THE BELMONT STAKES
This Saturday will mark the final leg of the Triple
Crown. Out of question is the
possibility that one horse could be making their mark as the 12th
Triple Crown winner. Instead, this might
be a rubber match between Orb and Oxbow.
The only thing that might be in their way is the other twelve
contenders. Of the fourteen
participants, ten of them had run in the Kentucky Derby. Likely, this is the most Derby contenders to
ever seek a rematch in the Belmont. Also,
only three return from the Preakness. For
the life of me, though, it seems that in years’ past, that connections that opt
to run in this race, actually, for the most part, make it the final race of
this horse’s career. Not sure if I’d
make that call for a horse that I owned.
Anyhow, let’s look at the Belmont contenders, and see if they might
deserve a shot in this race. Here’s the
1 – FRAC DADDY(30-1, Tr.
Ken McPeek; Jy. Alan Garcia. Sire: Scat Daddy. Broodmare Sire: Skip Away.
Career: 7-1-3-0, $288,116). McPeek is really high on this one, and he’s
done this before, winning the 2002 Belmont with 70-1 bomb Sarava. Receives the services of Garcia, who had won
the 2008 Belmont with 38-1longshot Da’ Tara.
Still, I would have to find a lot
of throw-outs, to make this one a possibility. Without me.
2 – FREEDOM CHILD(8-1,
Tr. Tom Albertrani; Jy. Luis Saez. Sire: Malibu Moon. Broodmare Sire: Deputy
Minister. Career: 6-2-1-1, $167,072). His last race was impressive in the Peter
Pan Stakes, over this oval. He won by 13 ¼ lengths in the slop in front running
fashion. Still, it was a one-turn 1 1/8
mile race. Not convinced that the
competition he faced that day equaled this crew, and not sure that he has
two-turn experience, much less going this distance. He should get some backing if the track is
3 – OVERANALYZE(12-1,
Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. John Velazquez. Sire: Dixie Union. Broodmare Sire:
Unaccounted For. Career: 8-4-0-1,
$956,381). Never made much headway
in the Derby, his debut in the slop.
Does have an uncanny habit of winning every other race. If that would be the case, he’s due for a
win. Not too impressed with his
inaugural off track experience.
4 – GIANT FINISH(30-1,
Tr. Anthony Dutrow; Jy. Edgar Prado. Sire: Frost Giant. Broodmare Sire: Hickman
Creek. Career: 6-2-1-1, $133,050). Began
his career with three NY-state bred races.
Followed that up with two synthetic races, and climaxed with a
non-descript finish in the rain soaked Kentucky Derby. One stat that should be mentioned, is that
this colt has only had one fast dirt track race. Owners must have NY connections, and want to
treat their friends to a day at the races.
5 – ORB(3-1, Tr. Shug
McGaughey; Jy. Joel Rosario. Sire: Malibu Moon. Broodmare Sire: Unbridled.
Career: 9-5-0-1, $2,395,850). The Derby winner is the morning line
favorite. His last race was his first
non-win in six tries. Real head
knocker. Should be in the mix turning
6 – INCOGNITO(20-1, Tr.
Kiaran McLaughlin; Jy. Irad Ortiz, Jr.. Sire: A.P. Indy. Broodmare Sire:
Unbridled’s Song. Career: 6-2-1-1,
$106,710). Anytime I see McLaughlin, I look with a
wary eye. He’s a very capable
trainer(not to say the others aren’t), and he seems to be high on this
one. Didn’t show anything in the Peter
Pan Stakes, but, he looked pretty decent three races back(last fast track). It should be noted that he and one other
horse(Revolutionary) are the only two that have their sire and broodmare sire
with a S.P.I(Sire Production Index) above 3 for mudders.
7 – OXBOW(5-1, Tr. D.
Wayne Lukas; Jy. Gary Stevens. Sire: Awesome Again. Broodmare Sire: Cee’s
Tizzy. Career: 11-3-1-1, $983,500). Preakness
winner led throughout in that race, in what was the slowest Preakness since
1961. His worst finish was 6th
in the Derby. Every other race he’s been
somewhere close, if not winning it. If
this is his nature, he should be somewhere near the leaders in the end. Out of curiosity, I wonder if this colt is
why Stevens came out of retirement?
8 – MIDNIGHT TABOO(30-1,
Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. Garrett Gomez. Sire: Langfuhr. Broodmare Sire: Thunder
Gulch. Career: 3-1-2-0, $76,400.) Lightly-raced
colt shows nothing to think he deserves a shot. Is trained by Pletcher, but, I
think this is owner Repole wanting his friends to have a box seat to the
9 – REVOLUTIONARY(9-2,
Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. Javier Castellano. Sire: War Pass. Broodmare Sire: A.P.
Indy. Career: 7-3-1-3, $988,500). His
last race, the Derby, had him finishing a well-respected 3rd,
despite being bumped and waiting at the ¼ pole.
This colt has not been off the board in seven races, and his sire and
broodmare sire have decent S.P.I.’s for their offspring’s mud experience. Definitely worth considering.
10 – WILL TAKE CHARGE(20-1,
Tr. D. Wayne Lukas; Jy. Jon Court. Sire: Unbridled’s Song. Broodmare Sire:
Dehere. Career: 9-3-1-0, $545,371). Colt
reunites with Court. Won @ 28-1 three
races back, and has run as if he’s 28-1 thereafter. Has not show anything to justify taking this
race, but, Lukas has done this before.
11 – VYJACK(20-1, Tr.
Rudy Rodriguez; Jy. Julien Leparoux. Sire: Into Mischief. Broodmare Sire:
Stravinsky. Career: 6-4-0-1,
$542,200). Ran up on the lead in the
“sloppy” Derby, only to falter. Seemed
to be unnerved by the size of the crowd.
Has been dominant in NY(specifically Aqueduct), and showed some great
closing speed in NY. Don’t know if his “freak-out”
from the crowd can be corrected in five weeks?
12 – PALACE MALICE(15-1,
Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. Mike Smith. Sire: Curlin. Broodmare Sire: Royal Anthem.
Career: 7-1-3-1, $271,135). Was given blinkers for the Derby, and ran
like a freak on the front end, weakening late.
This time around, Pletcher has taken the blinkers off, which some think
will be the difference. The fact that he’s
only got a maiden win under his belt, shies me away from this one.
13 – UNLIMITED BUDGET(8-1,
Tr. Todd Pletcher; Jy. Rosie Napravnik. Sire: Street Sense. Broodmare Sire:
Valid Appeal. Career: 5-4-0-1, $705,200.) The fifth of Pletcher’s entries only
happens to be a filly. And, he has done this before, with Rags To Riches in
2007. She ran 3rd to
stablemate Princess of Sylmar in the Kentucky Oaks. I would think the stablemate would be better
fitted for this race than her. Since
Repole owns this one also, maybe the same could be applied as Midnight
14 – GOLDEN SOUL(10-1,
Tr. Dallas Stewart; Jy. Robbie Albarado. Sire: Perfect Soul(IRE). Broodmare
Sire: Mr. Prospector. Career: 6-1-3-0,
$517,400.) Derby runner-up looked
good in taking to the slop, and charging late.
Chances are, he’ll get another off track, but only has a maiden win to
his credit. Will be bet down since he
showed so well in the Derby.
We’ll focus on Rodriguez assisting #11 Vyjack in getting
over the crowd jitters, and performing admirably back in his home base. The Derby was actually his first time away
from NY. His price should be nice, so we’ll
go 5-10-20 WPS. We’ll do a $1 Trifecta
box, #5 Orb(because he’s good), #6 Incognito(sire and broodmare sire’s mud
S.P.I numbers), #7 Oxbow(always seems to be around), #9 Revolutionary(he’s
good, and S.P.I numbers), and #11. Total
bet - $95.
See ya’ in the Winner’s Circle!!!!