- The Whitney Handicap (August 3) has been run at Saratoga Race Course since 1928
- McKinzie is the 5/2 favorite in futures wagering for the 2019 edition
- Where does the betting value reside in this year’s field?
Two years ago, Gun Runner won the Whitney Stakes on the way to victories in the Breeders Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup. The who’s-who of racing — War Admiral, Easy Goer, Alydar, and Kelso (on three occasions) — have won the Whitney in the past.
Another solid field is scheduled to race in this year’s edition (Saturday, Aug. 3rd), with McKinzie being the early favorite.
McKinzie, who is coming off a second-place performance in the Metropolitan Handicap and has won just one of his last four races, is no lock. Let’s look at the current odds and see what betting value we can find.
Odds to Win 2019 Whitney Stakes
|Horse||2019 Whitney Stakes Odds|
*Odds taken 07/24/19
Whether you are looking for a top choice, someone with a legit shot at a decent price, or a true longshot, this field has some options.
The Favorite: McKinzie
As a two year old in 2017, he went two for two and seemed primed for greatness. McKinzie began 2018 with a win, but was injured in March while finishing second in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. The likely Kentucky Derby favorite sat on the sidelines as Justify won the Triple Crown.
McKinzie returned to the track to win the Pennsylvania Derby in September, but was a non-factor in the Breeders Cup Classic. This year he has won once and finished second on three occasions. After finishing behind Mitole in the Met Mile, he should appreciate the extra eighth of a mile that the horses will run in the Whitney. He also had some traffic down the stretch in his last race.
Top Contender: Thunder Snow
The world’s richest active race horse with career earnings north of $16 million, Thunder Snow is a world traveler. Bred in Ireland, and owned by the ruling royal family of Dubai, he has raced around the globe.
Thunder Snow has twice won the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest race. His greatest issue has been the long commutes. Horses typically do not do well immediately after extreme travel. Thunder Snow has won eight of 24 career races, but some of his losses may be because he is bouncing around constantly and never fully has his feet under him.
He ran third, against Mitole and McKinzie, at the Met Mile, and now has remained in the U.S. for this race. He was third in the Breeders Cup Classic, too.
This is Thunder Snow’s chance to show the North American racing fan how good he is. He typically runs well but does not win here.
This legitimately might be a two horse race between McKinzie and Thunder Snow. Their level of class towers over the field. That said, there is something to be said for a horse running well.
Preservationist has won five of eight career races and is three for four this year. He stepped up in class on July 6 and at 4/1 impressively beat Catholic Boy to win the Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park.
It is possible this late bloomer has found something special at the age of six. If so, this may be the last race you can get value on him.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.