The Withers: A Derby Prep operating on History

The Withers predates the Kentucky Derby by 12 months, a testament to its one-time status among the country’s prestigious spring races. This race once held court simply below the Triple Crown events with regards to prestige and status.

Capo Kane-Withers
Jockey Dylan Davis had plenty of high-fives to deliver after delivering a 6 3/4-length victory aboard Capo Kane in the Jerome. Davis and Capo Kane are the 3/1 second-favorite in Saturday’s Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. (Image: Janet Garaguso/NYRA)

Man o’ War? Won the 1920 Withers. Native Dancer? Your 1953 champion. Dr. Fager? Hit the Withers winner’s circle in 1967. Ack Ack? His turn came in 1969. Three Triple Crown winners: Sir Barton (1919), Omaha (1935) and Count Fleet (1943) all ran the Withers during their Triple Crown seasons.

Now, the race that dates to 1874 holds court as a grade that is modest Kentucky Derby prep at Aqueduct. The Big the is certainly one of five songs playing host to your Withers over its almost history that is 150-year. It does so again Saturday, sending nine horses 1 1/8 miles in search of the 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points that is available

The Withers no more lures legends. February it dropped from Grade 2 to Grade 3 in 2000 and in 2012, the New York Racing Association moved the Withers from the spring to early. The withers that are last to fully capture a Triple Crown race ended up being Bernardini, the 2006 Preakness Stakes champion.

Sir Winston Flashed ‘V’ for Victory within the Belmont

The final Belmont champion? Jaipur – in 1962. 2 yrs ago, Sir Winston, whom finished the Withers superfecta, won the Belmont. Are you aware that Withers Derby that is last winner? That would be Count Fleet – in 1943.Eight Withers alums during the 2010s qualified for the Derby. The 2013 winner, Revolutionary, finished third in the Derby. Last year’s winner, Max Player, finished fifth in the Derby and Preakness and third in the Belmont. Tax, the 2019 winner, placed 14th

in the Derby.

What the Withers does in its dotage is give trainers and owners a look that is good their costs are designed for nine furlongs and two turns. This version provides the opportunity to observe speed that is several navigate what figures to be a quick early pace.

Capo Kane a Surprising Second-Favorite

Setting that pace is your 3/1 second that is favorite Kane. The son that is california-bred of Derby champion Street Sense will take money based on his last two victories: front-end romps by a combined 11 lengths. November the first came in a maiden race at Parx last. The next, their well-chronicled 6 ¾-length destruction of this Jerome Stakes industry on New Year’s Day.

He is proven over two turns and their 84 Beyer Speed Figure winning the Jerome arrived on a day that is slow a muddy track.

Should you want to beat Capo Kane, options abound, starting with Donegal Bay (7/2). This todd bay that is pletcher-trained broke his maiden by 4 ¼ lengths over a mile at Gulfstream Park. Their exercises suggest he desires more distance in which he can press or stalk Capo Kane, unsurprising coming from an Uncle Mo progeny.

Donegal Bay Will determine Withers considering their Pace

How much Donegal Bay and top Aqueduct jockey Kendrick Carmouche – who’s winning 24% of their Big A races — presses early may determine this pace that is race’s. That’s because someone needs to keep Capo Kane from stealing the Withers as the speed that is lone. That someone could be rail-sitter Shackqueenking (10/1), whom jumps regarding the Derby path from Laurel Park, where he went all five of their begins.

Shackqueenking won a stakes that are two-turn in December – the Black-Type Howard County Stakes. That came with a OK 90 Equibase Speed Figure, his career best. That scares nobody in a Grade 3 New York race.

A three-way speed duel opens matters up for the race’s two closers: Chad Brown’s favored Risk Taking (5/2) and Todd Pletcher’s Overtook (5/1). Both stayed in New York training for this race, a sign that is good

Withers Could head to 1 of 2 Closers

Risk using, a $240,000 Medaglia d’Oro colt, broke their maiden at Aqueduct in going this 1 1/8 miles december. That 2 ¼-length victory came with blinkers and an 89 Equibase, bettering his race that is previous by points. The blinkers kept danger Taking focused very long sufficient to blow past their competitors throughout the last that is furlong

A Curlin progeny, Overtook cost his connections that are high-powered Mike Repole, Vinnie Viola of St. Elias Stables, Mike Tabor among others, $1 million. Because of this, Overtook took three attempts to break their maiden. That came final away, in a maiden that is one-mile weight at Aqueduct. That came with a career-best 83 Equibase against a rather pedestrian field.

  1. Grade 3 Withers Stakes/Aqueduct
  2. Morning Line (Jockey/Trainer)
  3. Shackqueenking, 10/1 (Trevor McCarthy/Gary Capuano)
  4. Royal Number, 6/1 (Pablo Morales/Michael Trombetta)
  5. Capo Kane, 3/1 (Dylan Davis/Harold Wyner)
  6. Doda, 30/1 (Luis Rodriguez Castro/Carlos Soto)
  7. Risk Taking, 5/2 (Eric Cancel/Chad Brown)
  8. Overtook, 6/1 (Manny Franco/Todd Pletcher)
  9. Donegal Bay, 7/2 (Kendrick Carmouche/Todd Pletcher)

Civil War, 50/1 (Benjamin Hernandez/Tom Albertrani)

Eagle Orb, 10/1 (Jorge Vargas Jr./Rudy Rodriguez)That said, Overtook has faced competition that is decent. He completed 3rd in their start that is second to Agenda and Holy Bull winner Greatest Honour. Before you rush to the window, keep in mind Overtook and his 51 Equibase finished 21 lengths behind Greatest Honour.

The pick:(*) Capo Kane. As much as this edition of the Withers begs for a chalk-breaker, since five of the nine horses are 6/1 or lower, this comes down to one thing: speed figures. Capo Kane’s are superior to anyone in the field. Should he bolt out unbothered, nobody in this field with the exception that is possible of Bay is reeling him in. Keep an optical eye on Eagle Orb (10/1), whom completed 2nd to Capo Kane within the Jerome, and it is great at an amount for exotics.(*)

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