08/04/2011 3:18PM

Whitney Invitational chat with The Wizard


Michael Kipness, AKA The Wizard, joined DRF.com users for a Saratoga chat to discuss the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational and Test on Saturday. Here are the chat highlights:

On Tizway's chances in the Whitney Invitational:
With Tizway, the verdict is still out on his ability to be as effective at two turns as he is at one turn. I just don't see Tizway dominating a competitive field like this going 1 1/8 miles. Tizway, in my opinion, will be overbet and vulnerable.

Check out The Wizard's Free Pick of the Day

On Rail Trip's chances in the Whitney:
The race dynamics put Rail Trip and his rider, Ramon Dominguez, in a tricky situation because like several others in the race, some who break inside of him, they have a similar stalk-and-pounce style. Richard Dutrow Jr. has been a bit cold this meet and unexpectedly, so has the jockey Dominguez. But if there's on rider that can overcome a tricky set of circumstances, it's Dominguez.
On the Whitney Invitational early favorite:
Because the Whitney is so competitive, the morning line favorite is the No. 1 horse Flat Out at 4-1.You will have the opportunity to shop around for several contenders that may be let go at bigger prices than they should be.

On Morning Line's chances in the Whitney:
Morning Line is better at this distance of 1 1/8 miles. I think his early speed from a good inside post will allow leading Saratoga rider John Velazquez to be aggressive early and outfoot the plethora of stalkers to his outside. Jockey Velazquez is being reunited with Morning Line; he's been aboard all four of his wins. Trainer Nick Zito is going for his third career Whitney victory. He won twice with Commentator, who wired the field both times. Morning Line is listed at 10-1 and at that price he certainly must be respected. Only two horses in the Whitney field have a win at Saratoga as well as a win at this distance -- Morning Line has two wins at this distance.

On Rodman's chances in the Whitney:
As far as Rodman goes, you must always respect a Mike Hushion-trained horse who is 2-for-2 at Saratoga. There is no way I would suggest not using Rodman in your exotic plays.
On Headache's chances in the Whitney:
The problem with Headache is that he seems a bit overmatched and his trainer has been a high-percentage winner this year but has been blanked so far at the Saratoga meet. But, like Morning Line, Headache has won at this distance before and he has won at Saratoga.

On the Grade 1 Test, also on Saturday at Saratoga: 
The one thing I find intriguing about the Test is that it's a jockey merry-go-round. Ramon Dominguez rode Ava K to victory in last start and Roman Treasure both trained by Mike Hushion. Dominguez has chosen Roman Treasure, which I feel was the right move. Johnny Velazquez has ridden Savvy Supreme and for his main man Todd Pletcher but has opted to jump off that horse and ride Pomeroy's Pistol for little-known but excellent trainer Amy Tarrant Velazquez has never ridden a horse for this trainer before. Then you have Her Smile who is coming off a career-best effort, beating Pomeroy's Pistol by a half length in the Grade 1 Prioress July 5 at Belmont, overcoming a lot of trouble inside the 1/8 pole. If Turbulent Descent is going to get beat, Pomeroy is the one I'll be using
Another horse is that I wanted to touch on in the Test is American Lady trained by Bob Baffert. There is no doubt she must be respected because there's no better trainer in the game since a synthetic surface was first installed, who can win prestigious races with any type of horse who has never won on dirt before. Most even improve over their synthetic form. In American Lady's case, her best career race came in her debut at Santa Anita over a conventional dirt surface. It would be folly if you would throw this filly out of any of your wagers.

On horses from Churchill Downs in the Saratoga meet:  
Churchill shippers are doing very poorly at the Saratoga this meet. Every year it's a different trend. Right now is a good time to stay away from them until you see the shippers win consistently. What is very unique about this is that the trainers that are shipping in from Kentucky, like Ken McPeek, is having an outstanding year but can't buy a winner at Saratoga. He's something like 0-17.

On Uncle Mo's slow workout times so far during his comeback:
I'd rather see horses not working extremely fast towards a race that the trainer has been pointing to. The slow works are what I love to see with a horse that has natural speed. I am not one who would second-guess a trainer like Todd Pletcher. He would never point Uncle Mo to the King Bishop and run him if he didn't feel the horse would be sharp enough to be competitive.

On how to bet steeplechase races:
Things to look for in the past performances for jumpers: Many jump races are won by a select few trainers who specialize in these types of races. It is a positive if the horse has been successful over the course they are running at and at the distance. Another factor in steeplechase that is important is if the horse has carried the weight it will need to tote today. Despite what people might think, form holds up very well with these old campaigners in steeple.

For more on The Wizard and how to order his daily handicapping products, go to drf.com/wizard