I believe Ron the Greek is the best horse in the Whitney Handicap (G1), and although I prefer him going 1 1/4 miles, it looks like there is enough pace in this field to set up his steady late move.
The 1 1/8-mile Whitney at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday drew a field of nine. Trickmeister looks like the speed of the speed, but Rule, Endorsement, and Fort Larned should ensure a steady pace even if Trickmeister is not sent.
Since being transferred to the barn of Bill Mott, Ron the Greek has three wins and three seconds from six starts. One of the reasons I like Ron the Greek so much is that the longer the distance, the stronger he gets. Ron the Greek shows the patterns of motion of a top class stayer. He is on my short list of potential winners of the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), later this year at Santa Anita.
I would not be surprised to see fellow Bill Mott-trainee Flat Out fill out the exacta in the Whitney. Flat Out goes second-time for Mott and second off the layoff. Flat Out looked very good in his return in the Monmouth Cup (G2) on July 7. Flat Out got stuck inside behind a slow pace in that race, but showed great late energy and was reaching out for ground through a final quarter in about 23-3.
Hymn Book, most recently second in the Suburban Handicap (G1), is another who could be poised to pick up the pieces late.
I am just beginning to dive into this weekend's past performances. The other graded stakes on Saturday are: the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes (SAR, 3yo fillies going 6f on dirt), the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Handicap (DMR, F&M, 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack), and the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby (MNR, 3yo colts, including Hansen, going 1 1/8 miles on dirt).
On Sunday, Saratoga has the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt (3yo and up, 6f on dirt), and Del Mar has the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes (2yo going 6.5f on the Poly).