A compact, but stellar, field of five will contest Saturday’s $750,000 Whitney (G1) at Saratoga.
#4 Mr. Buff will set sail from the gate to take the edge early on in the 1 1/8-mile feature. #2 Improbable and #5 Tom’s d’Etat will track the pacesetter with intent, and #1 By My Standards will never be far back from the rail. I think the pace will be brisk to set things up for #3 Code of Honor.
#1 BY MY STANDARDS — Talented Calhoun pupil gets the rail for his first voyage to Saratoga. Goldencents colt has been in fine form this season, and the 4-year-old could be very dangerous if he takes to the surface. Improving colt will have Jose Ortiz in the stirrups.
#2 IMPROBABLE — Recent Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) winner from the Baffert barn makes his local bow after earning a lifetime best 108 Brisnet Speed number. Chestnut son of City Zip shows six solid morning moves in anticipation of Saturday, and his best performance will put him right there at the wire. Irad will be up.
#3 CODE OF HONOR — Top pick is 2-for-2 at the Spa led by a fantastic tally in the 2019 Travers (G1). McGaughey trainee had a pair of ideal preps at one turn in advance of the Whitney, and I think that he will get the pace up front to aid his fine late kick. Regular pilot John Velazquez has the call.
#4 MR. BUFF — Dangerous chestnut is the pace of the race and could get brave if he is left alone on Saturday. Kimmel pupil is a two-time winner on the course, and he shows a pair of solid morning works locally in preparation for his third outing off the layoff. Junior Alvarado retains the mount.
#5 TOM’S D’ETAT — Surging son of Smart Strike has won four races in succession during his current peak form run. Lightly raced 7-year-old is 3-for-4 at Saratoga, and the Stall trainee gets the ideal draw outside of a small field. Kentucky-bred has a versatile running style and would be no surprise with Rosario.
- $40 Win: #3 Code of Honor ($40)