Analysis & Selections for the 3rd Leg of Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes and Closing Day at Pimlico

June 07, 2013 | Gary Quill


Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

On paper, the Saturday’s 145th running of the Belmont Stakes shapes up to be a great betting race, which isn’t a bad consolation since the luster of the race was tarnished by Orb’s loss to oxbow in the Preakness. There are fourteen (14) 3 year olds scheduled to break from the starting gate at Belmont on Saturday, for the $1 million 1½ mile classic, Post Time is 6:36pm EDT. NBC-TV will have “live” coverage from 5pm-7pm.

The weather forecast for the New York metropolitan area, location of Belmont Race Course, is “iffy”. The rain that fell all day on Friday may be gone by Saturday morning. MOstly cloduy skies and winds of 10-15 mph won’t be enough to dry out the track. So look for the track condition to be MUDDY.

Here’s how I see the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Morning Line Odds are shown in comparison to the Early Betting Odds only from NYRA tracks, Fort Erie in Canada and Twinspires.com, which was only $39,552 in the WIN pool.

1st – Winstar silks #9 – Revolutionary
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Javier Castellano
Running Style: Closer
He was my pick to win the Kentucky Derby, but could only manage a 3rd place finish, while running on at the end. Skipping the Preakness was a wise move for this lightly raced son of War Pass. His granddaddy (A.P. Indy) on his Mom’s side won this race and there’s enough early speed in here to provide an honest pace to run at in deep stretch.
Early Betting Odds : 5-2 compared to Morning Line Odds: 9-2

2nd – Horton silks #10 – Will Take Charge
Trainer / Jockey: D. Wayne Lukas / Jon Court
Running Style: Tactical Speed
One of three colts who will have run in all 3 Triple Crown races (Orb and Oxbow are the other two), he was sort of a Wise-Guy horse in the Preakness after his strong run into the Churchill Downs stretch was abruptly stopped when Verrazano swerved in front of him. Unfortunately for his backers in the Preakness, he never fired, finishing 7th but during during Preakness week he wasn’t “on his toes” in the A.M. as he was during Derby week. Based on video from Belmont Park workouts, he looks “fit as a fiddle” again. Therefore, at a price he’s a must use in my exotics.
Early Betting Odds : 23-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1

3rd – Dogwood silks #12 – Palace Malice
Trainer / Jockey : Todd Pletcher / Mike Smith
Running Style: Stalker
His Daddy (Curlin) lost the 2007 Belmont Stakesby a head, so there’s no question this colt can get the 12 furlongs. Mike Smith retains the mount after a less than stellar ride in the Derby, but the addition of blinkers likely caused Palace Malice to be way too aggressive and uncharacteristically go to the lead. The blinkers come off which should translate into a more relaxed run with a nice stalking trip.
Early Betting Odds : 10-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 15-1

4th – Repole silks #3 – Overanalyze
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / John Velazquez
Running Style: Mid-Pack
Has the same sire (Dixie Union) as last years’ Belmont Stakes winner, Union Rags. So one would the distance should not be a question. Trainer Pletcher has 4 others in here but his #1 jock rides this one. If you believe in patterns, then look at Overanalyze’s past performances. He wins then loses, wins, loses He lost his last race.
Early Betting Odds : 11-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 12-1

5th – Janney silks #5 – Orb
Trainer / Jockey: Shug McGaughey / Joel Rosario
Running Style: Mid-Pack
The Derby winner was prematurely anointed a strong choice to be the first Triple Crown winner in 35 years, but it wasn’t to be as he was a distant 4th in the Preakness Stakes. So what makes him so special to be the favorite here? I’m thinking he may have peaked on the first Saturday of May and could be a tired horse.
Early Betting Odds: 5-2 compared to Morning Line Odds: 3-1

6th – Repole silks #13 – Unlimited Budget
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Rosie Napravnik
Running Style: Tactical Speed
The only filly in the field will try to become just the 4th filly in 145 runnings of the Belmont Stakes to enter the Winners’ Circle. She has the bloodlines and an impressive resume’ (4 wins in 5 career races; 3 in graded stakes). In an effort to compare her against her male counterparts, we can look to her Feb. 23rd race at Fairgrounds. A winning effort but her time was 4/5th of a second slower than the winner of the Risen Star, run 50 minutes after her victory. Neither the winner(I’ve Struck a Nerve) nor runner-up (Code West) are in here, but Palace Malice ran 3rd just a half length behind the winner.
Early Betting Odds : 12-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 8-1

7th – Calumet silks #7 – Oxbow
Trainer / Jockey: D. Wayne Lukas / Gary Stevens
Running Style: Speed
 Winner of the Preakness in gate-to-wire fashion, many believe he got away with a slow pace and put his competition to sleep. That won’t happen in this race as at least 3 others (Freedom Child, Giant Finish, Midnight Taboo and possibly Frac Daddy) will keep him company throughout the early stages. I see a carbon copy of his Derby run where he had the lead entering the stretch but didn’t have the stamina to seal the deal.
Early Betting Odds : 16-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 5-1

8th – Fipke silks #14 – Golden Soul
Trainer / Jockey: Dallas Stewart / Robby Albarado
Running Style: Closer
After his second place finish in the Derby at 34-1, it seems that all the experts have now discovered this hard-knocking colt who just keeps running, but only has beaten maidens in his 6 race career. Add the fact no horse has won the Belmont Stakes from the 14th post in at least 105 years.
Early Betting Odds : 16-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 10-1

9th – West Pt silks #2 – Freedom Child
Trainer / Jockey: Thomas Albertrani / Luis Saez
Running Style: Speed
Romped by 13+ lengths in slop in the G2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in most recent outing. One problem. He did it alone on the lead, dictating the pace. That won’t happen in this race. Though he only lost to Orb by 2 and finished ahead of Revolutionary by 2¼ in the same maiden race at Aqueduct in November, he’s likely to be a pace victim.
Early Betting Odds : 8-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 8-1

10th – Magic City silks #1 – Frac Daddy Trainer / Jockey: Kenneth McPeek / Alan Garcia
Running Style: Tactical Speed
A quarter crack derailed his Derby Trail but still ran for the roses (16th). Been training lights out at CD since, but upon arriving in the Big Apple, he walked (1:04.60) through 5 furlongs in his final tune-up. Word has it he’ll gun from the #1 post, joining early speed. Looking for a glimmer of hope? In his career debut, he ran a nice second going a mile on a muddy Belmont surface.
Early Betting Odds : 23-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

11th – Godolphin silks #6 – Incognito
Trainer / Jockey : Kiaran McLaughlin / Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Running Style: Tactical Speed
It’s hard to believe the number of experts picking this one to pull a huge upset. I don’t see it. Other than having the pedigree to “run all day”, he lacks the seasoning. Making his seventh career start, took four tries to break his maiden, then followed that up with a win by a nose in a $25k Optional Claimer for N1X. Throw in the fact he’ll carry 10 more lbs. than he did in his last race, which is 6 more than he has ever carried. Early Betting Odds : 19-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1

12th – Pick Six silks #11 – Vyjack
Trainer / Jockey: Rudy Rodriguez / Julien Leparoux
Running Style: Tactical Speed
Went from an undefeated, potential Derby favorite heading into the Wood Memorial, to an afterthought for the Belmont Stakes. An 18th place finish by 52 lengths will do that to a horse, but is he really all that bad? From the looks of his recent workout (5f in 59 flat) over “Big Sandy” (aka Belmont), on paper is impressive but he was ridden hard in order to get that time. Derby jock Garrett Gomez opted for a bigger longshot in here (Midnight Taboo) rather than stick with this guy.
Early Betting Odds : 31-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1

13th – Sunrise silks #4 – Giant Finish
Trainer / Jockey: Anthony Dutrow / Edgar Prado
Running Style: Speed
He’s a NY-bred who does his best within that company and/or on synthetic surface tracks. Ran in the Kentucky Derby without embarrassing himself (10th by 13¼) but never threatened, simply ran a “even” race. Expect Prado to get him up close early in order to have a fighting chance, but the distance will be too much for him.
Early Betting Odds : 34-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

14th – Repole silks #8 – Midnight Taboo
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Garrett Gomez
Running Style: Speed
He’s basically just starting his career with only 3 career races, is overmatched and is only runner in here that has never faced graded stakes company. The owner also has Overanalyze and Unlimited Budget. Both of those will need a quick pace to run at, so Midnight Taboo appears to be the sacrificial lamb.
Early Betting Odds : 37-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

Based on my analysis of the Belmont Stakes, I’ll play…

$10 WIN, PLACE, SHOW on #9 (Revolutionary) – Cost $30

$1 EXACTA BOX on #3 (Overanalyze) #9 (Revolutionary) #10 (Will Take Charge) #12 (Palace Malice) – Cost $12

$1 TRIFECTA PART-WHEEL 3, 5, 9, 10 w/ 3, 5, 9, 10 w/ 12 (Palace Malice) in 3rd spot – Cost $12

Selections for Pimlico’s Closing Day, Saturday, June 8th card  are on Page 2.

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