AUG 2, 2019—Four of the Top 10 prospects for the Breeders’ Cup Classic are entered in Saturday’s storied Whitney, including the #1 ranked McKinzie.
It follows, then, that the Baffert trainee is a worthy early line favorite for Saratoga’s premier event for older horses. Having said that, however, an early quote of 7-5 seems a bit sophomoric.
Rounding out the Whitney Big Four are the sport’s all-time leading money earner with $16.5 million, Thunder Snow (3-1), Preservationist (3-1) and Vino Rosso (6-1).
The likely top betting choices ante post are both exiting the rapidly run Met Mile. McKinzie and Thunder Snow also were victims of tough trips, many believing that McKinzie was the more impressive, finishing ahead of all but winning Mitole.
We believe he will make amends here. While the Big Four, along with price shot Monongahela (12-1), all ran identically fast figures, McKinzie benefits most from the stretch-out to a second turn, has carried 124 pounds successfully, is tactical in a relatively paceless event and is nicely drawn outside, giving Mike Smith options.
Preservationist is coming off a lifetime best performance figure and is the most likely to react, especially given the mini-turn-back.
Vino Rosso also cuts back from the 10-furlong Gold Cup at Santa Anita but that sharpen his late kick. Further, he is value on the early line, and goes for a barn that has won this race on four occasions.
We’re betting McKinzie to win at no lower than his early line and boxing an exacta with Vino Rosso.
YESTERDAY: I should have erred on the side of Mott, who’s deadly in this race. Moon Colony was terrible; can’t believe his effort. Perhaps something was amiss with him…