Whitney Stakes (NYRA)
The Whitney Stakes (run as a handicap through 2013 and still sometimes referred to as the "Whitney Handicap") is an American Grade 1 stakes race for Thoroughbred racehorses three years of age and older run at a distance of 1+1⁄8 miles. The current purse is $1,200,000.
|Grade I race|
|Location||Saratoga Race Course|
Saratoga Springs, New York, United States
|Race type||Thoroughbred, Flat racing|
|Website||Saratoga Race Course|
|Distance||1+1⁄8 miles (9 furlongs)|
|Qualification||Three-year-olds and Up|
Held annually in late July/early August at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, the race is named for the Whitney family, whose members were and remain prominent participants and supporters of the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.
In 2007, the Breeders' Cup Ltd. introduced the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" qualification format, under which the winner of the Whitney Stakes automatically qualifies for the fall running of the Breeders' Cup Classic.
The Whitney was raced at a distance of 1+1⁄4 miles from its inception in 1928 until 1955, when the distance was reduced to 1+1⁄8 miles. Until 1940 it was closed to geldings. The inaugural running was won by William R. Coe's two-time Champion Filly, Black Maria. During World War II, the race was run at Belmont Park from 1943 through 1945, and again once in 1961. Between 1957 and 1969 the race was restricted to horses four years and older.
Some of the greatest horses in American racing history have won the Whitney, including Easy Goer, Tom Fool, Dr. Fager, Stymie, Invasor, Slew o' Gold, Alydar, Ancient Title, Key to the Mint, Devil Diver, Eight Thirty, War Admiral, Discovery, Equipoise and Kelso, who won it for the third time in 1965 at the age of eight. The race also saw one of the most dramatic upsets in racing history when Secretariat finished second in the 1973 Whitney to Allen Jerkens's colt, Onion. Six fillies have won the race: Black Maria (1928), Bateau (1929), Esposa (1937), Gallorette (1948), Lady's Secret (1986), and Personal Ensign (1988).
In the 2015 listing of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), the Whitney tied with the Kentucky Derby as the top Grade 1 race in the United States outside of the Breeders' Cup races.
- 1+1⁄8 miles – 1:46.64 – Lawyer Ron (2007)
- 1+1⁄4 miles – 2:02.00 – Devil Diver (1944) & Bolingbroke (1943)
Most wins by an owner:
- 6 – Greentree Stable (1931, 1942, 1944, 1951, 1953, 1958)
Most wins by a jockey:
Most wins by a trainer:
- 5 – John M. Gaver Sr. (1942, 1944, 1951, 1953, 1958)
- "Grades Stakes Profile – Whitney Handicap". Equibase. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- "History of the Travers and Whitney" (PDF). nyra.com. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- "The World's Top 100 G1 Races for 3yo's and upwards" (PDF). www.ifhaonline.org. International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. Retrieved 3 March 2015.