2023 Withers Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

The G3 2023 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct, won way back when by all-timers such as Man o’ War, Dr Fager and Native Dancer, is one of three Kentucky Derby preps run on Saturday. The headline act is G2-placed Arctic Arrogance, but the progressive pair Hit Show and Jungfrau will provide stiff opposition in the hunt for RTKD qualifying points.

Withers Stakes

G3, $250,000, 1m 1f dirt, 3yo, 4.27pm ET

The Withers was cancelled last week because of extreme cold, but it has been taken out of the freezer, defrosted, and is the main course at Aqueduct on Saturday afternoon, a race won last year by subsequent Preakness hero Early Voting and offering Road to the Kentucky Derby points on a 20-8-6-4-2 spread.

With eight RTKD points in the bag already Arctic Arrogance (8-5) is the highest-placed in the field and has never been out of the first two in five starts, four of them at the Big A. He brings solid form, with a stakes win here over a mile followed by runner-up spot in the G2 Remsen over course and distance, when he was beaten a half-length but finished more than 11 lengths clear of the third horse, and more than 30 lengths ahead of Prove Right (30-1), last of seven.

Last time out he either couldn’t or wouldn’t go past Lugan Knight in the Jerome here over a mile, looking a huge threat in deep stretch but coming up a half-length short at the wire.

If it was ‘wouldn’t’, the first-time blinkers will be a big help in that regard, and if it was ‘couldn’t’ then he should still have the measure of General Banker (8-1), seven lengths back in third, and Andiamo A Firenze (12-1), another five and a half lengths away in fifth. He’ll be near the speed and there is more to come from him.

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With no Arabian Knight in the field this is an easier spot for Hit Show (9-5), who was scratched from the G3 Southwest two weeks ago to wait and make his stakes debut here. He ran out a dominant winner of an allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn Park over a mile in December, getting the job done by three and a half lengths and finishing off as though today’s extra yardage will be in his grasp. Any prep runner from the Brad Cox barn merits huge respect, but that win was Lasix-assisted and he runs clean today.

Bill Mott is bidding for a third big weekend win in succession following Art Collector in the G1 Pegasus World Cup and Rocket Can in the G3 Holy Bull. He relies on Jungfrau (4-1), a son of Arrogate who has never hit the line in front but was promoted to first place on his third start in maiden company, over a mile-sixteenth at Gulfstream Park when initially beaten a nose. He strikes as the type to improve with racing and this might come too early for him.

Ninetyprcentmaddie (8-1) has never raced away from Parx and never gone beyond seven furlongs. He won a state-bred stakes last summer but looks out of his depth here.

2023 Withers Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Arctic ArroganceJose Lezcano+160
Prove RightJose Antonio Gomez+3000
JungfrauDylan Davis+400
Hit ShowManuel Franco+180
NinetyprcentmaddieAbner Adorno+800
Andiamo a FirenzeFrankie Pennington+1200

He has come up just short on his last two starts, but the blinkers should be a positive for ARCTIC ARROGANCE and he has a clear class edge over his rivals.

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