The Fantasy ‘Capping challenge kicks off today with, in my opinion, a very tough race in the Whitney Invitational Handicap from Saratoga. Several horses in this race would be favorites in their own right in just about any major stakes race in the country. We have Rule, Caixa Eletronica, Ron the Greek, Flat Out, Hymn Book and Fort Larned plus a few others to round out a very difficult field to try and beat.
And you only get one shot in here: straight win, place OR show bet or an exacta box. I still have no idea what my contest strategy is going to be. I was thinking that I would place bet for a few weeks and see if I could get some $5 payoffs and keep myself on the board and see how things are shaking out. Then I thought, “no, can’t do that – I need to go big or go home”. I’m not sure if that means win or the exacta box wager yet. However I’m going to have to do something!
There is plenty of speed in the Whitney with Rule, Caixa Eletronica, Trickmeister and Fort Larned. While each of these horses could possibly be expected to carry their speed the entire mile and an eighth on their own, it’s going to be very tough to do so against each other. The closers in this group, Hymn Book, Flat Out and the morning line favorite, Ron the Greek, all look like the race should set up for them. Then you throw in Hunter’s Bay, riding a 3 race winning streak on poly trying to win his first on dirt since July 2010 along with Endorsement’s baffling trip in the Suburban makes it pretty complicated to try and figure out the complexion of the race.
Depending upon when you caught me over the past few days, I would move from Ron the Greek to Hymn Book to Flat Out. Yeah, I’ve disqualified the speedsters and decided against trying Hunter’s Bay on dirt. I made a year out of discounting Ron the Greek so far and finally caved in to him last out in the Stephen Foster and cashed a lovely win wager. He won’t be near that price today, but if he’s close to that morning line of 3-1, I’ll take it. A Bill Mott exacta isn’t far-fetched, but this Greek is going to go with Ron in the Whitney.