The Withers Stakes on Saturday, February 1 is the second of four races at Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, NY on the Road to #KYD14. Like the Jerome Stakes, which was held on January 4, the Withers awards the top four finishers with 10-4-2-and-1 points in the Kentucky Derby points system. Hopefully some will remember that the Jerome Stakes was won by Noble Moon, who is not entered in Saturday’s Withers. However, second-place finisher Classic Giacnroll and thrid-place finisher Scotland are both entered in the Withers. Let’s take a look at the Jerome Stakes replay:
While Classic Giacnroll and Scotland are the only two of the six entered that have earned prior points, Samraat and Uncle Sigh are the two favorites in Saturday’s contest. Here is a look at the undefeated Samraat’s last race, the Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct, which he won by a ridiculous 16-length margin on December 18:
Uncle Sigh finished second by a head in his debut start at six furlongs on December 7, then came back 20 days later and romped by 14-lengths in a maiden going a mile and 70 yards.
The other two entries for Saturday are Street Gent who won his last start, a maiden going 1 1/8 miles, by 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct; and Honorable Judge, who won his last start going a mile in an allowance race at Parx Racing by 2 1/4 lengths. Here is a look at the Equibase Entries:
It should be a tough race, especially with the two favorites coming off such impressive performances. I am going to have to go with Uncle Sigh to win this one, mainly because his time for his mile and 70-yard victory in a maiden was over a full second faster than Samraat‘s in the Damon Runyon Stakes which was the same distance. Granted the track condition for Samraat was “good” versus “fast” for Uncle Sigh, I am still giving Uncle Sigh the edge. I think Classic Giacnroll has a big chance to hit the board once again, potentially in second, and I am going to place Samraat in third. Should be an exciting race this Saturday, be sure to tune into TVG for all the action!
Also, if you want some history on the Withers Stakes, I found this little piece from About.com: