Got this prop line from Bodog yesterday:
Will the 141st Belmont Stakes have a greater attendance than the 140th Belmont Stakes (94,476)?Now c'mon, that's gotta be free money, right? The weather forecast is favorable and NYRA is doing all they can. But there's no way in the world they're getting that kind of crowd, right? I don't think they would even if Mine That Bird was going for the Triple Crown. Barring the most special of circumstances, the days of 100,000+ are over in my mind given the high prices and alcohol ban.
The post positions have been drawn, and nice job in my view by the morning oddsmaker Eric Donovan. His projections correctly reflect the way that the betting odds are compressed in Triple Crown races these days. You may scoff at the notion of Luv Gov returning a mere 20-1 as Donovan's longest shot in the race; but that's the way these contests are bet. (Yes, Da' Tara was 38-1, but remember that Big Brown was 3-10.)
Down on the other end of the scale, we have Mine That Bird (2-1), Charitable Man (3-1), and Dunkirk (4-1). In my most humble opinion, Mine That Bird is the only horse that I would even faintly contemplate betting on at those odds....which I don't think he'll quite be.
I am just not getting the fascination with Charitable Man in this particular race one bit. Yes, he has very nice one-turn form, ran very well (with a perfect setup) in the Peter Pan, and he has an extremely confident and capable trainer in Kiaran McLaughlin. But I just don't see how you can take odds like 3-1 in the Belmont Stakes on a horse who finished 7th in his only race around two turns. (And how many better 3-1 shots will there be on the card??) You can cite every excuse in the book for his Blue Grass effort - it was on Polytrack, off a layoff, he got caught wide....and they're all perfectly legitimate. But they only go to explain possible reasons why he failed, and not at all whether he's a legitimate router.
Is he? Quite possibly if not probably. But a mile and a half? This race is just a guess - we really have no idea if any of these horses can handle it, but to me, he might just be, on his form, the most iffy proposition to get the distance in the entire race except for Brave Victory. Honestly, I don't know if there's any price that would get me excited to bet him in this spot. No way he's going to be out there alone (and I wouldn't like him even if I thought he would be). Remember, Zito/La Penta have an uncoupled entry, and you can bet that Miner's Escape will be out there winging. I think Chocolate Candy could be close to the pace, and that the Derby winner is going to be involved up front far sooner than in his prior races.
Dunkirk is a bit more palatable - I'd probably be all over him at, say, er, maybe 8-1. I love the horse, but I absolutely hate the way he's been handled, rushed into the Triple Crown with minimal experience. Don't see why his troubled Derby and another five weeks off is going to propel him to stardom here.
I think that Mine That Bird is the most probable winner, but also a poor wagering proposition at the 3-2 or so that I think he'll go off. So I'm looking for a bombshell to throw a flyer (or two) on. But I'll have to get back to you as to who.
- This was my favorite proposition bet:
Who will the winning jockey thank first in the post race interview?DiscreetCat writes: "As far as thanking himself, only 20/1? This is Calvin Borel we're talking about, not Rickey Henderson."
I'd be all over God at 4-1 if Patrick Day was riding Mine That Bird.