Horse Racing Best Bets: "Shared Belief" and "Whitney Stakes" Breakdown

SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo handicaps this weekend’s Shared Belief & Whitney Stakes from Del Mar & Saratoga, including the latest odds and best bets.
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The SI Gambling Horse handicapping experts had a great win several weeks ago in the Blue Grass Stakes as Art Collector (6.60) came through in dominating fashion; helping us hit the Exacta (12/1), Trifecta (60/1) and Superfecta (443/1). Now, the boys are back with some sharp opinions from Del Mar for this Saturday.

This weekend, racing fans are treated to two outstanding stakes races being run at two of the most iconic tracks in the country: Del Mar and Saratoga. The two great stakes races, set to be run minutes apart on opposite coasts on Saturday, are the Whitney and Shared Belief Stakes.

Race 9 on the Saratoga card is the 92nd running of the Grade I $750,000 Whitney Stakes which is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. The race has drawn an ultra competitive field of five. The cast is led by morning line favorite Tom’s D’Etat (6/5), who has won four consecutive stakes races . He heads into the Whitney off an impressive effort in the Grade II Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs back on June 27.

Among the chief rivals are By My Standards (9/2), who finished second to Tom D’Etat in the Stephen Foster and will be breaking from the rail. In addition Bob Baffert’s talented colt Improbable (5/2) enters post from post 2. Finally, Claude McGaughey’s Code of Honor (5/2) will look to take it down coming off a third place finish in the Runhappy Met Mile at Belmont Park back on July 4.

The Whitney Stakes is a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic as part of the “Win and You’re In” prep race for the $7 million race held at Keeneland on November 7.

The other top race on the day is this year’s version of the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. Race 2 on the Del Mar card draws a solid field of six horses, headlined by John Shirreff’s, Honor A.P. (8/5). Shirreff’s star colt is among the favorites for next month’s Kentucky Derby. Although this race is just a tune-up for the Derby, he is easily the biggest lock (if there is such a thing) to win any race this entire weekend.

Although the talented Honor A. P. is the clear favorite to beat in his final tune-up ahead of the Derby, he will face formidable competition in the Shared Belief from Bob Baffert’s Uncle Chuck (9/5) and Cezanne (7/2).

It's imperative that we highlight the race's handicap weight adjustments, where Honor A.P. will be carrying 124 pounds, spotting Cezanne (118) six pounds.

Who will cross the finish line first? Let’s take a look at the odds and dive deeper into these races.

Whitney Stakes (GI)

Racetrack: Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York

Date: Saturday, July 1, 2020

Purse: $750,000

Distance: 1 1/8 mile, Dirt

Race: 9

Post Time: 5:42 p.m. EST / 2:42 PST

HORSES OF NOTE: Listed by post number, name, and odds

#5 Tom’s D’Etat (6/5) - What is not to like here? Four wins in a row with three wins in four career efforts at Saratoga. This horse is consistent and checks in top form, thus landing as the most probable winner in this tightly contested field. Top Choice

#3 Code of Honor (5/2) - He won the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga last summer, so we know he loves the track. Going longer here, the formula rates Code of Honor a solid chance to pull the upset here in the Whitney. Contender

#2 Improbable (5/2) - Improbable just missed in the lane coming up short behind Tom’s D’Etat in the Oaklawn Stakes back on April 11. Baffert’s entry of choice here came back to take down the Hollywood Gold Cup Stakes back on June 6 and enters the Whitney in top form. Threat

Whitney Stakes Formula Rankings

  • #5 Tom’s D’Etat (J: J. Rosario; T: A. Stall)
  • #3 Code Of Honor (J: U. Rispoli; T: J. Mullins)
  • #2 Improbable (J: I. Ortiz; T: B. Baffert)
  • #1 By My Standards (J: J. Ortiz; T: W. Calhoun)
  • #4 Mr. Bluff (J: J. Alvarado; T: J. Kimmel)

Whitney Stakes Betting Breakdown

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)

This is a competitive race that offers decent betting potential. My top play is Tom's D’Etat (6/5) who I will use over Code of Honor (5/2) and Improbable (5/2).

TOP Exacta Part-Wheel: 5 / 2,3 

$1 wager: $2

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 5 with 2,3 with 1,2,3 

$1 wager: $4

SPREAD Trifecta Part-Wheel: 2,3 with 2,3,5 with 2,3,5 

$1 wager: $5

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll

Destin Heath, Trainer at Winstar Farms, Versailles, KY (@DestinHeath)

Top Choice: # 2 Improbable (5/2)

Use Underneath: #5 Tom’s D’Etat (6/5) and #3 Code of Honor (5/2)

Shared Belief Stakes (GII)

Racetrack: Del Mar in Del Mar, California

Date: Saturday, July 1, 2020

Purse: $100,000

Distance: 1 1/16 mile, Dirt

Race: 2

Post Time: 5:30 p.m. EST / 2:30 PST

HORSES OF NOTE: Listed by post number, name, and odds

#5 Honor A.P. (8/5) - This is by far my biggest lock of the weekend and the formula numbers here say this should be fairly easily for Honor A.P. in the Shared Belief who was last seen defeating Authentic in the Santa Anita Derby. BEST BET

#1 Uncle Chuck (9/5) - I am a sucker for the offspring of Uncle Mo and he looked solid in his win in the Los Alamitos Derby (GIII) back on July 4. Off to a 2-2 record in his career, this colt is on the improve and looks primed to fire. Contender

#6 Cezanne (7/2) - The five pound weight advantage makes this colt extremely interesting here. If Prat is able to get loose on Baffert’s other bookend entry here he could have his way on the front end adding value to exacta and trifecta wagers. Exotics

Shared Belief Stakes Formula Rankings

  • #5 Honor A.P. (J: M. Smith; T: J. Sherriffs)
  • #1 Uncle Chuck (J: D. Van Dyke; T: B. Baffert)
  • #6 Cezanne (J: F. Prat; T: B. Baffert)
  • #2 Thousand Words (J: A. Cedillo; T: B. Baffert)
  • #4 Kiss Today Goodbye (J: U. Rispoli; T:J. Kruljac)
  • #3 Anneau d’Or (J: V. Espinoza; T: B. Wright)

Shared Belief Betting Breakdown

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)

This is a decent field that will come down to whether Honor A.P (8/5) will fire in top form for John Shirreffs. I will not try and get cute here. I am betting that although he has already locked up a Derby spot, he wins this race with relative ease.

TOP Exacta Part-Wheel: 5 / 1,6 $1 wager: $2

TOP Trifecta Part-Wheel: 5 / 1,6 $1 wager: $2

Spread Trifecta Part-Wheel: 5 / 1,6 / 1,2,6 $1 wager: $6

All wagers display ticket cost. All bettors should adjust wager amounts based upon bankroll

Destin Heath, Trainer at Winstar Farms, Versailles, KY (@DestinHeath)

Top Choice: #5 Honor A.P. (8/5)

Use Underneath: #3 Anneau d’Or (8/1) and #1 Uncle Chuck (9/5)