Best exotics plays for the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 30th, 2021

A fantastic field of nine will go postward in Saturday’s $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt S. (G1) at Saratoga. The six-furlong dash is one of a trio of graded stakes races on the big card, and it might be the most competitive one of the three on paper.

#9 Special Reserve has turned out to be a superb claim for conditioner Mike Maker. By Midshipman, the five-year-old has won three of four races for his new barn, led by emphatic stakes wins in two straight. The bay has never been better since blinkers were removed five races back, and I really like that all of the early pace in the field is drawn well to his inside.

The Kentucky-bred continues to train in fine fashion, and he figures to receive a perfect trip in hopes of bagging his initial win at the highest level. Joel Rosario will be in the stirrups and forcing the pace while in striking distance throughout.

#6 Whitmore was runner-up in the race last campaign and could go one better if he puts forth his best effort for Ron Moquett. The ageless eight-year-old is a winner on the course, and he shows a pair of fine half-mile morning drills here as of late. The reigning Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) hero might not get the fastest pace to rally into on Saturday, but the son of Pleasantly Perfect will be a menacing figure late, nonetheless.

The third runner that I believe will be a major threat is Carter H. (G1) romper #2 Mischevious Alex. By Into Mischief, the four-year-old has been very sharp since moving to this barn, with three wins and a third from four performances. The bay colt was a fine third in the Metropolitan H. (G1) in his most recent showing and will appreciate the cut back in distance in the Vanderbilt. Having Irad Oritz Jr. in the silks is always a good thing at the Spa as well.

I will use the aforementioned trio of contenders in my exotics wagers.

Vanderbilt Wagers

  • $5 exacta box 2,6,9 ($30)
  • $.50-cent trifecta 2,6,9 with 2,6,9 with all ($21)
  • $.50-cent superfecta 2,6,9 with 2,6,9 with 2,6,9 with all ($18)