88th Whitney Stakes: A True Clash of the Titans
Category : News
Fri 07/08/2015 - 14:34 EDT
Honor Code is the 3/1 morning line favorite in the $1.25 million race to be contested over 1 1/8-miles. The Shug McGaughey trainee fulfilled as immense talent June 6, winning the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap by 3 3/4 lengths after trailing by as many as 14 lengths. With five wins in eight career starts, it was Honor Code’s first grade 1 triumph. The lone knock against Honor Code may actually be twofold: the four year-old son of A.P. Indy has shown a tendency to break very slow from the gate and has looked far better racing around one turn.
Tonalist less potent away from Belmont
Second choice Tonalist (4/1) has proven two-turn ability as the winner of the 2014 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, but has looked less impressive away from the Belmont oval. In two starts last year at Saratoga, the Christophe Clement runner finished a distant second and third respectively in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers. In his last two starts, Tonalist settled for second money again in the Metropolitan Handicap and Suburban Handicap.
Pair of live runners at generous odds
Noble Bird (5/1) and Liam’s Map (6/1) may be entering the Whitney as dangerous as any horse in the field with both runners appearing to be in career-best form. Noble Bird recorded a Beyer Figure of 108 while winning the Grade 1 Stephen Foster last out and Liam’s Map recorded figures of 112 and 106 in his last two starts. Both runners have trained forwardly at the Spa.
Players trying to look beyond prohibitive favorite Tepin in the September 17 Woodbine Mile will surely have their work cut out for them as the superstar mare tackles seven rivals on the grass.
The second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday night from Fort Erie race track, where Sir Dudley Digges will try to take another step toward Canadian racing history.
On Sunday, Woodbine will host the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes, Canada’s most prestigious race. Restricted to horses foaled in Canada, the classic mile and a quarter contest has drawn a field of thirteen three-year-olds.
A spectacular card of graded stakes action has been assembled for Saturday at Belmont Park and the $1 million Ogden Phipps is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the day. The Grade 1 event for fillies and mares will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth.