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.
When Jockeys say things like "it just wasn't Orb's day today", I have a real hard time with that. Have you ever seen Joel Rosario show guts on the inside? He's great on great horses when hes's on the outside but watch him when he's on the inside and needs to show some guts. How about the race before on Optimizer? same thing; he just was to chicken s *** to move through a smaller space.
You could "if" the race to death. If someone pushed Paynter, he folds like a cheap suit. If Paynter doesn't break well he doesn't get the lead so easy. If UR didn't have to wait so long, he probably wins by 2 or 3 lengths.
Regarding the 96 and UR taking forever to catch Paynter down the stretch, you have to remember that Smith backed the pace way up and it is difficult for horse to come from off the pace when the leader has been resting. However, as it was with IHA in the Preakness, UR was able to wear him down and beat him anyway. I would have loved to see them run against each other one more time. To bad.
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