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HRN Original Blog:
The Kentucky Derby Post

2013 Belmont Stakes - The Rubber Match

As the Triple Crown season comes to an end, America will not be treated to a Triple Crown champion. Orb looked to be a serious threat to break the drought after winning the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Joel Rosario raved about his performance and were confident he would repeat in the 2013 Preakness Stakes two weeks later. However, Oxbow proved to be the horse that was ready for the challenge. And so, the Triple Crown bid was spoiled. Despite the fact that we will have to wait for a Triple Crown possibility, the two champions are set to meet in a rubber match at the 2013 Belmont Stakes.
 
 
New York sets the stage for two of the biggest 3-yr-old stars to settle the debate about who is the better horse.  But then again, the remainder of the field will also be racing to join that debate. So, what type of rubber match race should we expect in 2013?
 
 
There are three options. Either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes champion will win or the final jewel will be awarded to a different horse. Since each of these outcomes is represented by some very memorable years, and winners, let’s compare them to 2013.
 
 
We begin with our most recent winner, Oxbow. His unforgettable Preakness Stakes win was as unexpected as it was remarkable. But, is Oxbow good enough to join the club of reverse order Triple Crown near misses?
 
 
By reverse order I’m referring to horses that returned stronger than ever after a disappointing Kentucky Derby and won the final two legs of the Triple Crown. Specifically, two horses come to mind. The first is probably one of the top five horses to ever win just two of three jewels. Unfortunately, because he missed in the Kentucky Derby he is often left outside the rankings. I myself have been guilty of that but to correct those mistakes let be clear; Point Given was a special horse. (Don't believe me? Just ask my brother, he'll talk for hours)
 
 
After a tough break from the far outside in a 17 horse field Point Given was never able to recover behind a blistering pace. It wasn’t his day in a race that went on to become the second fastest Kentucky Derby. However, it didn’t stop him from displaying his talents. His runaway win with primary rider Gary Stevens in the Belmont Stakes validated his pre-derby hype and proved that he was a better horse than Monarchos.
 
 
Will Gary Stevens captain Oxbow to this same fate? If so, he will lead his colt to join another recent Preakness-Belmont winner that came up short in the Kentucky Derby. In 2005, Afleet Alex made a very big adjustment after tiring down the stretch and finishing 3rd in the Derby. In the Preakness and Belmont, Afleet Alex became the closer we expected when Jeremy Rose urged him to the front and they drew away to win in convincing fashion.
 
 
So, here are two examples of the horse that Oxbow can become or be compared to. But, what if the Belmont Stakes puts Orb back into the spotlight. If so, who else comes to mind that won the first and third legs of the Triple Crown. The easiest to remember is Thunder Gulch in 1995, but since Affirmed last won the crown in 1978, we mustn’t leave out Swale in 1984.
 
 
Both of these horses make an outstanding case for being ranked in the top 5 horses that captured two Triple Crown wins. However, because Thunder Gulch fared much better in the Preakness Stakes I have to give him the advantage. Have we talked about Gary Stevens yet? If not, then who else but Gary Stevens was in the irons? He guided Thunder Gulch to a solid win in the Kentucky Derby but they were unable to return to glory in the Preakness Stakes and finished 3rd. But that didn’t stop D. Wayne Lukas from entering him into the Belmont Stakes. It turned out to be a wise decision as Stevens and Thunder Gulch showcased their talents once again and became the first horse since Swale in 1984 to win both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
 
 
Swale also earned both jewels with outstanding efforts but it was the race in the middle that puzzled him the most. Unable to hold position as the lead stalker Swale began to fade through the final turn and finished 7th. He didn’t look quite himself that day so let the comparison to Orb begin.
 
 
Can, or since we know he can, let me ask instead; will Orb follow Swale and Thunder Gulch to become the next Derby – Belmont winner? Otherwise, will another horse in the field remind us of 2011?
 
 
2011 had all the elements of a rubber match that you could ask for. Although his attempt at wiring the field in the Kentucky Derby came up short, that same front runner style worked perfectly for Shackleford in the Preakness Stakes. In the Kentucky Derby Shackleford had no reservations, he went right to the front. While it looked great all the way through the top of the stretch he eventually caved and finished 4th.
 
 
In the Preakness Stakes, Shackleford bobbled at the start and another horse claimed the lead. However, Flashpoint didn’t realize how bad Shackleford wanted that lead. Animal Kingdom also learned that he was trying to catch a much different horse or maybe the same horse at a shorter distance. In the end Shackleford won and Animal Kingdom finished second.
 
 
Everyone wants to see a Triple Crown possibility make it to the Belmont Stakes. But, if it doesn’t happen then what better story than 2011 would you create. Unfortunately, that’s where the grand idea of a rubber match got swallowed up by 3-yr-olds anxious to take the stage. Ruler on Ice earned the leading role while Shackleford finished 5th and Animal Kingdom finished 6th.
 
 
So, because history, recent history that is, says that this option is very much on the table; do you think that it will happen again in 2013? If so, who is ready to steal the spotlight. Or, does your gut tell you that we will see another 3-yr-old win two of the three jewels. If so.......will it be Orb or Oxbow?
 
Either way the rubber match is on and I hope we're in for a good one. 

 

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Older Comments about 2013 Belmont Stakes - The Rubber Match...

Orb looked like a heavyweight boxer surrounded by bodyguards down the backstretch in the Preakness. When he tried to move, Lucas' other horse did everything in his power to stop him and did, let alone all the others. Oxbow won because Stevens was given a gift. He even said it himself. The question is will he get another one? I doubt it. The Belmont is all about breeding, just ask Smarty Jones. Whoever wins on the 8th will be bred to run that far and a whole wack of these are not. Orb, Revolutionary, Golden Soul and Palace Malice.
and maybe Palace Malice..will probably narrow it down to one or two of the prelim picks come race day.
Orb looked like a heavyweight boxer surrounded by bodyguards down the backstretch in the Preakness. When he tried to move, Lucas' other horse did everything in his power to stop him and did, let alone all the others. Oxbow won because Stevens was given a gift. He even said it himself. The question is will he get another one? I doubt it. The Belmont is all about breeding, just ask Smarty Jones. Whoever wins on the 8th will be bred to run that far and a whole wack of these are not. Orb, Revolutionary, Golden Soul and Palace Malice.
With Code West declared out of the race...I'm leaning towards Overanalyze and Oxbow
I"ll tip my hat off if Oxbow can wire the field. I just don't see it happening. The fractions will have to be turtle slow if he is to win on the front end at a 1- 1/2. Don't think they will let him go slow for 3/4 of the race. If they do he has a shot. But I really don't think Oxbow or Orb win. 3rd tme in 7 weeks for both. It does take alot out of them. Revolutionary has been training since the KD. and very well rested. Also some others!
Let's just make sure Orb is running before we all get carried away with the rematch.
Does anyone know whether Normandy Invasion will run? I thought that horse had potential. Verazano would be another that comes to mind.
I really like Palace Malice for the Belmont -- if they remove the blinkers. Oxbow for 2nd, Revolutionary 3rd, Unlimited Budget 4th, and Overanalyze 5th.
robyhoks, look for Normandy Invasion to return to racing this summer in the Jim Dandy Stakes July 27 at Saratoga or the Haskell Invitational July 28 at Monmouth. Either of these races will be a great prep for the race that trainer Chad Brown really has his eye on, Travers Stakes Aug. 24
Lukas entered 3 horses in the Preakness, one to win, one to keep Orb on the rail, and one to block if he went wide. His first plan worked better than he could have dreamed, so he didn't have to use Will Take Charge as a blocker in case he went outside. Orb is the best 3yo running at this time in routes IMO, so for me value equals betting Orb in some form, not a secondary choice because of higher odds but much more likely to lose. Usually the horses don't beat people, they beat themselves in the eternal search for value. The thing is, if you don't win there's no value. I don't like that my top choice is the likely favorite, it doesn't always come out that way, but when it does that's the value. If the favorite is to chalky I make it an exacta or trifecta with the horse you honestly think will win. Naturally I bet races two or three ways as there's are usually at least two very probable outcomes as the pace scenario, which is set by the jockey, unless an unrateable horse is in, which by the way makes it easier, as then only that one pace scenario is likely to unfold. In order to wager that way when confronted with the probable winner being the favororite. I'm forced to use exotics, but rarely do I go past the trifecta because that fourth horse is very hard to catch. It's much easier to play the exacta and trifeca more times the same way than to catch the super even once. It does happen that people catch the super a lot I'm told, I'm just not one of them. As a final note. When looking at a race card that has 3 or 4 probable winning favorites a horizontal parley is a nice play for me as I retain the option of betting or passing each race in my parley. As fo stalkers and style, they've always been in vogue. GL all.
Palace Malice and Overanalyze should both be morningline 15/1. both are major contenders
For some reason I just don't think Oxbow is the best 3 year old this year, I am looking for Orb to rebound in the Belmont. If not Orb or Oxbow I expect a pretty big longshot, maybe Golden Soul, Incognito or Freedom Child. It should be a great race and with a lot of the horses with New York connections, it could turn our that the Travers will be the best race of the year. That would be nice in this 150 anniversary year at Saratoga.
In the last 14 runnings of the Belmont- the average win payout- $39.35; average ex. payout- $460.90. With this years crop of 3YOs,,,,,,,
what I am really getting at is that NeITHER OF US, has definitve proof of either scenario as there is as much proof that marshmallow deprivation was responsible for this or that. FICTION is overlaid on observationm to assauge a PREDETERMINED belief that is searched for regardless of the myriad of possibilities that siatuation could be associated..The EPITOME of the grandstander evaluation that OBSEVATION (MY evaluation of it) some how equals realit...It does not.
hahhahahha...that is your defense? Nitpicking on a word I used. "The deepest part of the track was the inside" that is all it meant.
Find a chart with the track designation HEAVY these days and I will be amazed...According to DRF heavy and slow are rarely, if ever used any longer.
You want documents, here is one for you: "Vyjack was EXPOSED in the Derby for not only being slow, but too far back by his racing style. Posted by travel_vic · 21 days ago · like · Comment"
left the rail out of the clubhouse turn and stayed 3 wide
Late in the race. Are you looking at the same race? He switch away from the rail in the club house turn. It seem like all you do is assume things and make stupid assumption. Like the comment you made that Vyjack was off the pace in the Derby.
Alone on the lead had more to do with winning there than any other observable aspect

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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer – Chicago, IL

 

Growing up I spent a lot of days in the Bluegrass State. Although I was born and raised north of the mighty Ohio River in Southwest Indiana, I was still next door to thoroughbred racing; Ellis Park, Henderson, KY 

 

Likewise, the first Saturday in May was always a celebrated family event. As my two brothers and I got older the battle for picking the next winner began to heat up. In 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance. Since then I’ve made it an annaual tradition because there’s no other city or weekend in the racing world like Louisville, KY on Derby Day. 

 

Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, following a champions trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about. The coverage begins when the 2-yr-old preps commence but it does not quit racing until all results are official, the field is set, the picks are made and the roses are worn. But that’s not all because the road doesn’t stop on the First Saturday in May. The elusive quest for the next Triple Crown has reached 35 years so I invite my readers to remain in the saddle through all three legs as we await the next Champion of Champions. Cheers.

 

 

Kentucky Derby 2014

2013 Kentucky Derby