The Grade I, $1.25 million Whitney Stakes is the feature race at Saratoga this Saturday, and owing to the presence of FROSTED, just six horses will go postward for the prestigious mile-and-an-eighth event. As Race 10 on the program, the Whitney has an estimated post time of 6:18 p.m. EST. And don’t forget about FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game, which encompasses all the big races from tracks across the country this weekend!
#4 FROSTED is the prohibitive 3-5 favorite on the morning-line, and while his overall body of work doesn’t make him that short a favorite, his emphatic romp in the Met Mile last time out does for sure. FROSTED, under Joel Rosario, annihilated a strong group of older males on Belmont Stakes day, establishing a stakes-record winning margin of 14 1/4 lengths. But while he posted arguably the most impressive win of the year, there’s no guarantee he’ll replicate that here. The Whitney is quite a different challenge, as FROSTED will go one furlong further and will have to negotiate two turns. Due to his potential short price, FROSTED is worth playing against.
#6 EFFINEX (7-2) is my pick to post the upset. In five starts under Mike Smith, EFFINEX has at least gotten into the trifecta and won three times (the Clark Handicap, Oaklawn Handicap and most recently the Suburban Handicap). The two times he didn’t win came with legitimate excuses; he lost to American Pharoah in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and settled for third in the Santa Anita Handicap after breaking out in hives. The nine-furlong distance of the Whitney suits EFFINEX perfectly based on his wins at Oaklawn and Churchill in the last year, so he should be going strong late and can wear down FROSTED at the wire.
#2 COMFORT (8-1) is the wild card in the Whitney running for Todd Pletcher. He has only one graded stakes try on his résumé; a fourth in the Lexington Stakes last year. But he’s won by open lengths three straight races, including the State Dinner Stakes on July 4 at Belmont. This will definitely be a test for class but Pletcher doesn’t normally put horses in spots where they don’t belong. John Velazquez has the mount.
The play: $10 exacta box 4/6 ($20)
DFJ analysis: FROSTED may not be my top pick in this race but his jockey, Joel Rosario ($9,000), is poised to have a big day at Saratoga on Saturday. In addition to FROSTED, Rosario has the mount on probable favorite Brooklyn Bobby (by Frankel) in Race 1 and two other favorites earlier in the card. He also has a live mount in the Test Stakes (Lightstream) and the Waya Stakes (Trophee).
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