How to bet the 2023 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap
Some of the best sprinters in the United States are set to square off in Saturday’s $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1) at Saratoga, but it’s going to be tough for anyone to take down expected favorite #4 Elite Power.
Voted champion male sprinter of 2022 after winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and Vosburgh (G2), Elite Power brings a seven-race win streak into the Vanderbilt. He started off 2023 with an authoritative victory over #5 Gunite in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint (G3) in Saudi Arabia, then returned to the U.S. with a comfortable 1 3/4-length triumph in the True North (G2).
The early pace of the True North was modest, but Elite Power shrugged off that disadvantage to rally wide on the far turn and complete the 6 1/2-furlong sprint in the snappy time of 1:15.65. A typical performance from Elite Power should send him to the Vanderbilt winner’s circle under four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
Among the other six entrants, the above-mentioned Gunite is a logical second choice. Victorious seven times against stakes competition, Gunite followed up his runner-up finish in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint with a close third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), then came back to the U.S. and won the six-furlong Aristides S. at Churchill Downs over eight-time stakes winner Bango.
Gunite completed the Aristides in a sharp 1:08.46 and should fire another strong shot while returning to Saratoga, where he won the 2021 Hopeful (G1) and 2022 Amsterdam (G2).
For third place, we’ll give #6 Dean Delivers a try. The four-year-old gelding has spent most of his career competing at Gulfstream Park, where he recently posted a gate-to-wire victory in the six-furlong Smile Sprint (G3). Dean Delivers has never competed outside of Florida, but his Brisnet Speed ratings stack up well in the Vanderbilt, suggesting he has every chance to hang around for a trifecta finish.
Speaking of the trifecta, we’ll play it cold: Elite Power over Gunite over Dean Delivers. But our biggest wager will be an exacta keying Elite Power over Gunite.
Alfred G. Vanderbilt wagers