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Homeracing

2022 Whitney Stakes Exotics Plays

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 4th, 2022

A compact, but fantastic, field of six older males will vie in Saturday’s $1 million Whitney S. (G1) at Saratoga. The storied event is always one to watch, but the cast assembled for this year’s running makes it a must-see without question, pitting a star-studded field together for the 1 1/8-mile affair.

I will look outside the box a bit and make a case for 2021 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) victor #2 Hot Rod Charlie (9-2) for the upset. Trained by Doug O’Neill, the high-quality son of Oxbow rarely runs a bad one and is on par with the top performers in the field on his best day. Second in the Dubai World Cup S. (G1) two back and a smart runner-up in the Salvator Mile (G3) in his return to the states, the colt seems poised for a major showing on Saturday while making his Saratoga debut.

The four-year-old will put blinkers back on for this massive test, which I like, and he will be reunited with jockey Flavien Prat, who has a lot of experience on the top pick. The versatile sort can be placed anywhere in the race early on, and I expect him to save ground throughout and to be a menacing figure in the stretch at healthy odds.

The formidable #6 Life is Good (6-5) has run off the charts on numerous occasions in his career and will be tough to deny with his top race. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the multiple Grade 1 star is fast early and fast late, and he had a perfect prep for this when waltzing home a fine winner of the John A. Nerud S. (G2) at Belmont Park last time out, as well.

Life is Good has never run a bad race and is reportedly training as well as ever in preparation of his second run at The Spa. The son of Into Mischief will be sent from the break despite drawing widest in the field with Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the stirrups.

#4 Olympiad (2-1) is arguably the hottest horse in training with his five-for-five mark in 2022 for conditioner Bill Mott. The standout son of Speightstown flashed potential as a juvenile when he graduated over a fine field here, and he has really put it all together this season with four facile graded stakes tallies in succession in advance of Saturday. He looms as a big chance in his current form cycle under regular rider Junior Alvarado.

Whitney Exotics Wagers

  • $20 exacta: 2 with 6 ($20)
  • $10 exacta: box 2-6 ($20)
  • $13 trifecta: 2 with 6 with 4 ($13)
  • $7 trifecta: 2 with 4 with 6 ($7)

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