The Case for Good Samaritan


Saturday’s Whitney Stakes at Saratoga presents an opportunity for me to bet against two horses who are expected to be the top two choices in the wagering, and bet on a horse that just might go totally ignored while ready to

Both Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits (henceforth referred to as MYB) bring impressive resumes to the Spa, and they will undoubtedly be bet accordingly. Diversify has racked up some very impressive wins in his career, and even has a win over the Saratoga surface. But quite simply, I think his best game is 10 furlongs, and he won’t be the LONESPEED like he was last out. Nine furlongs is a different game than 10 furlongs, and it’s my opinion that at this class level, he needs to be by himself going 10, preferably at Belmont with their one-and-a-half-turn configuration. That’s just my opinion. Take it or leave it.

MYB has never been two turns. Yes, his Met Mile effort was impressive and it perhaps showed that he’s more than just a sprinter. But the one-turn Met Mile at Belmont and the 1 1/8th Whitney at Saratoga have just about nothing in common other than both being contested in the state of New York. I mean, they are going to be completely different racing experiences. And in the Whitney, I like a contender who comes from the same Met Mile, but who figures to take to the distance better than MYB.

Good Samaritan won’t be anywhere near his 12-1 morning line. He’s more likely to be closer to Tapwrit’s 6-1 ML, and it won’t surprise me to see the odds on this two flipped. And even at odds of 6-1, Good Samaritan is a huge play for me and might end up being my biggest bet of the year. Hear me out….

In three lifetime starts at 9 furlongs, Good Samaritan has two wins and a second. One of those wins came over the Saratoga dirt. Now, I’ll give you the fact that he didn’t exactly beat world class horses in either of his wins. But it was the way he won both that tells me this is his best distance. He had no shot in the Met Mile. One turn isn’t his game and neither is a mile. And his loss in the Alysheba to Backyard Heaven, who also turns up here, was no disgrace. No one was catching Backyard Heaven that day. Certainly not Good Samaritan, who in my opinion, wants exactly 1 1/8 miles. Races at this distance often have early paces that are fast enough to give closers the best chance, while giving the closers the little extra distance they need to catch the pressers. Compare that to races at 1 1/16 miles, which seem to be, in my opinion, easier to steal on the front end with a quickish pace. Or to races at 1 1/4 miles, where you need to be up closer in the early going. To me, Good Samaritan is a classic 9 furlong horse.

Backyard Heaven scares me just a little. So I’ll probably end up playing a cold exacta with God Samaritan underneath. But since I am very much against MYB and Diversify in this spot, and because I think Good Samaritan is doing exactly what he does best and will get the pace he needs to fire his best kick, this is shaping up as a perfect storm of a betting opportunity for me. And I intend to let it rip.

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