Criminal Type, ridden by Gary Stevens and assigned the high weight of 126 pounds, beat Dancing Spree by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday in the $234,400 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
The Calumet Farm product, giving five pounds to the runner-up, covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 3/5 to collect the winner’s share of $140,640, increasing his career earnings to $2,351,817 and his stock as the best handicap horse in the country. The 5-year-old son of Alydar has won seven of 10 starts and $2,270,290 this year. In 23 career starts, he has won 10 times and has been in the money 18 times.
“We thought he would run well today, but you never know until they open up,” trainer Wayne Lukas said. “I wasn’t worried when he went wide. I told Gary to stay in the middle of the track and stay out of trouble. I wanted him to be out in the clear. I didn’t want anyone pushing him down on the rail.
“He’s a campaigner. He’s very professional. Horse of the year is our major goal. Calumet has been on top before and we want to get them back on top. We’ll look at the Woodward and the Jockey Club Gold Cup next.”
The Whitney victory was Criminal Type’s fourth in a row and comes on the heels of wins over Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, both since retired, in Belmont’s Metropolitan Handicap and the Hollywood Gold Cup.
Criminal Type was allowed to set the pace and posted moderate fractions of 24 2/5 for the quarter, 48 2/5 for the half-mile and 1:12 2/5 for three quarters.
Midway in the turn, Stevens asked Criminal Type for speed and the horse responded, completing a mile in 1:36 2/5 and covering the final furlong in 12 1/5 seconds.
Dancing Spree, ridden by Angel Cordero Jr., finished well along the inside to claim second in the six-horse field, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Mi Selecto. Tricky Creek, Exemplary Leader and Forever Silver completed the order of finish.
Criminal Type returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Dancing Spree paid $2.80 and $2.10 and Mi Selecto was worth $2.10.
In the Grade III A Phenomenon Stakes on the same card, Julio Garcia rode Prospectors Gamble to a 2 1/2-length victory over Sewickley in a six-furlong test for horses ages 3 and up. Prospectors Gamble, a 5-year-old son of Crafty Prospector, went the distance in 1:09 1-5 for his third victory in seven starts this year.
Sewickley was 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Mr. Nickerson, with Quick Call the trailer in the four-horse field.
Prospectors Gamble earned $50,400 from a purse of $84,000 and returned $11 and $3.60. Sewickley paid $2.80. There was no show betting.