Big Horse Racing from Saratoga, Del Mar, Mountaineer Park

Headlined by a trio of Grade 1 races on SaturdaySaratoga dominates this weekend’s racing landscape. Foremost among the loaded afternoon at the Upstate New York oval will be the million-dollar Whitney Stakes, which boasts five of the best older dirt horses in the nation.

Knicks Go and Maxfield should vie for favoritism in the star-studded Whitney field, while Bolshoi Boy, in the Saratoga Derby, and Search Results, in the Test, look like the likely respective favorites in solid editions of each.

This week’s six selections also include the West Virginia Derby from Mountaineer Park, as well as the Best Pal from Del Mar, and the Glens Falls back at Saratoga.

Fresh off a strong victory in the Grade 3 Indiana Derby last time, Mr. Wireless looms the one they will all have to beat in Saturday’s $500,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. A winner of three of his last four for trainer Bret Calhoun, the lightly raced son of Dialed In looked the part of an up and coming sophomore in his 3 ¾-length score at Indiana Grand.

Chief among his challengers include the upset winner of this spring’s Grade 2 Wood Memorial, Bourbonic, who was fifth last time in the Belmont Stakes, and Warrant, who won a wet edition of the Texas Derby over a solid field in his last start for trainer Brad Cox.

Our Pick: Mr. Wireless (9/5) – Needs only to run back to his last to add another Derby win to his resume.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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