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Belmont Stakes 2013 - Contenders, Pretenders and More

Top Picks 

Overanalyze 12-1 (Dixie Union-Unacloud, by Unaccounted For) Todd Pletcher – My dark horse deluxe, Overanalyze is a horse I believe is ready to fire a big shot in the 2013 Belmont Stakes. An easy winner of the Arkansas Derby, the son of Dixie Union also has a smart score in the Futurity Stakes, in his only previous race at Belmont Park, to his credit. Shuffled back a few times in the Derby, I appreciate the way he kept running late, and the good news is I expect him to be much closer early in the Belmont. Back home in New York, with a running style perfect for the 12 furlongs and breeding that suggests he should handle the distance, I expect this one to run a much improved race from his middle of the pack finish in Kentucky. And at double digit odds, I look forward to taking a shot that the improvement will be enough to see him in the winner's circle.

Orb 5-2 (Malibu Moon-Lady Liberty, by Unbridled) Shug McGaughey – So he didn't win the Triple Crown, life goes on for the horse that still remains as the one on top of his division. Looking to become the first horse since Thunder Gulch back in 1995 to win the Kentucky Derby-Belmont Stakes combo, there is plenty of reason to expect a bounce back for the son of Malibu Moon. For whatever reason, he did not run his best at Pimlico. My belief, is that his distaste for being inside horses, the entire way around, had a lot to do with the disappointment. As bad as he ran, Orb did finish with solid interest to get fourth. At Belmont, his home track, he should get the chance to uncoil his powerful stride, and I fully expect Rosario to keep him outside of horses this time around. Judging from his victories of before, neither the distance, nor a probable need to strike on the turn, should be too much for him to handle. He remains the horse to beat.
Incognito 40-1 (A.P. Indy-Octave, by Unbridled's Song) Kiaran McLaughlin – So if Overanalyze is my dark horse deluxe, what should I call this super bomb? Okay, super bomb it is. There aren't many trainers I'd rather have prepare my horse for a marathon of sorts than the 2006 Belmont Stakes winning trainer, Kiaran McLuaghlin, and with Incognito, I believe he has a horse ready to shock the world. Regally bred to say the least, the son of A.P. Indy and Octave was on a steady improvement scale, including a troubled victory in his second to last. Unfortunately that string of ever better races was put to a halt last time in the Peter Pan. Looking anything but like a duck to water, Incognito spun his wheels on the sloppy surface, to the point of being last entering the stretch. Once he finally did find his footing, he ran on well to be a jump or two from grabbing third. The distance beaten by the freaking Freedom Child only will effectively drive up his odds, while the 1 1/2 miles on a fast track could well make all the difference in the world.  
The Contenders 

Revolutionary 7-2 (War Pass-Runup the Colors, by A.P. Indy) Todd Pletcher – I have a feeling that many won't just walk to the windows, but rather run there to get some money down on this one winning the Belmont. So, in other words, I expect that he will be an underlay come a week from Saturday. As for his chances of winning, he is probably the second most logical horse in the race. He ran a solid Derby, and has been pointing to this one since. Also, his win in the Louisiana Derby was validated by a number of good performances by the horses he beat that day, including Mylute, who ran an excellent Preakness. If he is to win the the final leg of the Triple Crown, he will probably need to run a similar race as WinStar's Belmont winner from 2010, Drosselmeyer did, because if he drops way back early, I think it will just take too much for him to win.  
Oxbow 8-1 (Awesome Again-Tizamazing, by Cee's Tizzy) D. Wayne Lukas – The Rodney Dangerfield of the 2013 three-year-old crop, Oxbow gets no respect. The credit for a smashing win in the Preakness seems to be equally split between Gary Stevens and a lack of anyone else in the field pressuring him early. After celebrating his storied farm and his legendary trainer, there was little love left for the horse himself. Don't be surprised if he is totally ignored at the windows once again in the Belmont. While it is true that the Preakness was a dream trip, it is also true that this a quality speed horse who can run all day. The addition of Freedom Child and Palace Malice, will likely make his task tougher, but I, for one, will not be the least bit surprised to see this one leading the field into the Belmont Park stretch. 
Golden Soul 8-1 (Perfect Soul-Hollywood Gold, by Mr. Prospector) Dallas Stewart – A long shot no more, Golden Soul tipped the world off to his steady improvement with a solid rally to get second in the Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, for those who want to play him again, the Belmont Stakes has a long history of seeing horses that finished strongly in the Derby get pounded at the windows more than expected. More than expected, and then more than they have lived up to in the Test of Champions. Having said, astute handicappers noticed his consistent late run going into Louisville, and were rewarded with his fine performance at odds of 34-1. He still might have some improvement within, and if he gets a decent pace to run at, he could well get into the picture once again.  

Freedom Child 10-1 (Malibu Moon-Bandstand, by Deputy Minister) Thomas Albertrani – Have you seen the Peter Pan? Freedom Child scurried away from the field like a scared chicken would do from the Colonel. It was a magnificent answer to the terrible luck he was dealt in the Wood Memorial. Was it slop aided? Yes. Was it track bias aided? Yes. Was it still a superior performance? Absolutely. Making it all the more interesting is the fact that it happened at Belmont Park. While unlikely that the track will come up similar for the Belmont, there is reason to believe that he at least likes the place. He clearly is a horse on the rise, and I'm not sure that either the Preakness winner, nor Palace Malice want to test his early speed at this distance. Can he beat top horses at 12 furlongs? It certainly is not out of the question. 

Unlimited Budget 15-1 (Street Sense-Unlimited Pleasure, by Valid Appeal) Todd Pletcher – Boy, there's a lot to like here ... or should I say girl? The lone filly in this year's Belmont is one of the more interesting horses in the field. She has good tactical speed, and the ability to punch it on the turn, both which could suit her well on June 8. As a daughter of Street Sense, the distance could well be within her scope, and with Valid Appeal as the broodmare sire, she should move up on a wet track. There's nothing wrong with her Kentucky Oaks performance, and if you believe, like I do, that the fillies may be the stronger gender of this foal crop, you have to give her a fighting chance in here. It would be somewhat ironic if Todd Pletcher gained his third Triple Crown victory with another filly in the Belmont, but certainly stranger things have happened.  
Will Take Charge 20-1 (Unbridled's Song-Take Charge Lady, by Dehere) D. Wayne Lukas – Everyone saw his trouble on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May, and because of it, he became a popular dark horse selection in the Preakness. That hope did not pan out at all in the Middle Jewel, as he ran a dull race. Because he is trained by D. Wayne, he gets another shot in the final leg, where I believe he will be hard pressed to do better than his 8th and 7th place finishes in Louisville and Baltimore. He looks like a horse better suited for grade 3's and at 1 1/16th miles rather than a potential Belmont Stakes winner. (Yes, I believe he would have flattened out even with a perfect Derby trip.)  

Palace Malice 8-1 (Curlin-Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem) Todd Pletcher - You talkin' to me? Yup, this will be the 2013 Wise Guy horse. Palace Malice does just enough in his races, looks good enough in person, and holds the promise of a young Hall of Fame-to-be sire, for everyone to hold out hope that he will someday win the big one. I'm not ready to say it won't happen, but I am not as hopeful as many. Sure he had trouble in Louisiana, and Keeneland's Polytrack wasn't his thing, and yes, he ran way too fast early in the Derby, but at what point do we say this colt is just not one of the very best? After a grand looking workout over the holiday, I've already seen the bandwagon forming for another Palace Malice expedition. Pardon me for watching this ride from a few cars over. 
The Pretenders  

Code West 15-1 (Lemon Drop Kid-Charitabledonation, by Saint Ballado) Bob Baffert – Lemon Drop Kid and Saint Ballado pedigree at a mile-and-a-half ... yes please! Yeah, yeah, I know, pedigree doesn't win races, horses do, but you gotta admit, this horse should have no problem getting the grueling distance of the Belmont. The question then becomes ... is he good enough? Unfortunately, my best answer right now, is maybe. I mean he has demonstrated promise in just about every one of his nine lifetime races. On the other hand, he has only won two of those, and the wins came against clearly lesser. I suppose the answer to the good enough question lies within how good this crop really is. If Orb and the other Derby and Preakness runners are truly good horses, Code West will likely be outclassed, however; if this crop is nothing but mediocre, a horse with moderate credentials, but in good form, and capable of handling the distance, certainly could pull off a Belmont Stakes upset.
*** Code West Will Not Run *** 
Giant Finish 30-1 (Frost Giant-Apocalyptic, by Hickman Creek) Anthony Dutrow – All things considered, this New York-bred did not run so poorly in the Kentucky Derby, as he actually passed a few horses down the lane to finish ahead of half the field. Truth be told, he has run plenty of good races, and has shown an ability to keep trying to the wire. With this said, I would suspect he will have a nice career of cashing checks. Now comes the bad news ... that nice career of cashing checks has been put on hold by a owner who insists on running his horse in races above his head. Much like the Derby, he has little to no chance to win the Belmont, and for everyone involved's sake, I look forward to seeing him in a nice, six digit NY-bred stakes races sooner than later.
Always In a Tiz 40-1 (Tiznow-Calendar Girl, by Elusive Quality) Dominick Shettino – The late edition of this one to the Belmont field was a bit of a surprise, but of course this sort of thing happens every year. After a promising 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to begin his career, the son of Tiznow seemed to want no part of graded stakes competition with a 5th in the Southwest Stakes, followed by a 9th place finish in the Wood Memorial. He was beaten by more than a 15-length average in those lone graded stakes attempts, and I see little to expect anything better than that in the Belmont. He has never raced at Big Sandy before, and his recent works over the surface have been no great shakes. Perhaps the best thing that can be said for this one, is that as a son of Tiznow, he may be able to run all day.
                                    *** Always In a Tiz Will Not Run ***  


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Older Comments about Belmont Stakes 2013 - Contenders, Pretenders and More...

*Note - Will Take Charge has moved up into the Contenders list, and Vyjack and Midnight Taboo are additions to the Pretenders list.
Golden Soul looks to me like he fits the pattern Ice Box, Went the Day Well and Nehro set; that late closer who looks impressive in the Derby closing fast and then next start flops. I know people want to like him and I considered him in the Derby but I still won't pick him up.
Sloppy Track i go GOLDEN SOUL. Perfect Soul’s broodmare sire is Triple Crown winner Secretariat and his maternal great-grandsire is Exclusive Native, who sired Triple Crown winner Affirmed.
mmm... best of luck. I've never gone with two Pletchers
Randy -- what is wrong with Palace Malcie?
  • randybrill34 · If he rates he could run big. But he is very mentally green turning 3 on derby day. I think Palace malice will be a beast in the fall. · 1634 days ago
Palace Malice is out of my Favorite horse CURLIN who lost by a nose in the Belmont to rags to Riches. I just don't think he will rate. I think he will fade with, Vyjack,Oxbow, Freedom Child. But i will be putting Palace Malice on my big 5 horse superfecta box ticket. The ony thing wrong with Palace malice is he is very mentally green,and likes to switch leads all the time. If palace Malice could sit 2 lengths off speed he could put in a huge effort..
against him
I will give you credit for being more confident in Overanalyze than Mr. Repole since he is running two other horses him... and one is a filly
Todd Pletcher has 5 horses and put Johnny V. on OVERANALYZE. That seals it for me. I pick him to in. Derby to Belmont a great angle. He is a half brother to last year's winner Union Rags. Since they are calling for a sloppy track Sat. I put OVERANALYZE 1ST, 2nd GOLDEN SOUL, 3RD FREEDOM CHILD, 4TH ORB. Let's get them picks rollin. Good luck everyone!!!!!!!
I will put it on record tat i'm 100 % sure REVOLUTIONARY will not win the belmont unless the other 14 horses fall down. Yo Can't take a horse out of a Champion Sprinter and think he can go 1 1/2 miles. I dont care who the dam is. I like the horse at 1 1/8 miles and under. A very small compact horse.
Randy, I agree with everything but your logic
  • randybrill34 · Logic. I was bein Sarcastic but no way he wins. That is a fact. Watch and see.My logic is Pedigree. That is a fact. · 1634 days ago
  • randybrill34 · I will debate this with anyone. · 1634 days ago
I will put it on record tat i'm 100 % sure REVOLUTIONARY will not win the belmont unless the other 14 horses fall down. Yo Can't take a horse out of a Champion Sprinter and think he can go 1 1/2 miles. I dont care who the dam is. I like the horse at 1 1/8 miles and under. A very small compact horse.
  • randybrill34 · You cant out run your breeding by over a 1/4 miles. I think he has a shot to finish 3rd or 4th at best. I will use him in the bottom of my trifecta's and Superfecta's. · 1634 days ago
  • randybrill34 · The Filly UNLIMITED BUDGET has a better shot to win. · 1634 days ago
There are horses that have the breeding but don't have the ability... I haven't seen anything from him that would suggest to me he could win a race like the Belmont...
  • Show All 6 Comments
  • randybrill34 · INVASOR "ARG" bred Horse of the year who won the Breeders Cup Classic and The Dubia World Cup was trained by k. Mcgl. trainer of " incognito". I wouldn't count him out. Remember Paynter last year. · 1636 days ago
  • bettorthanlucky · Well if those announcers love him I guess I should too lol... · 1635 days ago
I disagree that Rev. has no chance. But he did offer some quality, unbiased insight which most on here do not do. He seems like a good handicapper to me.
  • bettorthanlucky · @rafi... I think randybrill has thought through his positions and has valid points for his decisions... I · 1635 days ago
  • bettorthanlucky · It is just a turn off and tune out to me when someone comes in and on day one is SHOUTING and acting like he knows more than everyone else... There are already quite a few who do that in here but at lest they have been here for a while... I will be interested after the race to see if I have him properly pegged... Just my opinion · 1635 days ago
There are three obvious choices in this race . Whether they fall to the "favorites" curse remains to be seen. At least two of them have already beaten said curse I personally don't see a long shot winning this one.
  • Show All 6 Comments
  • bettorthanlucky · Repole sure doesn't act like a confident owner by trying ot run so many good horses for one purse... Perhaps he is throwing as much mud at the wall as he can and hoping something will stick... Just my impression · 1635 days ago
  • Show All 5 Comments
  • randybrill34 · OVERANALYZE WINS! HALF BROTHER TO 2012 WINNER UNION RAGS!! · 1636 days ago
Overanalyze over Palace Malice clear double digits
wow randy i am impressed.you used all CAPITAL letters to make that statement. just hope you invest as much as you like him.
PAYNTER, Bob Baffert's horse ran 2nd by a nose to UNION rags. He went from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/2 miles to nearly wire the belmont. Just sayin
PAYNTER, Bob Baffert's horse ran 2nd by a nose to UNION rags. He went from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/2 miles to nearly wire the belmont. Just sayin
  • randybrill34 · if PAYNTER doesn't drift off rail he wins BELMONT 2012 · 1636 days ago
  • randybrill34 · PAYNTER drifted out and lets UNION RAGS come right up rail to win by a nose. · 1636 days ago

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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