Improbable moved to the top of the older male division with his two-length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Whitney S. (G1) at Saratoga, his second Grade 1 win in a row, coming on the heels of his Gold Cup (G1) win on June 6.
In a rematch with Tom's d'Etat, Improbable got out of the gate very well, while his main foe stumbled badly and was fifth and last early on. Improbable's jockey Irad Ortiz let longshot Mr. Buff take the lead, sitting just off the pacesetter who set mild fractions for the first six furlongs. Coming into the stretch, Improbable easily took command and was never seriously threatened as he finished the 1 1/8-miles in 1:48.65.
“He got up really quick and he put me in the race,” said Ortiz. “I just took a little hold because Mr Buff looked like the speed of the race. I put him in second in the clear, like we wanted and went from there. When I asked him turning for home, he responded really well.”
The winner is owned by WinStar Farm LLC, CHC Inc. and SF Racing LLC and is trained by Bob Baffert.
“Big race. Big race,” said WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden. “Obviously, we had to get over the gate [issues] a little bit and Irad and the gate crew did a wonderful job. He broke great, Irad had him in a super position and felt great all the way around there. Bob [Baffert] had him ready to go, as usual, when he comes east. That’s his second Grade I in a row. He got beat by Tom’s d’Etat in his first start at Oaklawn, but he’s set up for a big year and we’re just excited to continue that.”
Now a three-time Grade 1 winner, Improbable has earned $1,529,520. The Whitney, part of the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In challenge series, earned Improbable a guaranteed spot in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 7 at Keeneland.