If you don't recognize the excel sheet above it's the results of my 20-20 Profile for the Whitney Handicap. In brief the 20-20 is a statistical profile system that rates the current competitors against a model defined by past winners. You can easily see how the system rates the contenders so I won't go too much into it. Smooth Air is the obvious choice both statistically and to the naked eye. Commentator looks like he's not quite as sharp as he was in previous seasons when he won this race. In previous years he was also a perfect 20-20 qualifier and he had some big numbers but this year he looks past his best. Smooth Air should shake off his bridesmaid tag and move forward in his new barn. No offense to his prior connections but I love the job Chad Brown is doing with his charges. I know Macho Again is rated in the second tier for this race but I really don't like him. I've had a rough history with this horse, I never seem to read him right. I suppose he should be tossed into the exactas but I don't trust him. I do like Dry Martini to make some noise. I don't think he's up to beating Smooth Air but he is great at two turns and Tagg's stable has been hot at the Spa. He's the one I'd use primarily with Smooth Air but the Smooth Jazz colt lays over the field in my mind.
Gio Ponti should be favored in the Million and he's the top 20-20 choice as well. It seems like a bit of a waste to develop a system that gives you just the two favorites in Smooth Air and Gio Ponti but I think some of the value of the system is the fact that horses like Commentator and Einstein come out much worse than you'd think. To me that says stay focused on the clear choices and don't get distracted by the classy duo. Gio Ponti needs very little introduction, he hasn't lost on the grass this year and I don't think his luck will run out here. He's the best turf horse in the nation and as long as Presious Passion does not hijack the race with his crazy pace tactics I think he's the clear winner. Even if Presious Passion does take off I think Gio Ponti can catch him. The horses that have been chasing him lately like Banrock and Lauro are no where near the class of Gio Ponti. I think there is danger from Gloria de Campeao because he's got great tactical speed. I think he's the first horse to get to Presious Passion and perhaps the race simply comes down to how much ground Gio Ponti has to make up in the final quarter mile. If he is within three lengths he wins, if not I think Gloria de Campeao could be the one to spring the upset.