fore and aft. The field listed is listed in post order with sire, trainer, jockey and early line odds:
Grade 1 WHITNEY STAKES — 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles:
1 By My Standards, by Goldencents, Calhoun, G Saez, 10-1
2 Silver State, by Hard Spun, Asmussen, Santana Jr, 4-1
3 Swiss Skydiver, by Daredevil, McPeek, Ortiz Jr, 6-1
4 Knicks Go, by Paynter, Cox, Rosario, 6-5
5 Maxfield, by Street Sense, Walsh, Ortiz, 8-5
Monmouth Stewards Suspend Flavien Prat
I’m sure well-meaning lovers of the game, hopefully all who are reading this, can argue both sides regarding the emergency-only whip rule in place in New Jersey.
I’m for the rule but this isn’t about that and don’t wish to engage on those specifics. Another argument for another day.
But even those who despise the rule were quick to compliment the Monmouth stewards for swift and timely adjudication of a riding violation that didn’t take 22 minutes to decide.
The best news, of course, was that the fallen Paco Lopez and Hot Rod Charlie emerged without serious injury.
On Sunday the stewards took the ruling to completion by suspending Prat for seven days for careless riding, i.e. “failing to make a reasonable effort to keep his horse from drifting in past the eighth-mile pole in the July 17 Haskell Stakes.”
The incident resulted in Hot Rod Charlie being disqualified from first and placed last for crossing directly into the path of Midnight Bourbon, causing that runner to clip heels and stumble badly, unseating Lopez in the process.
The Prat suspension begins on September 7. The last day of racing at Del Mar is September 6. For all intents, Prat has the meet riding title nailed down with a month of racing still remaining.
This is a point where fans of Leroy Jethro Gibbs in NCIS fame will be quick to note that, according to Gibbs Rule 39, “there is no such thing as a coincidence.”
Speaking of rules, however, the Board found that “Mr. Prat’s actions were in violation of NJAC 13:70-11.1 [crossing and weaving]:
‘When clear, a horse may be taken to any part of the course but no horse shall cross or weave in front of other horses in such a way as to impede them, or cause interference or intimidation.’”
As a practical matter, the suspension runs while Southern California racing shifts to the Los Angeles County Fair meet at Los Alamitos, there would be no need for the rider to consider gaming the system via the appeals process.