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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
12th Crown

Belmont 143 - who deserves favoritism?

The betting odds are sure to be tight when it comes to the “big three” in the 2011 Belmont Stakes. Of course, I am speaking of Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, runner-up, Nehro, and Preakness victor, Shackleford.  Although, based upon the fact that only two Belmont favorites have won in the last 15 years, I don’t think any of their connections will be troubled not to be favored at post-time. Not only that, but over the last nine years we’ve seen three Belmont winners strike at over 35-1 (Da’ Tara, Birdstone, Sarava)!
Probably the most deserving favorite is Animal Kingdom, who put in a solid run around both triple crown ovals thus far.  After his Derby win, handicappers were already salivating over his stamina infused bloodlines thinking ahead to the Belmont. His bullet sub 48 second four furlong work the other day should only instill additional confidence.  Likewise, Shackleford had a nice five furlong move over the Belmont track in 1:00.30, which was more typical as speed horses should work considerably faster.  Nehro had his major workout a week ago Monday over the Churchill surface we all know he loves when he went six panels alongside a stablemate in 1:12.20. He followed that up with a more docile four furlong move in 50.88 over the Belmont surface -- much slower than Animal Kingdom but more in line with his typical workout times.
This son of Mineshaft (who also sired last year’s Belmont runner-up, Fly Down) is my pick in the Belmont after trying to beat him in the Arkansas and Kentucky Derby. I will also be using Master of Hounds in the exotics since his pops, Kingmambo, previously sired a Belmont winner via Lemon Drop Kid in 1999. His Sadler’s Wells bottom side sure doesn’t hurt his chances at 12 furlongs either, as grandson (through Montjeu) Pour Moi won the Investec (English) Derby last weekend.  What are your thoughts?


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Older Comments about Belmont 143 - who deserves favoritism?...

12thCrown, so true! That's why I don't go out of my way to talk about Horse of the Year and Three-Year-Old Champion honors and bestow them on horses that have't raced all year to prove themselves. There is no sure lock for either. After all, we are only half way through the year.
This outcome is a fresh dose of reality that in horse racing, there are no locks! (especially for younger horses)
I am going with Animal Kingdom. There is no way that Shaklford can win the Belmont. In the Wall Street Journal, it says that he's going to win. No way. He proved that in the Derby. If he faded to fourth in a mile and a quarter race, then he's going to be quite far back in a mile and a half race.
Did you know? For all prognosticators that look forthe favorite as the answer: If you bet a $2 win bet on EVERY horse from 1940 til now in the Belmont, you would be realizing a profit of $72.80.
there is no doubt in my mind that Animal Kingdom will win the Belmont with very ease, no other horse can now show their capability, it is too late for them.
Master of Hounds looks really good right now but I'm going with Mucho Macho Man and Nehro as my top two.
Two weeks ago I decided on Nehro, Master of Hounds and Animal Kingdom. I usually change my mind 100 times or so before the race, but so far I like what I am seeing from my picks.
public wise animal kingdom, but who is the derving one or horse to beat shackleford
I believe AK is a deserving favorite, and can definitely get the distance. Also like Nehro...
Has anyone else noticed that DRF's listing of sires is off on their Belmont field listing? When they assigned post positions their sires didn't carry over. You get more accurate info on HRN!!
Eric, I'm with you on this one. Nehro's slow 4f work is typical for closers. He will come from much farther back than he did in The Derby and win it convincingly. I also like your Master of Hounds pick.
Although Animal Kingdom is deserving of all the kudos being thrown his way, my question re: whether he wins or not, would be, "A horse that has been raced sparingly, with gaps of 7-10 weeks between races prior to the Derby, is now in the process of running his third race in 5 weeks, at the longest distances he's ever run. Wouldn't that be a strong reason to think he's due to bounce?"
  • 12thCrown · Well, I would expect the 2-1 on Animal and 9-2 on Shackleford to narrow once wagering begins. I think AK's bullet work indicates he's not yet wearing down. · 2325 days ago
Master of Hounds, Eroupeans are used to longer distances... but weather if he would take to the track. Maybe Animal Kingdom
No doubt in my mind that Animal Kingdom deserves favoritism ... whether he wins or not is the big question.

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Meet Eric Kords
Eric is a historian of thoroughbred racing at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas and across the country. He has witnessed in person nearly every significant race that has occurred at Oaklawn Park since the mid-1980’s including such recent Eclipse champions as Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Lookin at Lucky, Summer Bird and Curlin, classic performers including Afleet Alex, Smarty Jones, Victory Gallop, Lil’ E Tee, Pine Bluff and Grindstone, top handicap champions Cigar, Lawyer Ron and Best Pal, and finally Distaff champions the likes of Azeri, Bayakoa, Paseana, Escena and Ginger Punch.  
Eric has also attended the most historically significant races across the country including the 2010 Breeders' Cup featuring Zenyatta’s epic finale, 2008 Breeders' Cup featuring Curlin’s final race, the Eclipse clinching victory by Rachel Alexandra against the boys in the 2009 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga, 2010 Preakness Stakes won by Eclipse champion Lookin at Lucky, 2004 Belmont Stakes where Smarty Jones was denied the Triple Crown by Birdstone, 1996 Pacific Classic at Del Mar where Cigar’s 16 consecutive win streak ended at the hooves of Dare and Go, Jim Dandy Stakes and Travers Stakes at Saratoga, Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park and Summit of Speed Festival at Calder just to name the most memorable.  Eric now resides in Dallas, TX and counts Oaklawn Park, The Fair Grounds and Lone Star Park as his “home tracks.” He has recently entered the thoroughbred owner ranks with the launch of his Saturday Racing Syndicate.

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