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Diversify Favored in Saturday’s 1.2 Million Dollar Whitney at Saratoga

Bet on Saratoga Horse Racing

A strong field of eight horses will go to the post in Saturday’s $1.2 million dollar Whitney Stakes at Saratoga. Diversify is listed as the 7-5 morning line favorite for this race that has a post time of 5:46 Eastern on Saturday. The winner of this race automatically qualifies for the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The main challengers to Diversify are expected to be Mind Your Biscuits, Backyard Heaven and Tapwrit. Let’s look at the race and Whitney Stakes picks.

Bet Horse Racing at

Whitney Stakes

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Tapwrit John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 6-1.
2 Backyard Heaven Javier Castellano Chad Brown 9-2.
3 Dalmore Ricardo Santana Jr. Robert Hess 30-1
4 Mind Your Biscuits Joel Rosario Chad Summers 2-1.
5 Discreet Lover Manny Franco Uriah St. Lewis 30-1
6 Diversify Irad Ortiz Jr. Richard Violette Jr. 7-5.
7 Good Samaritan Jose Ortiz William Mott 12-1.
8 McCraken Brian Hernandez Jr. Ian R. Wilkes 15-1

The field for the Whitney Stakes has eight horses who are looking to qualify for the $6 million dollar Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in early November. Diversify is the favorite at odds of 7-5 for trainer Richard Violette Jr., while Mind Your Biscuits is a close second choice at odds of 2-1.

Diversify has nine wins in 14 starts. He is coming off a very impressive win in the Suburban, winning by 6.5 lengths. He is a deserving favorite, but he has limited value at odds of 7-5. It should also be noted that his trainer was originally concerned after the horse came out of the Suburban. “I was very concerned after the Suburban. He had run such a huge race that I thought that four weeks might be too quick,” said trainer Rick Violette, Jr. to the media. “But he kept making a liar out of me. He ate well, trained well and breezed awfully well on Sunday. His blood has a habit of spiking up and down, so we had to make sure that duck was in a row. We got back those results today. Sometimes, when your horse is doing good, you’re supposed to run.”

Mind Your Biscuits has seven wins in 22 starts and nine second place finishes. The concern with backing the horse is that this will be his first time stretching out to a mile and a eighth. He is coming off a second place finish in the Met Mile. His trainer Chad Summers is very confident. “I’m as confident as I can be … everything he’s always shown me over his entire career is that he can do it, and until he can’t, I’m not going to think he can’t.”

Backyard Heaven has just five starts in his career but he has three wins and a second. He disappointed as the odds-on favorite in the Stephen Foster Handicap in June. That loss broke a three-race winning streak.

Tapwrit is not without a chance for Todd Pletcher. The horse has four wins in 11 starts and career earnings of more than $1.2 million. The horse does not have a win since the 2017 Belmont Stakes. He is coming off a fifth place finish in the Suburban Stakes. Pletcher has won the Whitney Stakes four times.

Good Samaritan has four wins in 13 starts and has finished in the money a total of nine times. The horse is very inconsistent, but he is capable of running big races, as he beat Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming in the Jim Dandy Stakes.

McCraken has six wins in 13 starts but he has won just two of his last nine starts. He is coming off a third place finish in the Cornhusker Handicap.

Dalmore and Discreet Lover look to be over their head in this race and no real threats to win.

The Whitney was started in 1928 and will be run for the 91st time. It has been run at its current distance since 1955. The race is a Win and You’re In for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Five previous winners of the Whitney have gone on to win the Classic including Gun Runner last year.

Horse Racing Betting Picks

Whitney Stakes Picks

There is no question that Diversify or Mind Your Biscuits could win this race, but I think both are overvalued. I think the best value is on Backyard Heaven at odds of 9-2 and Tapwrit at odds of 6-1. I also might throw a flyer on Good Samaritan, as he is capable of running a big one.

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