Whitney Stakes Odds Predictions & Picks (Saratoga)

Whitney Stakes Odds

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Maxfield (8/5)

Whitney Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
G Saez W B Calhoun
R Santana Jr S Asmussen
I Ortiz Jr K McPeek
J Rosario B Cox
J Ortiz B Walsh

Knicks Go and Maxfield, two of the leading older males in the nation, headline an elite field of five-set for Saturday’s $1,000,000, Grade 1 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga.

Knicks Go is listed as a slight favorite and is already a winner of two million-dollar races, having turned the trick back-to-back by winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November and the Pegasus World Cup in January. The front-running son of Paynter comes into the Whitney off a commanding score out in Iowa, taking the Grade 3 Cornhusker by better than 10 lengths.

A winner of a 7-of-8 lifetime, Maxfield should vie for favoritism with the speedy Knicks Go. After suffering his first career loss three starts back in the Big Cap, the Godolphin homebred has rolled over his competition in consecutive graded stakes at Churchill Downs. Last out, the son of Street Sense romped home much the best in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster.

The field is rounded out by last season’s 3-year-old filly champion and Preakness winner Swiss Skydiver, who won the Grade 1 Beholder Mile earlier this year, Silver State, a winner of six straight races including the Grade 1 Met Mile last time, and By My Standards, who finished second in the Met Mile and was also the Whitney runner-up last year.

The 9 furlong Whitney is a “Win and You’re In” automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 6 at Del Mar.

Best Bets for the Whitney Stakes

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$30 Win – Maxfield = $30

$10 Trifecta Key – Maxfield over Swiss Skydiver and Knicks Go = $20

Top Pick:

Maxfield (8/5)

How to Watch the Whitney Stakes

Whitney Stakes Race Information
Race Whitney Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Saratoga
Time Saturday, August 7 — 5:48pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports 1
Purse $1,000,000

Race Analysis

Knicks Go

This son of Paynter has the tactical advantage of being the big speed in a small field. The rest of the field will have to play a game of catching him if you can. If the Brad Cox-trained 5-year-old is at his very best, it will leave the rest of the field needing to come up with something very impressive to reel him in. There are a few negatives, though, attached to the morning line favorite.

Knicks Go will be coming off Lasix, after having it at Prairie Meadows last time in his Cornhusker romp. He has also run once before at Saratoga and finished way back in the Sanford Stakes. Of course, that was a long time ago, but it does raise the question of whether the Maryland-bred star likes a track that can be quirky. Clearly, he is a big threat in here, but I am siding with another.


The once-beaten Godolphin homebred has a lot going for him on Saturday. Sharp as a tack in his last two, he is now fully accustomed to running without Lasix. He also has enough tactical speed to put himself in a position to reel in the leader as they turn for home. Drawn well on the far outside in the compact field, look for him to make his move on the turn as he has done so many times before.

This promises to be his toughest test yet, but it looks like the spot where he can also prove once and for all just how good he is. A Grade 1 winner in his second career start, I believe that he is the best horse in this race, and he will get it done on the big stage. The handsome son of Street Sense is the top pick.

Silver State

A six-race winning streak is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but alas, all good things must eventually come to an end. He was my top pick when he won the Met Mile, but I believe that race just set up better for the talented son of Hard Spun than what he will find on Saturday. The Whitney looks to me like the spot where he will finally be beaten. With the speed drawn to his outside, he will either need to be pushed early or fall farther back than he can afford in this 9-furlong blockbuster. I like this horse a lot, just not quite enough in this spot.

Swiss Skydiver

The champion daughter of Daredevil will not be intimidated facing this millionaire boys club field. Not at her best last time in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom, look for her to fire her best shot here at Saratoga with new rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. in the irons. The last time she was coming in off this type of layoff, she was excellent in winning the Grade 1 Beholder Mile and she is already proven over the Saratoga main track. Whether or not it will all be enough to beat the likes of Maxfield and Knicks Go remains to be seen, but I have every confidence that we will see the real Swiss Skydiver on Saturday.

By My Standards

After a two-race hiccup to end 2020, this son of Goldencents has regained his place as one of America’s best middle-distance dirt horses. Having said that, I believe the 9 furlong trip of the Whitney is the upper limit of his distance preference, and he would probably have a better shot against these tigers if it were just a little shorter. He was second against a good field in last year’s Whitney, but this year’s edition is even more stacked. Still, his two races this year have been excellent for trainer Bret Calhoun and as the longest shot on the board, he merits consideration in the exotics.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]