Saturday's Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap (post time 5:45pm Eastern) has drawn a deep and contentious field of eleven older horses.
1-Flat Out comes into the Whitney after a career-best performance in the G2-Suburban where he blew away the field by an easy 6 1/2 lengths at the wire. He'll need a big effort in the Whitney to prove that his last race was legit.
2-Friend Or Foe won the listed Easy Goer Stakes on June 5th at Belmont but has had little success against graded company in his brief career.
3-Morning Line failed badly as the betting favorite in the G3-Salvatore Mile at Monmouth in his last race. A colt that might be better at one-turn than two, he won the 7f G1-Carter back on April 9th and was second in last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
4-Giant Oak, the high-weight in this year's Whitney, won the G1-Donn in early February but has been off his best form in his last two tries.
5-Tizway was impressive in winning the G1-Met Mile on May 30th but he tends to run less than his best at two-turns and is 8-1-0-2 lifetime when going nine furlongs.
6-Mission Impazible was second in the G1-Foster in his last start and has finished 2nd or better in five of his last seven races.
7-Rail Trip is trying to get back to the form he displayed last summer in Southern California before moving to the East Coast. He's only started two races since the barn switch - 5th in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and 2nd in the Easy Goer - and it remains to be seen if he'll ever be as good on dirt as he was on synthetics.
8-Headache used a powerful stretch move to win the G3-Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows in his last start; the win was Headache's first graded stakes victory in his first try.
9-Rodman was well beaten in the Suburban, finished 2nd to Tizway in the Met Mile and has had good success at Saratoga (2-2-0-0).
10-Apart has placed in the top three in all five of his starts during 2011, including a win in the G3-Donal Schaefer Memorial at Pimlico.
11-Duke of Mischief won the Charles Town Classic over a ridiculously sloppy track on April 16th, followed by a 4th place finish in the Stephen Foster.
UPDATE: Not a ton of surprises with the morning line odds. Flat Out gets the favorite status, which is to be expected after the large 113 Beyer performance in the Suburban. A figure like that will usually attract a lot of attention from the crowd.
The rest of the field are all between 5/1 and 20/1 on the morning line with three horses at 6/1 (Tizway, Mission Impazible, and Apart) and two at 8/1 (Friend Or Foe and Duke of Mischief).
|1||Flat Out||A. Solis||C. Dickey||4/1|
|2||Friend Or Foe||J. Lezcano||J. Kimmel||8/1|
|3||Morning Line||J. Velazquez||N. Zito||10/1|
|4||Giant Oak||S. Bridgmohan||C. Block||5/1|
|5||Tizway||R. Maragh||H. Bond||6/1|
|6||Mission Impazible||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher||6/1|
|7||Rail Trip||R. Dominguez||R. Dutrow, Jr.||12/1|
|8||Headache||M. Mena||M. Maker||20/1|
|9||Rodman||E. Prado||M. Hushion||20/1|
|10||Apart||J. Leparoux||A. Stall, Jr.||6/1|
|11||Duke of Mischief||J. Bravo||D. Fawkes||8/1|
In keeping with the recent weight theme, the handicap weights for the Whitney are as follows:
119 - Giant Oak
118 - Morning Line
118 - Tizway
118 - Mission Impazible
117 - Flat Out
117 - Rail Trip
117 - Apart
117 - Duke of Mischief
116 - Headache
115 - Friend Or Foe
114 - Rodman