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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Belmont Day

In the second, Katlyn Ann (9-2) cuts back to six furlongs for the capable John Hertler. This barn is winless at this meeting in 24 tries, but has been getting close of late with a couple of seconds and a close third with his last five starters, and seems about due and poised for a winner. This daughter of Harlan's Holiday has been a bit of a money burner, but came alive two back at 13-1 with a close second when switched to this surface and distance. She could have been closer to the pace that day if not for some traffic on the backstretch, and last out, she showed very good speed (rated v. fast early by Moss) in a mile event. Cuts back here just eight days later, and could control what looks like a paceless race with Cornelio from the outside post. Soo's Purse (6-1) closed wide to finish just behind the top pick when also making her first Belmont start. Cuts back from seven furlongs and Coa returns. Tapaline (9-5) gets blinkers for Kimmel; looms one to beat but has disappointed before.

In the 4th, Top It (15-1) returns off a layoff for the sharp David Cannizzo barn; three winners and four solid seconds from 10 runners at this meet. This lightly-raced five-year old son of Pulpit closed well from far back after a slow start for second in his last start, at slightly shorter at Saratoga, against what seemed like a good field at the time. That has not been borne out by subsequent results of winner Mythical Pegasus and third place BZ Warrior. But this horse has run well fresh before, and lands in a race filled with speed. Seems worth a shot at generous odds. Zio Tony (4-1) was impressive graduating and gets blinkers for Hushion, who has won with that equipment change five times in a row. Tahitian Warrior (5-2) is back after a fruitless trip to Dubai; Trappe Shot (2-1) trounced Florida-breds at GP.

In the 12th, Bold Vindication (6-1) goes out for the suddenly hot Gary Sciacca. We've seen this before; a trainer breaks out of a winning streak and that win is promptly followed by more. This barn was 0 for its first 28 at the meeting, but broke out with Piazza Di Spagna ($36) on Thursday, and followed that up with Loyal Shadow ($24.60) yesterday. Hmmm, perhaps we're a race late to the party....but this four-year old gelded son of the late Vindication won at this same level and distance two back when moved up confidently to race out of conditions off the claim. His 4th place effort in his last was fine in a slow-paced sprint; stretches back out and Prado returns.

Well? You can go anywhere to get picks on the stakes races....what can I say, I prefer handicapping and betting on the "regular" races, OK? But in the 11th, the Belmont Stakes, Fly Down (9-2) just seems ready to explode here for Zito after his impressive runaway in the Dwyer. I love the way he came home in progressively faster splits of 24.97, 24.55, and a sharp 12.18 second final furlong. He's had only one bad effort, and he had good reason to bounce in the Louisiana Derby after a tough win over the talented First Dude coming off nearly three months off. Sharp works; trainer and jockey know the drill, and the fact that he's relatively lightly-raced should serve him well.

Ice Box (3-1) will, in my opinion, go off significantly lower than his morning line, and is therefore a logical bet-against for me considering that he failed to win a Kentucky Derby that I thought was absolutely putrid. That's my ultimate reason for betting against him, though I admit I got it from someone else. Yeah yeah, excuses, excuses, I know. But he had a horrifically slow pace to close in to, which made up for a lot of the bad luck he encountered. Pedigree is intimidating with his being out of a stakes winner at a mile and a half who is, in turn, by a Belmont winner. And his running style has actually been rather successful in recent Belmonts despite what we might hear. Strictly the one to beat, but I'll try to do so (unless, perhaps, if he's actually 3-1 and depending on the accumulated effects of bourbon so late in the long afternoon). Stay Put (20-1) always puts in a late run, and perhaps could pick up some pieces with a patient ride. Good luck everyone, and have a great day.


Anonymous said...

Not being bred for the 1 1/2 mile Belmont? By Stephen Got Even, who is by A.P. Indy, both Belmont winners. The dam sire was Smart Strike, a half-brother to Canadian Triple Crown winner Dance Smartly, as well as Curlin. Quadrangle is further back on the damside pedigree, who won the Belmont and the Lawrence Realization (1 5/8ths miles on the turf). A lot of talk about the horse coming back on 3 weeks rest but, now for the rest of the story..... The Belmont will be his 2nd race in 56 days, and makes a big, big difference for this lightly raced horse, giving him plenty of time to grow into his huge 17+ hands frame. Heavens, shades of Forego! While the possesser of spend, and many declare him the speed of the race who expect him to be on the lead, I don't. The Preakness was his coming out party to see if he could compete against the best of his generation. He passed the test. I expect he now has the luxury of sitting off the pace, in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, and blowing by them all, whenever Ramon says go. First Dude wins the Belmont.

onecalicocat said...

Dick Jerardi and Dale Romans are in First Dude's corner.
Who am I to doubt them?
I will also respect Alan and go with First Dude/Fly Down exactas.

Jeremy Rose seems to be a great bet at Delaware and Monmouth. He wins an awful lot, sometimes at nice prices, like Million Seller yesterday at Monmouth.
(He is perfecting the sweeping move on the turn maneuver)

steve in nc said...

Alan, Top It is also a first gelding. Hope I'm not jinxing your play but I'm with you. I think your horse in the 12th is live too, but Lt. John's # on sheets is much better relative to the Beyers.

Anon, are you expecting Imperatif on the lead? That could happen, and I think he'd be dangerous setting a slow pace. But I expect Dude to be on the lead. Not much other speed I see here. I have no strong feelings in this one - going 5 or 6 deep if only I can find singles in other races. It might be a day to watch more than bet.

Anonymous said...

I love Fly Down. He will win by 4-5 lengths.

Anonymous said...

NY racing's greatest day, followed closely by the 4th Jewel, The Travers. My personal Top Five North American Grade I stakes races:

(1) Belmont Stakes
(2) BC Classic
(3) KY Derby
(4) Santa Anita Handicap
(4) San Juan Capistrano Handicap
(5) Travers
(5) Whitney Handicap

Lots of room to disagree with this Top 5, I'm sure. The handicap division, to the detriment of racing, has lost it's glamour to the 3 year olds over the past couple of decades.

Good luck to all in the Belmont, the undercard and, as Harvey Pack would say: "May the horse be with you." /S/greenmtnpunter

Terry said...

I thought dirtyshirt was always wrong? I don't understand. I figured if he didn't like ice box and everybody else did then it was a sure winner. I had to take out a second on my house to bet 20k on icebox. Why jp? Why did you tell me that. I'm so fucked my wife is gonna leave for sure.

Anonymous said...

Alan stick to the greyhounds.

Anonymous said...

I put $20 across the board on Drusselmeyer. I used to dance the Nutcracker ballet with the Philadelphia Ballet. Ohhhhhh!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Ice box will win"

Worst. Pick. Ever.

I tried to save you money jp.

Your last two bets were super saver in the Preakness and ice box in the Belmont. I'll give you a tip buddy - next time you see a derby with fractions that fast and over slop, don't make it the key race you bet everything off of.


Anonymous said...

You put 20k to win on Ice Box in your wet dreams. Who do you think your fooling. Take your BS somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Great Belmont, glad to see the Guv there to present the trophy. Nice to see Billy Mott win it- I am amazed it is his first TC win in his long, successful career. Gotta bring back "NY NY" for next year, "Empire" just doesn't have the required sing along, anthem-like qualities of the Sinatra tune. /S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Ah well, you win some you lose some. These three year old stakes races are silly anyhow. Congrats to all who had Drosselmeyer, which to my knowledge is nobody on this forum. In other words, quit flapping your gums. -jp

Anonymous said...

Awful belmont btw, and the worst triple crown series I can ever remember. 2:31.57, you coulda timed it with a sundial. -jp

Anonymous said...

Alan you may be a wonderful person BUT what a terrible handicapper!

Figless said...

Please bring NY NY back, that was a horrible excuse for an anthem. What are they thinking?

And the rendition sucked too, started too late and went too long, no hip hop feel. She was still singing at Zero minutes to post, horses had to take a second turn at the gate.

No applause, feeling in the stands was "get the freaking thing over with already". Everyone was ready for the race, the horses, the jockeys, the fans, and they all had to sit around waiting though this debacle.

As for the gambling, I went 0-13, boy I suck too.

The atmosphere? Terrific.

Either I am getting older or the demographic is getting younger.

The ladies are now all dressing for the occasion, a welcome site. Sticky in the building but nice breeze in the backyard. Live music was just ok this year, some funk band was solid but just did not fit the scene, totally out of place. In a club they would have been lots of fun.

No serious lines to wager, no lines at all in the bathrooms except the ladies rooms on the first floor. Girls, take the escalator next year.

Only lines I saw all day were the alchohol concessions so the "no alchohol" policy must be paying dividends, likely more than offsetting for the decrease in admission revenue.