The Belmont Stakes is the TEST OF CHAMPIONS. 1.5 miles around the “big oval” of Belmont Park located in Belmont NY, which is on Long Island. With the absence of NYQUIST the heavy favorite will be EXAGGERATOR. We all know he came in second in the Derby and won the Preakness. He is one of only two horses in this race that will be running in all three legs of the triple crown races (LANI is the other). EXAGGERATOR is a good horse, do not get me wrong and to be getting morning line odds of 9/5 is a gift in my opinion, almost.
There is a reason there has only been 1 Triple Crown winner the past 30+ years, it is this race. AMERICAN PHAROAH is a great horse and proved it each race with no real threat. Several times horses have come in winning the first two legs and lost the third.
1.5 miles is a hike for these horses and most will never run it again. Six out of the past 10 races have been won by a horse who has never been in any of the Triple Crown races or has race in only 1 of the two previous Triple Crown races. Very rare has a horse run in the Derby and Preakness and won the Belmont. It is grueling stretch for a horse.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]GOVERNOR MALIBU[/COLOR][/B] -This is scary connections. Trainer Chris Clement and jockey Rosario won this race with TONALIST a few years back using the same method of training. TONALIST won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont, GOVERNOR MALIBU came in second this year. This is an improving horse, who is rested and has experience over the track. 3 wins – 2 places/3rd. He came in first the past 4 races (disqualified and placed in 2nd two races ago). Very improving horse.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]DESTIN[/COLOR][/B] – Todd Pletcher and Costellano bring in a good horse who was improving with each race and then ran in the slop in the Preakness. Prior to the slop race he had a 100 buyer figure. I would cross out the Preakness and look for this horse to run. You have a home town trainer and the best closing jockey in Costellano on board. Interesting horse!!
[B][COLOR=’Red’]CHERRY WINE[/COLOR][/B] – Monster finish to come in second in the Preakness. Very good jockey/trainer combo. His best races came in the slop. Interesting to see how he does in the dirt and with a moderate pace in the race.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS [/COLOR][/B]- Jockey change to Mike Smith is HUUUUGE!! He was won this race multiple times and is not stranger to the track. This horse made a tremendous move in the Derby to get 5th by head. He was rolling along and weaving in and out of horses on the turn and into the stretch. Theory says the distance should help. This is a monster closing horse.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]STRADIVARI [/COLOR][/B]- Another Pletcher entry who was taking big bucks in the Preakness. Very lightly raced horse who produced a 100 buyer prior to the Preakness. He was running a good race until the stretch. He never really kicked in and never really faded. I think the slop got to him and it was only his 3rd race of his career. The experience will be huge for him.
GETTYSBURG[/COLOR][/B] – I don’t see this horse doing much. He has lost to many of these horses and list races at 1 1/8 he fades hard.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]SEEKING THE SOUL[/COLOR][/B] – Dallas Stewart, the king of long shots, enters this lightly race horse into this marathon. He won his last race at 1 mile in a maiden special of 44k. This is a huge step up for this horse and facing Grade 1 winners for the first time.
I could see this horse in many other races besides this one.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]FOREVER d’Oro [/COLOR][/B]- Another “King of the Long Shots” horse entered here. This one comes in off of a win of 75k maiden race. Better then 44k and he looks to have the form to go long. Moderate, mid paced horse with a closing kick. Has run 1 1/8 mile twice and if he last race is anything to show, we have a price in exotics. The hottest jockey at Belmont gets the mount in Jose Ortiz. He knows the track and is a very soft rider who posses good hands to relax a horse.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]TROJAN NATION[/COLOR][/B] – Still a maiden. Why he is in here is selfish for the owners. Better races to choose to break a horses maiden then 1.5 mile race.
LANI [/COLOR][/B]- Foreign horse who has run in both Derby and Preakness. History is not in his favor. Loves the distance, but not falling for it.
EXAGGERATOR[/COLOR][/B] – Winner of Preakness. Will be the favorite. All the right things are being said about this horse. He has put on 4 lbs since the Preakness, eating all his grain with vigor, morning work outs are eye popping. On paper he should be the winner, but you have to run the race. I think he caught a soft track with torrential rain prior to Derby and the Preakness was sloppy. He last three races have all been with wetness in track. Prior to that on dry, fast tracks he has not won.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]BRODY’S CAUSE [/COLOR][/B]- I was up and down with him in the Derby. He is rested since that race, but he seems to be over matched losing to several of these horses over the past races. Hard to get a read and you have to throw out the 20 horse field of the Derby and prior to that he wins the Blue Grass with the type of riding style you need to win the Belmont. He has race in 4 grade 1 races winning 2 and a 3rd. He was seventh in Derby, but throw that race out. Don’t know what to make of this horse.
[B][COLOR=’Red’]CREATOR [/COLOR][/B]- My derby pick who just got hammered and turned sideway in the Derby coming around the turn. He was just kicking into his move and got rammed from the side. Trainer changes to IRAD ORTIZ who, along with his brother Jose, have been owning Belmont race track. He was improving with every race, with buyers over 100 until the Derby. He comes in rested. Has a huge jockey switch and there won’t be 20 horses here to get in trouble. I liked him in the Derby and still like him. He will need to be closer to the pace and not so far back. See if the jockey makes that adjustment.
ANALYSIS AND PICKS.
The fact that Dallas Stewart throws in 2 horses here peaks my interest. I think one is the rabbit, the other is the hound. With the entry of GETTYSBURG we may have a pace to run with and I think SEEKING THE SOUL may go with him. This will set up horse to come running in the stretch. I like EXAGGERATOR to pace 4th or 5th and make his move late, say top of the stretch. I do not think he holds for the win. I like CREATOR to run a different race here and be in the mix, I also like GOVERNOR MALIBU to make his presence felt. I have a feeling about DESTIN as well. Throw out the Derby and he has a good race coming into this. SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS will have to change his running style from being second to last all the time to a more up to the pace horse. I do like his closing kick, but history shows deep closers do not win the Belmont Stakes.
This is going to be a good race.
WAGERS – I am focusing on exotics here on this one. Trying to beat EXAGGERATOR
based on $100 to bet with.
$1 exacta ALL/ EXAGGERATOR ($12) (reverse this if you really like EXAGGERATOR)
TRIPLE ALL/ EXAGGERATOR/ ALL $1 is $110. .50 Cents is $55