Six Take Best Shot At Gun Runner In Whitney
By Margaret Ransom
This year marks the 90th running of the Whitney Stakes (GI), a Saratoga staple for older handicap stars based on the East Coast. In 2017, the former handicap offers a purse of $1.2 million and drew a field of seven, all of whom were considered inferior to division leader Arrogate before his loss in the San Diego Stakes (GII) two weeks ago.
Now, with a crack in the foundation of the handicap division, this year’s Whitney — a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” event that guarantees a spot in the gate for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Del Mar on Nov. 4 — it is probably safe to say the connections of every Whitney runner have Arrogate firmly in their crosshairs.
The term “legend” is often tossed about recklessly in racing, but when it comes to the Whitney it’s fair to say that legends of the turf have either contested the now nine-furlong main-track test or returned victorious. Either way, the race named for one of the most prominent names in the history of thoroughbred racing, has seen a tremendous amount of talent reach the winner’s circle since it was first contested in 1928.
Hall of Famer Discovery won the Whitney three times in the 1930s and since then, names like War Admiral, Stymie, Tom Fool, Kelso (also three times), Carry Back, Gun Bow, Dr. Fager, Key to the Mint, Ancient Title, Alydar, Slew o’Gold, Easy Goer, Criminal Type, In Excess, Colonial Affair, Awesome Again, Blame, Fort Larned and Frosted last year are Whitney titleholders, as are the ladies Galorette, Lady’s Secret and Personal Ensign.
Friday’s afternoon thunderstorms in the Saratoga area are expected to carry into Saturday but… (more)