Whitney Stakes Odds, Field & Betting Picks

Cheers and tears (of happiness) are on the cards at Saratoga on Saturday, when the great public hero Cody’s Wish bids to stretch his winning streak to seven in the G1 Whitney Stakes, the headline event of the weekend and a fitting stage for the mighty five-year-old, who renews rivalry with previous victims Charge It, Zandon and White Abarrio.

Breeders Cup Odds

Whitney Stakes

G1, $1,000,000, 1m 1f dirt, 4yo+, 5.42pm ET

Here he comes again, America’s Horse, back to give the public what they want in the million-dollar Whitney, the historic centrepiece of a stakes-heavy card at Saratoga on Saturday and a win-and-in contest for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The great popular favourite Cody’s Wish (1-2), whose eerie bond with disabled teenager Cody Dorman carries a huge emotional freight, is bidding to extend his streak to seven and nail a fifth G1 in a row. If he can be as brilliant over the Whitney’s mile-eighth as he has been over a mile, then you can put his name on the trophy right now.

On his most recent start in the 2023 G1 Metropolitan (Met Mile) at Belmont Park, against several horses he faces again here, he parlayed his habitual waiting tactics into another show-stopping victory. He simply cruised clear to beat Zandon (9-2) by three and a quarter lengths, with White Abarrio (6-1) a head away third and Charge It (5-1) two and a quarter lengths further back in fourth.

Can anything beat Cody’s Wish? He has tried a mile-eighth before, when third over course and distance on his second start, and he is a much stronger, much better horse now. Horses are not machines, though, and Saratoga is the place for upsets, and one of his rivals could find a career-best. On any other metric, though, Cody’s Wish is impossible to oppose.

Charge It may be the biggest threat, as he finally got his mojo working when making practically all to beat nothing much in the 2023 G2 Suburban over ten furlongs at Belmont. He will be out front, and if stamina does become an issue for the chalk then Charge It could capitalise.

Zandon is solid but is not one of life’s winners, going zero-for-seven since his 2022 G1 Blue Grass score. He will probably hit the board again, while White Abarrio is cut from the same cloth, being one-for-eight (an allowance) since taking the 2022 G1 Florida Derby. There are no obvious reasons why either should step up any further than they did in the Met Mile.

Oaklawn Park specialist Last Samurai (15-1) is not the same away from that home-sweet-home where all his Graded wins have been achieved, although he is a tough cookie who was not disgraced when fourth in the 2023 G1 Stephen Foster at Ellis Park over a mile-eighth. Giant Game (20-1) made his stakes breakthrough when going gate-to-wire in the G3 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows over a mile-eighth, and figures as another pace angle, but he has a vast class gulf to overcome.

2023 Whitney Stakes Odds

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
ZandonJoel Rosario+450
Charge ItJohn R. Velazquez+500
Giant GameLuis Saez+2000
Last SamuraiFlavien Prat+1500
White AbarrioIrad Ortiz, Jr.+600
Cody’s WishJunior Alvarado-200

It just has to be CODY’S WISH, the best older horse in the US, who can do his usual magic while stretching out and maintain his magnificent winning streak.

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