Two horses who are expected to be in serious consideration for Eclipse Awards next winter have a summer showdown Saturday at Saratoga in their first meeting on the racetrack.
Life Is Good (6-5), who but for a neck loss last August would have a perfect record in America, and Olympiad (2-1), who is 5-for-5 in 2022, were the top two choices on the morning line for the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney Stakes.
One of three entrants for trainer Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good drew the outside post in the field of six – or maybe five – and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Olympiad, who is in the stable of Bill Mott, drew post 4 and will be paired with jockey Júnior Alvarado.
Both 4-year-old colts raced most recently in victories July 2. Life Is Good led from gate to wire in winning the seven-furlong John A. Nerud (G2) by five lengths at Belmont Park. Olympiad stalked a fast early pace on the way to his 2 1/4-length score in the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Pletcher also entered Americanrevolution (5-1), who was second to Olympiad in the Stephen Foster, and Happy Saver (8-1), a distant second to Flightline on June 11 in the Met Mile (G1). American Revolution will start from the rail with Luis Sáez, although owner Elliott Walden said he might only run if the track is wet. Happy Saver has post 5 and will be united for the first time with jockey John Velázquez.
Click here for Saratoga entries and results.
Second as the odds-on favorite June 18 in the Salvator Mile (G3) at Monmouth Park, Hot Rod Charlie (9-2) gets blinkers and starts from post 2 with Flavien Prat riding for trainer Doug O’Neill. Zoomer (30-1), a 6-year-old gelding who won a claiming race 17 days ago at Saratoga for his new owner Gary Barber, drew post 3 and will be ridden by Joel Rosario for Mark Casse.
The Whitney is an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Keeneland.
The National Weather Service forecast for Saratoga indicated a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday. Otherwise it was expected to be partly sunny with a high near 87 degrees.
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I. Ortiz, Jr.