Friday, June 7, 2013

145th Belmont Stakes

This time last year the horse racing world was abuzz following I'll Have Another's come from behind wins to take the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He was just one race away from erasing a 30+ year drought that has eluded so many greats of the past. But he would never get the chance as trainer Doug O'Neil shocked the nation on Dan Patrick's radio show the morning before the Belmont announcing that his colt would be unable to run and had to be scratched from the race.

Another year and the drought continues after the highly regarded Orb ran flat in the Preakness following an impressive Derby win in the slop. While the hype is not there this year with the Triple Crown off the line, there are still some quality horses that are slated to run on Saturday and the outcome of the race might have huge implications on the three-year-old picture for the remainder of the year. Right now it is anyone's guess who will emerge as the top three-year-old at the end of the year as we could have three separate winners in each of the three legs of the crown.

The Belmont Stakes could shape up to being the best of the three races with the two classic winners (Orb & Oxbow) going head-to head, a filly (Unlimited Budget) trying her luck against against the boys and almost half the Derby field entered as they attempt to tackle the "Belmont Monster".

Belmont Stakes(G1)
6/8 Belmont @ 6:36 EST

9 Revolutionary 9-2
One that continues to impress despite coming up short in the Derby and taking third. Did not break his maiden until December 28 so he got a late start by Derby standards and is one that is continuing to develop and mature. Skipped the Preakness so he would be fresh coming into the Belmont and by doing so he has history on his side. Its not too late to jump on board this talented son of War Pass because on Saturday he will finally show the racing world how impressive he is. It's crazy to think he doesn't have a Grade 1 win yet, but come tomorrow he can add that to his resume and will go into the record books as a classic winner. Has finished in the money in all seven of his starts so you know he will be there at the end. 

5 Orb 3-1
He broke a lot of hearts two weeks ago in the Preakness but looks to bounce back here. Before his last race he had won five in a row and posted a 111 BRIS Speed rating in the Derby. Returns to New York where he started his racing career and will certainly be a contender on Saturday. Has been working well leading up to the race but you have to wonder how much the Preakness took out of him. 

7 Oxbow 5-1
They call this race the "Test of Champions", well this horse has the heart of a champion. After chasing unprecedented fractions in the Derby to finish sixth he came back two weeks later and wired the field to capture the Preakness. A grinder that figures to be around toward the end but how he does in the race will all depend on the pace scenario. 

14 Golden Soul 10-1
Runner-up in the Derby that spoiled a lot of exotics. His last two races he has posted triple digit BRIS Speed figures. Does he just need the added distance or is this a horse that just benefited from that speed dual in the Derby? Been within a few lengths of the winner his last three races, with the added distance and entering in here off a five-week layoff, it would be silly to dismiss him. 

12 Palace Malice 15-1
The rabbit in the Derby will be running without the blinkers Saturday and look for him to come from just off the pace this time. The son of Curlin should not have a problem with the distance and with the value he provides in here, certainly can't be overlooked. Has put in some impressive works while skipping the Preakness and should be ready to go. 

$100 Belmont Bank...

$40 W: 9 = $40

$1 TRI BX: 9,5,7,14,12 = $60

*Orb failed to fire in the Preakness but did have longshot and winner of the race Oxbow tabbed as the second choice.