Win one, lose one. Win another, lose another. It would appear that Overanalyze purchased a one-way ticket to Inconsistentville. On the other hand, he just might be ready to pull off a Belmont Stakes 2013 surprise.
Since his career debut on August 9, the Repole runner has a perfect win-every-other-start record.
1st - Md Sp Wt
4th - Hopeful
1st - Futurity
3rd - Iroquois
1st - Remsen
5th - Gotham
11th - Kentucky Derby
??? - Belmont Stakes
Now as an analytical bettor, and not a hunch player, I would never play Overanalyze simply because of his rather unusual pattern pointing to a win in his next start. Rather, I look for more concrete reasons why the long shot may have his day in the sun in the Belmont Stakes
- Draw a line through his Kentucky Derby. While it is true that this year’s Run for the Roses was rather uneventful as most Derbies go, Overanalyze did not have a great trip. Mind you, the trouble was certainly not enough to have put him up near Orb with a clean run, but without a couple of shuffled backs and losses of momentum, his middle of the pack finish could have been a whole lot better. Take note that the Todd Pletcher charge did finish full or energy once he had clear running. Secondly, the sealed and sloppy track at Churchill Downs may not have been to his liking. We don’t know that for certain, but I’m willing to give him another shot on a fast track that I know he likes. - His running style should prove effective in the Test of Champions. Overanalyze has demonstrated not only the ability to stay close to the lead when needed, but also the ability to make a strong move on the turn. A move like the one he used to win the Arkansas Derby over Oxbow and the rest, never too far off the pace, before pouncing on the turn, is often how the Belmont is won. Either way the pace shakes out in the Belmont, Overanalyze is tractable enough to take advantage. - When he is in the running, he knows how to get to the wire first. While three of his four lifetime wins were rather easy, Overanalyze showed a strong desire to win in the Remsen when he repelled a strong challenge from the talented Normandy Invasion. It looked like he was beat, but he won the race on heart. After the first ten furlongs of the Belmont, having a horse who has the heart and desire to fight past the fatigue, and gut out a win, is a horse with which to be reckoned.
- Dixie Union is a good sire, and whether or not you believe in his ability to sire distance horses, the truth is he has solid distance influences in his pedigree. You also don’t have to go back far to find 1 ½ mile success for his offspring, as his best son, Union Rags won last year’s Belmont in his career finale. On Overanalyze’s female side, his broodmare sire, Unaccounted For, was a horse with classic distance breeding who finished in the money in both the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic at ten furlongs.
- The class is there. Despite his high profile failures, not many horses in this crop can claim three victories in grade 2 stakes or better like Overanalyze. He actually reminds me of another Repole/Pletcher horse in his Louisville losses, and New York success. That horse, Stay Thirsty, followed up his 12th place finish in the Kentucky Derby by running a good second in the Belmont at odds of 16-1.
16-1 in the Belmont. That sounds just about right for Overanalyze. Frankly, I like his chances.