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2012 Whitney Handicap and Prioress Stakes

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Fort Larned wins the 2012 Whitney Handicap
Fort Larned wins the 2012 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga

Fort Larned wins the 2012 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga

© Vanessa Ng
August 4, 2012

One of the highlight races of the Saratoga summer meeting is the $750,000 Whitney Invitational Handicap (G1), featuring top older horses going 1 1/8 miles on the main track, with the winner earning automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) under the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" promotion. 30,841 fans came out on Saturday, enjoying sunny skies and temperatures in the low 90s. Santa Anita (G1) and Stephen Foster (G1) Handicap winner Ron the Greek was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 9. In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Hymn Book, second in the Suburban Handicap (G2) last out, and 4-1 third choice Flat Out, off his second place finish in the Monmouth Cup (G2).

33-1 longest shot Endorsement was sent to the front by jockey Joel Rosario and he set fractions of 23.42, 46.97, and 1:10.86 over the fast track, while pressed by 6-1 fourth choice Trickmeister and 7-1 fifth choice Fort Larned. Entering the stretch Endorsement tired while Fort Larned surged to the lead, opening up a 4 length advantage mid-stretch through 1 mile in 1:34.80. Favorite Ron the Greek, last for the first 5/8 mile, put in a strong late rally but was left with too much ground to recover as Fort Larned held him off by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:47.76. It was just a head back to Flat Out third.

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