There is top-notch Grade 1 action on both sides of the nation this Saturday. On the left coast, Del Mar features the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch for the distaff side. Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side of things, Saratoga will be presenting the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap featuring a tough field of eleven older males going 1 1/8 miles. Here is the analysis of the Whitney:
#2 Friend Or Foe will be the top pick with morning line odds of 8-1. Jose Lezcano gets the riding assignment for trainer John Kimmel. It will be Lezcano's first time aboard this colt. Friend Or Foe is an all or nothing type of horse. In eight lifetime starts, he has five wins and no other top three results. He won the Easy Goer last time out at Belmont on June 5, but needs to improve his previous efforts at The Spa. Last summer, he finished 4th in the Jim Dandy and 6th in the Travers. I will use his neighbor to the inside, #1 Flat Out, for the second spot. Flat Out won the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park last time out at odds of 14-1. Prior to that, he had missed the money in two other graded efforts, the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap and the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap. Alex Solis is the rider here. This runner's works at Monmouth have been somewhat inspiring of using him here. The winner of the Met Mile on May 30 at Belmont was #5 Tizway. He posted a jaw-dropping Beyer figure of 113 in that victory, but will need to get an extra furlong here. That was his last racing effort, so he comes in off a layoff. The last workout on July 29 at the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga was a bullet, five furlongs in 1:00.1. Rajiv Maragh gets the call for trainer James Bond. The longshot to like in here is #9 Rodman, who is a generous 20-1 on the morning line. He has run four times in 2011, hitting the board in all four and winning the Irish Tower at Aqueduct. He was second to Tizway at 36-1 in the Met Mile and led a good chunk of the Suburban before running third behind Flat Out. Therefore, you can tell he has some experience with this caliber of runner. Here is the play for the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap:
$5 WP #2
$1 EX BOX 1-2-5-7-9
$1 TRI 1-2 with 1-2 with 3-5-7-9-10
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!