Whitmore seeks the winner’s circle


SARATOGA SPRINGS — For the past seven weeks, Whitmore, perhaps the most admired horse on the Saratoga grounds, has been tucked away in a corner stall at Stakes Barn.

People walk up to him, peek to catch a glimpse of the champion horse, maybe give him a peppermint.

Because he lives less than a meter from the popular Siro’s, Whitmore had cotton in his ears to numb him to live music playing on the restaurant’s outdoor stage in the backyard.

“He’d be out there dancing if he could hear all that music,” coach Ron Moquett said, standing outside the Whitmore stand.

Moquett hopes he and his team will all dance Saturday afternoon after the $600,000 Grade I personal ensign race at Saratoga Racetrack. Whitmore, who won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint last year as a 7-year-old, is winless in four starts this year. He was second in two of them and third in his last two races, both Grade I races. The most recent was Grade I Alfred Vanderbilt here on July 27.

In the Vanderbilt, Whitmore’s late kick wasn’t good enough to catch Lexitonian, a 34-1 winner. Lexitonian is one of six horses Whitmore will attempt to beat in the seven-stadia Forego.

“There are a lot of good horses in there,” Moquett said. “Hopefully we will do what we are supposed to do. Is he good enough to win? Yes.

Whitmore will be ridden by Joel Rosario, who replaces Ricardo Santana Jr. Santana has ridden Whitmore in his last four starts, but rides Yaupon, the 5-2 morning favorite in the Forego. Whitmore is 4-1 on the morning line.

kid the one to catch

Six of the fillies and mares listed at Grade I, $500,000 Ballerina, better have their running shoes on Saturday. This is because the seventh horse in the race is called Gamine and she is FAST. The 4-year-old filly has won eight of nine career starts, all but one while setting the pace.

In her last start, the Grade II Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos on July 5, Gamine took a 10-length win. She is the morning line favorite 3-5 in the Ballerina.

“She does things very easily, she’s very fast,” Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who has ridden Gamine in his last seven starts, said Friday morning at the Oklahoma practice track. “She’s definitely been special so far. I’m not going to take away what she wants to do, that’s for sure.”

Albany Stakes

Todd Pletcher’s American Revolution went undefeated in 2021 with a five-length win in the $250,000 Albany Stakes headlined New York Showcase Day on Friday.

The 11-race card was devoted to horses bred in New York.

Americanrevolution, a son of Constitution, is owned by WinStar Farm and China Horse Club. Jockey Luis Saez guided him to an easy victory. In his previous start, he won 7 1/4 lengths of the New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 19. It’s now 3 for 3 this year.

“He’s a beautiful horse, he can race anywhere,” said Saez, who had three winners that day and now leads the jockey standings with 56 wins. “When we got to the stretch, we found the play and he just started running pretty fast.”

Americanrevolution ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.94. The 3-5 favorite in the field of eight paid $3.40, $2.70 and $2.50.

The Albany Stakes trophy was presented to the winners by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.


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