Grade 1 Belmont Stakes

6/4/2010 2:46 PM
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I have been closely following #5 FLY DOWN (9-2) since he experienced a troubled journey as my value top in the Louisiana Derby (G2). I made some money on him in his razor sharp Dwyer (G2) tally and he beat today’s rival and Preakness (G1) runner-up First Dude twice at Gulfstream this winter. His connections (Johnny V-Zito) are easy to like and his blueblood sire Mineshaft loved this oval.

Stablemate #6 Ice Box (3-1) got plenty of pace help in Florida Derby (G1) win and troubled Kentucky Derby (G1) place finish. He does not seem to be a one-run closer because he was only 2.5 and 1.75 lengths back in his other two wins. His dam sire Tabasco Cat captured this race and two-time Belmont Stakes winning trainer Nick Zito is holding a strong hand.

#7 Drosselmeyer (12-1) was part of my Derby Top 10 list after his sharp Gulfstream bottom-level Allowance win to kick off his 2010 season. He got no pace help in Risen Star and finished a solid 3rd from post 13 in the Louisiana Derby. He was last seen finishing 2nd to my top here and I am a bit concerned that he has been wearing a bar shoe in recent drills. However, he is working well and has the right grinding style to succeed at this distance. I also like his multiple triple digit Late Pace Ratings.

#3 Uptowncharlybrown (10-1) has lost all three of his Graded tries and does not have the pedigree to excel at twelve furlongs. On the plus side, he has been training steadily for his fine new barn and does have the proper balanced running style for this.

#11 First Dude (9-2) set the pace and gamely held the place in the Preakness. The problem is that his early Pace Ratings tower over his Late Pace figs and that unbalanced style will not work in the Test of Champions. If he can produce a more balanced attack than his speed could prove dangerous but a more likely scenario is a speed/fade at underlaid odds.

#12 Interactif (12-1) comes from the same owners as Setsuko and ended up here after the latter went to the sidelines with sore ankles. His best footing might be turf and the versatile sort can pack a decent stretch kick if ridden properly. I am a fan of this horse but have mixed feelings in this spot.

#10 Stay Put (20-1) seems to have plenty of stamina but he failed to serious threaten in his two Graded tries and is probably best used in Trifecta and Superfecta wagers.

#9 Stately Victor (15-1) looked good in the Blue Grass (G1) and that race produced Derby show finisher Paddy O’Prado and Preakness runner-up First Dude. He finished a respectable 8th in the Ky Derby but has lost all four dirt starts.

#4 Make Music For Me (10-1) rallied from 20th and last to grab 4th in the fast early/slow late Kentucky Derby. His lone win was at one-mile on the turf and his pedigree hardly screams twelve furlongs.

#8 Game On Dude (10-1) looked good in a weak renewal of the Lone Star Derby (G3) and has the winning Preakness team of Garcia/Baffert in his corner. Blinkers seemed to help him focus last time but he seems a cut or two below.

#2 Spangled Star (30-1) exits the productive Withers and will probably be forwardly placed under Gomez. He remains eligible for an entry level spot.

#1 Dave In Dixie (20-1) failed in his lone dirt try and does not have the numbers to compete here.

THE PLAYS: $30 to win #5, $4 Exacta 5/3-6-7 ($12), $4 Exacta 3-6-7/5 ($12), $2 Exacta Box 3-6-7 ($12) - analysis by Jarrod Horak

For information on Saturday's pick six from Hollywood Park, please check out Pick 6 blog for free analysis and tickets.


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Older Comments about Grade 1 Belmont Stakes...

thanks for the picks jarrod im heading down to belmont hoping for a good day