Looking For A Successful Whitney

2013 Whitney Invitational Handicap

Whitney Invitational 2013The 2013 $750,000 Whitney Invitational at Saratoga is set to run Saturday and it’s going to be one strong fight to the finish as this field of 8 battle for the “win and you’re in” spot to the 2013 Breeders’ Cup.  Looking at this field of superior horses, I almost dread trying to pull out a winner, but since the old man is tired from his West Virginia Derby assignment, I guess I’ll just have to see how I fare here. I’ll try to refrain from any outdated musical references and get down to the meat and potatoes of the Whitney Invitational. 🙄

Fort Larned to Block Out Rivals

Fort LarnedThe 7/5 morning line favorite is Fort Larned. After his crushing win in the Foster, that’s really no surprise. Winning by 6 ¼ lengths, Fort Larned was unchallenged here. Any time the racing comments end with “gallantly” you have to know that he was in full form. This of course made up for losing his rider earlier in the year at Gulfstream and his less than enthusiastic run in the Oaklawn Handicap. Fort Larned will be defending his title after winning the Whitney last year. His workouts are where they need to be and he will be the horse to beat here. My concern is that the 5 year old is due another bounce and this race could be it. I look for him to hit the board, but since I’m no fan of rooting for the favorite, I have to look elsewhere for my wager.

Cross TrafficCross Traffic looks to be the morning line rival for Fort Larned at 5/2 and he certainly has a lot going for him. For starters, he has a great jockey/trainer combo in John Velazquez and Todd Pletcher. He is also Todd’s only entry here, so he has no other Pletcher trained horses to contend with. His work outs look great, but he seems a bit inexperienced having only four races under his belt. He made great efforts in the Grade 3 Westchester and the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont, but both times he was edged out into a 2nd place finish. He is also inexperienced at the 1 1/8 mile distance he must travel in the Whitney. Both of his last two races were at a mile and he lost ground and was passed in each. I think Cross Traffic will do well in this race, but I don’t see him winning it.

Both Ron the Greek and Mucho Macho Man could be the true contenders here. Both of these horses are showing signs of improvement and it’s a coin toss over which is the better of the two for this race. I will have them factored in to my exotics, but neither are my favored horses.

Successful Come Back in the Whitney?

Successful DanI think that Successful Dan will be the value play in the 2013 Whitney Invitational, hands down. The morning line odds have him at 12 to 1 and if it stays that way come post time, there is no doubt that my money will be invested in this horse. In my opinion, Successful Dan should have at least been favored over Ron the Greek and Much Macho Man. So he ran 4th in the Foster? He also had some trouble in that race and if that is his only blemish- I forgive him. His workouts are solid and I believe he will give the rest of this field a serious run for the finish. I look for Successful Dan first, Fort Larned second and Mucho Macho Man third.





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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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