The $1.2 Million Whitney Stakes – 5 Best Bets

Gun Runner is Prohibitive Favorite for the Whitney – A ‘Win and You’re In’ Breeders’ Cup Race

The Whitney Stakes at Saratoga is Saturday, and the $1,200,000 race will send the winner on an all-fees paid trip to run in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Gun Runner is the class of this year’s 7-horse field running 1 1/8 miles, and the heavy 4-5 favorite. The Whitney will generate plenty of betting action, but it’s not a great race for wagering. It’s also likely we’ll see an off track with a 90% chance of rain and thunderstorms is in the forecast at Saratoga Springs, NY for Saturday. Along with a Breeders’ Cup Classic entry, the Whitney winner will pick up nearly $670,000. A Gun Runner victory would push him over $5 million in career earnings.

Should you wager on the Whitney, here are 5 Best Bets.

  1. Gun Runner winning the Stephen Foster Handicap in June

    Keep your limits low. This is not a great betting race. A win wager will pay very little on the heavy favorite Gun Runner (4-5), who may well close even 3-5 or less. So $2 to win gets you perhaps $2.80. A $100 win wager returns near $70. Bet Gun Runner to place? No thanks for 20 cents on the dollar.

  2. A $2 exacta with Gun Runner on top will pay at least $8. Should the second choice like Keen Ice (3-1) not finish in 2nd place, then you’ll have a shot to nearly double that with War Story (6-1) or Tu Brutus (8-1) completing the exacta.
  3. Bet the exacta a second time with Gun Runner to win on top of Keen Ice, War Story, Tu Brutus and Breaking Lucky (8-1), and you’ll need to get lucky as he finished in 3rd more than 8 lengths behind Gun Runner last time out in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
  4. Looking for a little larger score and some racing luck, perhaps the weather will assist and set up an off track to get to Gun Runner. Learn from the huge upset of Arrogate in the recent San Diego Handicap that there is no sure thing. Gun Runner is the class of the field and running very well this year, but let’s shoot for the upset and put War Story (6-1) and Tu Brutus (8-1) on top of Gun Runner in a small exacta.
  5. A $1 trifecta could still hit for more than $40 with Gun Runner winning. Let’s do it for $12 with War Story, Tu Brutus, Keen Ice and Breaking Lucky underneath in 2nd and 3rd.

The $1.2 million Whitney is one of the richest races of the year. But you won’t get rich, even if one of the bottom two horses pull a huge upset. And that is very, very unlikely, and it still won’t make you rich! So, with a number of other big stakes races surrounding the Whitney, find a better spot and race to wager, and include Gun Runner as a single in a late Pick 4 should you shoot for another score.

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