Favored Gun Runner can restore order in the Whitney Stakes

Updated August 3, 2017 - 10:55 am

What a difference a few weeks makes.

Just two weeks ago in this space I was advising fans to sit on their wallets and watch Arrogate walk over an overmatched field in the San Diego Stakes (G2) at Del Mar.

Now we’re left to wonder if the Classic division, that former island of stability, is suddenly up for grabs after the Great One threw in a clunker and finished fourth behind Accelerate.

The next chapter likely will be written Aug. 19 in the Pacific Classic (Grade 1) at Del Mar, but this weekend we can look for some clues as to whether there’s a new world order in the Whitney Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.

Gun Runner, 4-year-old son of Candy Ride whose record since last summer would be nearly spotless if he hadn’t had the misfortune of running against Arrogate twice, is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the 1 1/8 mile race on the main track.

He’s deserving of favoritism, but this doesn’t look like a walkover.

Keen Ice, the 2015 Travers Stakes winner who had not won in nearly a year, suddenly found a spark and comfortably won the Suburban Stakes at Belmont on July 8. He signaled that turnaround with a pair of uncharacteristic bullet works before the race and has continued to work well since.

War Story, who drew off to win the Brooklyn Invitational Stakes at Belmont in June, and the speedy Tu Brutus, who tired late in that race, add to the intrigue.

If the Steve Asmussen-trained Gun Runner can turn in his usual professional performance, he’ll win this race. Then we’ll have to wait two more weeks to find out if there is indeed a new division leader.

#RJhorseracing featured race

While the Whitney will generate interest, Saturday’s seventh race at Saratoga — the Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes — is a much more intriguing betting race.

The 1 1/16th mile turf race for 4-year-olds and up on the Mellon course drew a contentious field of 11, and that’s the kind of puzzle that gets the #RJhorseracing handicappers champing at the bit. We’re also handicapping the weather, as there is a good chance of rain in Saratoga Springs.

Our crowd ‘cappers this week favor the 9-5 favorite, Projected, who will break from the rail. The Chad Brown-trainee has been knocking on the door in graded stakes and looks primed for victory, says Mas Yoshinaga.

“Good recent form, C.Brown, gets rail and tries (jockey Javier) Castellano,” he wrote.

The voting on the other placings was tight, with No. 8 Ring Weekend (6-1 in the morning line) narrowly edging out No. 11 Camlot Kitten (9-2).

Ring Weekend is my pick. I’ll take him at 5-1 or higher and use in an exacta with live long shots Our Way (No. 4) and Fire Away (No. 10).

You’re invited to join the crowd ‘capping fun next week. Simply download free past performances for the featured race, courtesy of Equibase.com (reviewjournal.com/horseracing), unravel the puzzle and email me or post to Twitter (using the tag #RJhorseracing) your top three picks in order, a bit of analysis and your wagering strategy by 5 p.m. Thursday.

If I feature your thoughts when I update the column this evening, you’ll win a fabulous package of Review-Journal breath mints.

Another new wrinkle this week to encourage participation on Twitter. I’ll be posting after this week’s race a “lessons learned” post or two, which could include anything from pace or trip notes to discussing a handicapping angle that pointed out the winner.

I also encourage all to do the same, using the #RJhorseracing hashtag, so we can create a truly interactive forum where we can discuss and debate our contest races and handicapping in general.

Contact Mike Brunker at mbrunker@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4656. Follow @mike_brunker on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down the NFL Week 10 slate.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down college football week 11 match ups.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 10
Description: Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 6 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 5 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Canelo vs. GGG
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over the lines and their picks for Canelo vs. GGG 2.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week two of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 1
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week one of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and USIntegrity president Matt Holt goes over their picks for week two of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Giants
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New York Giants season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Giants
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New York Giants season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Buffalo Bills
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 Buffalo Bills season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Jets
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New York Jets season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Miami Dolphins
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 Miami Dolphins season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Atlanta Falcons
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the Atlanta Falcons will perform in the 2018 season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Carolina Panthers
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the Carolina Panthers will perform in the 2018 season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New England Patriots
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New England Patriots season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Description: Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will perform in the 2018 season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New Orleans Saints
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the New Orleans Saints will perform in the 2018 season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Houston Texans
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the Houston Texans will perform in the 2018 season.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like