It’s rare that a race outside the Breeders’ Cup can define a horse as the best in the country, but that mantle is on the line for Ron The Greek in the Whitney Handicap on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.
Ron The Greek is the only multiple Grade 1 winner among older males, and adding a third victory at the game’s top level would certainly separate him from the pack–even from a horse like Game On Dude, who has run faster but only has one Grade 1 win to date.
Despite the 2-1 Grade 1 edge for Ron The Greek, I do think Game On Dude is the superior animal, but at some point accomplishment has to trump theory, and a treble consisting of Santa Anita, Stephen Foster, and Whitney Handicaps is enough to earn the top spot until some other horses start winning multiple Grade 1 races against open company.
I’m bullish to bring this up now because I don’t actually think Ron The Greek will win, so I feel as if this is giving him his just due for dancing in some pretty important dances and winning two of them.
Elsewhere across the country, two classic races are this weekend: the Hambletonian for trotting Standardbreds is Saturday at The Meadowlands, and the Breeders Stakes is Sunday at Woodbine. TwinSpires.com is offering incentives to play both. I don’t (and won’t) have an opinion on the Woodbine action, but I do like Market Share and Stormin Normand in the Hambletonian–the third and seventh choices on the morning line, respectively, so I plan to get involved is those prices hold up to actual betting.