Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - October 14, 2022

Whitney Stakes: Americanrevolution Is Still Just One Notch Below the Very Best

Whitney Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga!

PP Horse TwinSpires Odds Jockey Trainer
L Saez T Pletcher
F Prat D O’Neill
3 ZOOMER 30/1
J Rosario M Casse
J Alvarado W Mott
J Velazquez T Pletcher
I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher

Whitney Stakes Picks and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$10 Exacta Box – Life Is Good and Hot Rod Charlie = $20

$20 Exacta Part Wheel – Life Is Good over Olympiad and Hot Rod Charlie = $40

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Life Is Good (6/5).

Pick made on 08/03/2022 at 09:21 PM EST

To ensure your bets, check out our Horse Racing Calculator, here!

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Whitney Stakes Odds Irad Ortiz Life Is Good

The winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and Pegasus World Cup (G1), Life Is Good has drawn the outside post of a talented field of six older males entered in Saturday’s $1,000,000 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga.

A disappointing fourth in the Dubai World Cup in March, the son of Into Mischief returned to his winning ways last time, easily accounting for the Grade 2 John A. Nerud going 7-furlongs at Belmont Park last month for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Chief among his rivals in the Grade 1 test at the Spa will be the streaking Olympiad. The clear second choice on the morning line has won five straight races for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, the last four coming in graded stakes.

A winner of 7-of-10 overall, the son of Speightstown comes in off his most impressive run yet, an easy score in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs.

Hot Rod Charlie, who crossed the wire first in three different million-dollar races last year, is also a major threat in the 9-furlong Whitney. Trained by Doug O’Neill, the 4-year-old son of Oxbow has only won once this year.

He won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) early this year in Dubai before finishing runner-up in the to Country Grammer in the rich Dubai World Cup. Most recently he was a tough luck second to Mind Control in the Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has two others entered in the race besides Life Is Good, and they are both Grade 1 winners in Americanrevolution and Happy Saver. Zoomer rounds out the field.

Whitney Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Life Is Good

There is nothing more dangerous than quality speed and this son of Into Mischief has it in spades. After a failed trip to Dubai where he tired late on going 10 furlongs on a track that was not kind to speed, he proved he was back to his old self with a fast 7 furlong win at Belmont Park.

Stretching out to 9 furlongs at this level is never easy, but the Todd Pletcher-trained star is a proven commodity at the trip. Breaking from the outside post, he should be able to gain control quickly and then it will be up to his challengers to see if they can soften him up early.

That will be easier said than done as neither Olympiad nor Hot Rod Charlie has his natural speed. Saturday’s Whitney seems to set up well for him to prove once again that he is one of the best dirt horses in the world. He is the top pick.


With five straight wins and counting, this 4-year-old colt looks to prove on Saturday that he has become one of the best in the nation. While I do believe he is legitimately in the running for Horse of the Year honors, there can be no doubt that this will be his toughest test to date.

With the overpowering speed of Life Is Good, it will be up to him and Hot Rod Charlie to take the race to the favorite sooner than later. That could well take him out of his sweet spot just a little bit when they turn for home, and my guess will prevent him from winning his sixth straight.

As good as he is going this year, he is an obvious threat in the Grade 1 Whitney, but this time I only like him third best.

Hot Rod Charlie

After a pretty successful trip to Dubai with a good win and a second in the big one, this classy son of Oxbow was surprised last time in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile. That defeat should mean some real odds for him as he faces some of the best in the country.

I really don’t mind the loss all that much as it was his first race back from overseas, and he likely lost a bit of concentration in mid-stretch while narrowly beaten by a nice horse and giving weight. It actually should set him up nicely for this one.

Flavien Prat will be back in the saddle this time and he will add blinkers. I am expecting a big effort on Saturday. Whether that will be enough to win remains to be seen, but I still believe he is one of the best horses in the nation.


The winner of the Grade 1 Cigar Mile last fall, this New York-bred has yet to find the winner’s circle in two starts in 2022. He did make a nice step forward last time, finishing second behind Olympiad in the Stephen Foster, after a bit of a disappointing fourth-place finish in his seasonal debut.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, he should be primed and ready to go in his third start of the season, and Saratoga is a track where he has won before. A winner of five of his nine career starts, it would be no surprise to see him run a strong race on Saturday.

Still, the question remains, is he as good as the top three? My feeling is that he is still just one notch below the very best.

Happy Saver

The winner of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup as a lightly raced 3-year-old, this son of Super Saver has been knocking on the door ever since but has been unable to repeat that early success.

Having said that, he has been good enough to finish second in a series of big races in Kentucky and New York. It seems like just a matter of time before he breaks through again.

Unfortunately, I am not liking his chances  here in the Whitney. The three favorites all look to be a little too fast for him right now.


The outsider of the field, this one jumps into the highest level of racing from the claiming ranks. It seems like a daunting task but he is coming off a very nice win over the track and at the distance.

Even if he can repeat that effort, though, it will likely fall well short of what he will need to be competitive against these. I find the son of Curlin very hard to recommend in the Grade 1 Whitney.

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How to Watch the Whitney Stakes

Race Whitney Stakes (Grade 1)
Location Saratoga
Time Saturday, August 6 — 5:43pm Eastern time
How to Watch NBC
Purse $1,000,000
Image for Brian Zipse


Brian Zipse

225 Articles

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]

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