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HRN Original Blog:
Race Talk with the Girl Next Door

Belmont Picks

Unfortunately, I was so preoccupied with the jockey screw job that I was unable to get too excited about the Preakness. Well, it was either that or the fact that I did not fully believe my horse of choice would make an appearance in the winner’s circle. But fear not, I have bounced back to get excited about the Belmont Stakes 2011 so here is my exacta ticket.
The Belmont, I think, sets up perfectly for one of my old Derby picks Master of Hounds. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this horse in the Derby, but had to throw him in somewhere with my favorite jockey aboard. I put him in one of my exotics since I was sure that Dialed In would be the Derby winner and although I did not cash the ticket, I am now sure that the Belmont is the race for him. I think Master of Hounds is at least worth a second look. At the break, Master of Hounds was in the back of the pack with Nehro and Animal Kingdom. Prior to the first turn, Gomez puts him at the head of the last pack of horses. He is there in the middle of the 19 horse field. Going into the backstretch, he becomes 14th, just ahead of the stragglers like Dialed In. Gomez keeps this horse in the same spot all the way down the backstretch and he enters the final turn in this position. Then something happens, like with the rest of the horses, Gomez makes a move before finishing the turn. Coming down the stretch, I watched the horse do a few in and out maneuvers and then Gomez tried to start the horse running. He finished only 5th, but I think that along with sitting out the Preakness puts in a spot to steal the Belmont. I also think he will be a great price. All that being said he will be on my win/place ticket and my exacta box.
Next, I am finally able to get behind Animal Kingdom; a little too late to cash a Derby ticket but I am really ready to see this horse race. I was not behind him in the Derby because of the jockey controversy, I did not think he was going to get the Preakness because of the shortened distance, but this Belmont is going to be his race. He had the chance to feel the dirt being thrown into his face, we know he can get the distance but I am concerned about these grueling turnarounds. This is a horse that has not raced very much, weeks passed without him getting a race and we are now asking this horse to run 3 races in 5 weeks. I think this may be a lot to ask…but I am going to include him in my exacta box.
Finally, Nehro and not to sound like Nick Zito, but this is the best horse to not find the winners circle in his graded races. I think his second in the Louisiana Derby could be due to the traffic problems he faced around the final turn. He was in a different spot in that Derby, a little closer to the pace than we have seen since. It was the Arkansas Derby, arguably the best prep race we saw all year, that gave us real contenders for the Derby. He was further back from the pace and his late charge is what we were all talking about afterwards. There we were, all praising the second place finisher and deservingly so. He followed form in the Kentucky Derby and may have been asked too early to make his move or perhaps the slight bump towards the end caused the horse to finish second, either way I think he is going to hit the board in the Belmont. I may go even further and predict he may emerge as the best three year by the end of the year. I think he is the most impressive by far. This puts him next to Master of Hounds on my win/place ticket and also the final horse in my exacta box.


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Older Comments about Belmont Picks...

Alternation and Shackleford are my key picks so far.
Master of Hounds and Nehro, eh? Two horses definitely in with a chance ... if all the probables go, the Belmont should be a very interesting race.
sorry ang, moocho macho man in memberance of randy poffo (macho man randy savage) rip. betting w my heart. love you very much. uncle eddie.

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Meet Angela D'Amico
My horseracing journey and my quest to learn more about it has brought me to the University of Louisville Equine Program, but it began before I was born. My parents met when their parents shared ownership in a few racehorses. Although they did not own any horses when I was growing up, my grandfather still took me to the racetrack all throughout my childhood. In 2007, my stepfather introduced me to different racetracks and handicapping techniques, but it was not until the 2009 Preakness that I was really hooked.
A filly, Rachel Alexandra, venturing into a man’s world caught my eye and I fell in love with her completely. This was when my life changed. When it comes to racing and choosing my favorite horses, I have always seen perfection in what others would characterize as flaws. With this blog, I hope to show everyone that horseracing is not just a gamble, it is a passion.

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