Commentator wires the field to prevail in his second edition of the Whitney at Saratoga
The old man did it. Commentator, the 7-year-old veteran and oldest of the 11 horse field, was able to wire the field in the Whitney at Saratoga, becoming the second oldest horse in history to do so (the great Kelso won the Whitney at age 8).
In 2005, Commentator was able to defeat eventual horse of the year winner St. Liam. While there were no St. Liam’s in Saturday’s field, I had picked against the old man figuring that it simply wouldn’t be his day. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Commentator looked amazing under jockey John Valesquez and was able to rattle off comfortable early fractions of 24.16 and 47.73. He completed the the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.23 to win an automatic bid into the Breeder’s Cup Classic this October at Santa Anita. Who knows how that race may turn up as many questions about the futures of Big Brown and Curlin remain.
Student Council and Grasshopper rounded out the trifecta, which returned $624. My top selection, Rising Moon, was apparently pulled up with an injury and did not complete the race. I had mentioned in the morning handicapping that there was some question about the overall health of the horse entering the race, but I have to confess that I thought all was well. Still, the sight of a Dutrow trainee pulling up before the race is over brought back all kinds of memories.
Enough of that though, hats off to Commentator for proving me and many others wrong. You’ve always got to feel good when a 7-year-old proves he can still get it done against younger competition. I’m not sure the Classic would be such a good idea, but it’s got to feel good to have an automatic bid just in case.