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The Whitney: FOBs, Set Your TiVos!

This weekend marks the (televised) beginning of the new Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In‘ format. That means the possible Classic, Distaff and Sprint entrants will be facing off in the Whitney, Go for Wand and Alfred G Vanderbilt; out of the three races, the Whitney seems the most likely to provide a longshot for the Classic.

Let’s start with the Vanderbilt — it’s a fairly evenly-matched field, and many of the top competitors are likely to make the Sprint just based on performance — I would certainly expect Attila’s Storm, Diabolical, Commentator and Saint Anddan to make the field if all stay healthy. I’m leaning towards Diabolical on Saturday.

The Go for Wand has a small field; Ermine, Miss Shop and Teammate are all legitimate contenders. Granted, Teammate finished up the track in her last effort, but I am not one to bet against Allen Jerkens at Saratoga — and Ermine will likely go off at very short odds indeed.

The Whitney is going to be a lot of fun Magna Graduate and Flashy Bull will be facing off again and Papi Chullo is looking dangerous. Nick Zito will send out Wanderin Boy and Sun King (both at very attractive prices) and old warhorse Brass Hat (pictured in Kentucky with a friend) is back in action — and at morning line odds of 20-1. Even Lawyer Ron is in the mix. My official prediction: Brass Hat, Papi Chullo, Sun King. If by some chance it comes in that way, I’ll be annoyed I did not actually bother betting it.

Sunday may herald the return of Street Sense in the Jim Dandy — so far, he’s still set to run, probably against Tiz Wonderful who is back for the first time after tendon problems. Cowtown Cat and C P West are also set to go, but if for some reason Street Sense doesn’t blow by that field, then something peculiar is going on — although this is Saratoga, and stranger things have happened.

Finally, this weekend’s telecast will feature a treat for FOBs — there will be a segment featuring Dr. Dean Richardson discussing some common racehorse ailments (e.g. bone chips, bowed tendons) and treatments. This will be a recurring feature, with four total to air over the coming weeks as we look toward the Breeders’ Cup.

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