Pimlico: Selections for Friday (Day 30) & Belmont Conspiracy Theorists

June 06, 2008 | Gary Quill

Enough already with the Conspiracy Theory that Big Brown was handed Post Position # 1 on a silver platter to insure he wins the Belmont on Saturday. Pleeeeease! I really shouldn’t complain though. The fact that the sports community is actually talking about the possibility of a Triple Crown winner gives me hope that there still is interest in the sport I love.
Contrary to popular belief, trainer Rick Dutrow would rather not have the inside post. When you have a speed horse, or one like Big Brown who likes to be on or near the lead, you want him on the outside of a competitor. Why? Horses are trained to pass other horses on the outside or on the right. Also, being on the rail isn’t necessarily an advantage. Based on the condition of the track surface, being off the rail is often the more favorable place to be.
Please don’t confuse horse racing with NASCAR, where whoever gets the Pole Position has a decisive advantage. But by all means, on Saturday you can treat this race as if it were a NASCAR event. Find somebody in your office who can get a bet down for you, grab a six-pack of your favorite beverage, and park yourself in front of your TV around 5:30pm. Tune into ABC and enjoy an hour of pre-race coverage leading up to the running of the 140th Belmont Stakes, better known as “The True Test of Champions”. Post Time is 6:25pm.         

Recapping Day 29 (June 5th) of the Pimlico Spring Meet…
OK, I’m beginning to feel like the Angel of Death. Over the past few weeks my documented Best Bet has often been the bet down to very short odds, yet runs up the track?! Thursday was a classic example of that.    
Best Bet, I’s The Boy (# 1; 4th race; 3-2) was in my mind not only the better part of the Scott Lake entry, he was hands down, on paper the best horse in the race. And I was not alone in my analysis as the entry went off as the 1-2 favorite. Well he showed early speed but fell apart when challenged in the stretch, and folded like an accordion, finishing last (5th).  

Longshot, My Little Josie (# 4; 5th race on the turf; 6-1) was looking strong, stalking the pace, but threw in the towel when the field headed for home. She finished 5th in the field of 7 at 8-1.  
Here’s who I (the Angel of Death to prohibitive favorites) like on Friday, June 6th, Day 30 of the Pimlico Spring Meet…   
Best Bet:         Braeside  (# 4; 4th race; 3-2)

This filly was going to be my Best Bet about 10 seconds before she finished 3rd in her last race on May 22nd. That day I was enjoying lunch with a few friends at Pimlico’s Clubhouse Turfside Terrace as I watched jockey Rosie Napravnik guide her helplessly behind a number of horses along the rail at the far turn, again as she entered the stretch and pretty much until they reached the eighth pole. She was full of run, but never was given a chance to run. I think her M/L odds are a bit too low, but maybe the track oddsmaker noticed the same thing I did that day?!        

Longshot:        Theycallmeadreamer  (# 6; 5th race on the turf; 20-1)
I must be (dreaming) for picking this one, but hear me out. He’s been running in $4k claimers on the dirt at Charleytown over his past 10 or more races in his 26 lifetime starts. Prior to those, he ran on the turf 10 times, winning once and placing twice earning $48k. That equates to competing at around the $48k allowance level on the turf. That’s a better average than any of his rivals today. At 20-1, he’s worth a shot (and a prayer) that he can run back to his old turf form.
I want to hear who you like today! Good Luck with your selections!