Belmont Stakes-The 145th running of Belmont stakes is carded as race 11 this Saturday at Belmont Park in Elmont, NY, approximate scheduled post time is 6:36 PM. The field consists of 14 entrants who are vying for the 3rd Jewel of the Triple Crown. The weather forecast is showers all day Friday and Saturday morning ending mid-day with below normal temps for the big day, looks like sloppy main track and yielding turf.
After the Derby, the world including this writer had anointed Orb the next great one, but his Preakness flop has myself and many others eating crow. Despite that loss, the odds makers are giving him a mulligan as he is the morning line favorite to avenge that loss. The fact that 14 horses entered the box tells us no one is scared off from the Derby winner Orb or the Preakness winner Oxbow.
The Belmont is a true test of endurance as this will be the only time 3 year olds will line up to go a mile and half on North American dirt. Despite the logic that closers would have advantage with the extra 2 furlongs, the last Belmont winner to rally from over 10 lengths back was Jazil in 2006. Besides needing to be sitting close, favorites have also scored in 61 of the 144 for 44% clip. In those running’s, no winner has won from the 12-14 post and the 10 & 11 post has a total of 4 wins, granted there haven’t been many big Belmont fields, but it is still something to keep in mind especially since the turn comes up quick since this is a one loop race and outside posts could be compromised.
“Big Sandy”, the nickname of the Belmont main track will be taking lots of water on Friday & Saturday and case history has shown a sealed main track turns into a conveyor belt so keep that in mind before wagering, watch how the 6th race plays since it will be a 1 1/16 mile on the main track.
Off-track, big field, questions about runners form equals potentially the most exciting Belmont in years for both enjoyment and wagering opportunities.
Let’s splash through the puddles and try to figure this out…..
#5 Orb– I am biting again, as much as I want to play against him, I am just lining out the Preakness. I told my gambling buddies the biggest hurdle in the Triple Crown series would be the Preakness and he got rocked to sleep with a slow pace, he returns to his home track and I am with Shug; let’s give him another chance to just see how good he is. I do expect him to get bet, but I still think he will be a square price so from a gambler’s perspective, be glad he lost the Preakness as had he been 1-2 in there he is 4/5 instead of somewhere between 2 or 3 to 1. Has the blood to relish this distance, has a good post position to stalk and pop when asked, the only thing that will get me off him is if the track bias plays strictly to front end speed.
#8 Midnight Taboo– As mentioned, this is a race with the variables that could lead to a long price horse functioning so this new shooter intrigues me. Likely only in the race due to owner Repole’s ego, but hasn’t been out of the exacta in 3 career tries and shows a muddy start over this track. Pedigree shows distance shouldn’t be a problem and expect he’ll be forwardly placed right behind the main speed. Needs to grow up in a hurry as he is swimming in the deep end of the pool, but the price will be right with strong connections.
#9 Revolutionary– Ran a game closing third in the Derby and has a major advantage against most in here as he is well rested having skipped the Preakness. Gets reunited with his win rider Castellano and appears all systems go. I don’t think he wants to go this far though and with a running style of needing to rally from far back I simply think he will run out of gas. If I am wrong and he does get the distance, he could be a major player, sire War Pass galloped over the Monmouth slop in the Breeders Cup so the surface won’t be a problem.
#2 Freedom Child- Oxbow was able to go right to the front and hit the brakes in the Preakness earning well deserved romp in Baltimore, this guy will ensure old man Stevens never hits the front and like Midnight Taboo has a solid off-track effort over this track. Toss the Wood as he got stuck in the gate from the gate crew, all his other efforts were solid. Camp’s rain dance worked as the will hope to duplicate the Peter Pan and take them gate to wire, now sure that will work but I could see him going a long way and staying for a slice.
Betability: Outstanding, my picks and potentially a few others could offer major wagering value. Let the track bias help guide you wagering dollars.
#5 Win, Place, Show for 2 units at odds greater than 5 to 2
Exacta box #2, #5, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12 for 2 units
Exacta wheel #2, #5, #8 with #2, #5, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #14 for 1 unit
Exacta wheel #2, #5, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #14 with #2, #5, #8 for 1 unit
Trifecta wheel #5, #8 with #2, #5, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #14 with ALL for 1 unit
Saver Exacta box, #10, #11, #12 for 1 unit
Graded Analysis with fair value win odds
#5 Orb- 3 to 1, If Shug is ready, he will over a huge overlay, must bring A game, my choice.
#8 Midnight Taboo- 20 to 1, like the way he is progressing but this is like going from 10th grade to college, faces big test.
#9 Revolutionary- 4 to 1, blue-collar horse who is fresh and ready, I question the distance and running style.
#2 Freedom Child- 9 to 1, Peter Pan winners normally burn money in the Belmont but he might be in the right spot with running style, don’t dismiss.
#12 Palice Malice- 14 to 1, still feel his future will be in the infield, but showed some talent with his runaway try in the Derby, dangerous if rated properly.
#14 Golden Soul- 20 to 1, grew up big time on the first Saturday in May, but this is equally as daunting of a task and the far outside draw will compromise him.
#7 Oxbow- 15 to 1, Lukas runs the tires off them and he won’t get his way this time, classic play against.
#11 Vyjack- 25 to 1, trainer Rodriquez hasn’t had a good spring so far, that could change in an instant should his local charge fire, wouldn’t shock me.
#10 Will Take Charge- 50 to 1, flopped in first two legs of the series so no reason to back now, still I feel he is a flyer.
#3 Overanalyze- 25-1, hasn’t developed at 3 as I thought he might, also don’t think he wants this distance, not for me.
#13 Unlimited Budget- 40-1, actually will take money with Rosie up and that she is a filly, but had every chance in the Oaks and failed there, much bigger task.
#1 Frac Daddy- 75-1, liked him Derby day but what is there to like about him in this spot…..nothing.
#6 Incognito 100 to 1, will live up to his name as his 1st try vs. stakes was ugly, won’t find him in here either.
#4 Giant Finish 100 to 1, NY bred will be back against state bred company he can beat in his next start, race filler here.
-Professional handicapper at www.equineinvestor.com