Scheduled post time 4:20pm EDT
This is not exactly the strongest edition of the Withers Stakes. The 7/5 Morning Line favorite, Samraat, is a New York bred who has never faced open competition at any point in his career. The 9/5 second-choice on the morning line is Uncle Sigh, who dominated a New York Bred maiden special weight race at odds of 2/5 last time out, and has also never faced open competition before.
How weak is this edition of the Withers? Well, the automated TimeformUS Power Picks algorithm selects the maiden, Scotland, as the second choice. And frankly, he is clearly the value of this race at his 8/1 morning line price.
The Pace Projector tells an interesting story:
Uncle Sigh is projected on an early lead, with Samraat perched off of him, in a pace scenario that favors horses on or near the early lead. However, two strong favorites often hook up and take the fight to one another, refusing to yield the other the tactical advantage.
Let’s hope that happens and take our shot with the maiden Scotland. Scotland owns competitive speed figure and has finished second and third in his last two races—events that received similar Race Ratings to the Withers. Scotland’s Trainer, Tony Dutrow, has an excellent 93 Trainer Rating and scores a 100 Rating (the maximum) with Second time Routers. Tony Dutrow must have a very high opinion of Scotland, as he’s someone who very rarely overmatches his horses.