SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ten horses are lined up for the 88th Whitney Handicap at Saratoga Race Course, with Grade I talent throughout the lineup.
Met Mile winner Honor Code drew the rail and is the 3-1 morning-line favorite.
Among the other Grade I winners in the field is Moreno, who won this race last year at odds of 10-1 and is 12-1 on the line for Saturday’s edition.
Trainers Todd Pletcher (Coach Inge, Liam’s Map) and Jimmy Jerkens (Wicked Strong, V.E. Day) will each saddle two horses in the Whitney. V.E. Day and Wicked Strong finished a nose apart in the Travers last summer. V.E. Day hasn’t won since, but is coming off a close neck loss to Coach Inge in the Brooklyn.
Pletcher has won the Whitney three times, with Left Bank in 2002, Lawyer Ron in 2007 and Cross Traffic in 2013.
“I don’t know that I remember one with 10 horses that was this deep. There’s been some awfully good Whitneys, but this is a pretty stellar group, when you bring seven Grade I winners together. Who knows? After the race, there might be eight.”
Besides Honor Code, Moreno, V.E. Day and Wicked Strong, Tonalist, Whitney runners Lea, and Noble Bird have won a Grade I race.
The Whitney field, in post position order with trainers, jockeys and odds: 1. Honor Code (Shug McGaughey, Javier Casdtellano), 3-1; 2. Tonalist (Christophe Clement, John Velazquez), 4-1; 3. Noble Bird (Mark Casse, Shaun Bridgmohan), 5-1; 4. Liam’s Map (Todd Pletcher, Mike Smith), 6-1; 5. Moreno (Eric Guillot, Cornelio Velasquez), 12-1; 6. V.E. Day (Jimmy Jerkens, Junior Alvarado), 8-1; 7. Lea (Bill Mott, Joel Rosario), 9-2; 8. Coach Inge (Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz Jr.), 15-1; 9. Wicked Strong (Jimmy Jerkens, Luis Saez), 20-1; 10. Normandy Invasion (Larry Jones, Kerwin Clark), 30-1.