Friday, June 7, 2013

Belmont Stakes 2013

BELMONT PARK - June 08, 2013
Race 11 - 6:36 PM
Belmont S.   (Grade I)
Purse - $1,000,000
Distance - One And One Half Miles

1 – Frac Daddy
2 – Freedom Child
3 – Overanaylze
4 – Giant Finish
5 – Orb
6 – Incognito
7 – Oxbow
8 – Midnight Taboo
9 – Revolutionary
10 – Will Take Charge
11 – Vyjack
12 – Palace Malice
13 – Unlimited Budget
14 – Golden Soul

Let me begin by writing that I really thought #5 Orb was the best three year old racing this year and that I was confident we would be looking at Triple Crown Contention this Saturday.

According to his ownership when Orb was asked to go for the win down the stretch….he just didn’t respond --- so here’s the question for horse racing fans – was his lack of response a one time thing or is he going to be asleep again down the stretch when they add more distance in the Belmont Stakes??

The Morning Line has him as the favorite and if the Florida and Kentucky Derby Orb shows up I agree that he’s the one who should win…..but it’s a bit of tough sell when he finished 4th in his last race – the Preakness.

After finishing 6th in the Kentucky Derby and not having won a race since January -- #7 Oxbow shocked the racing world (and specifically one gentleman below) by going practically wire to wire for a Preakness victory!

I'm just guessing he didn't bet on Oxbow......

I really like Oxbow – and I think if they allow him to race for another few years he could become a key horse in Stakes Races, he’s just solid all around talent and kind of a working class colt. 

Currently he’s considered the third morning line favorite – and I like his chances – he’s got a solid post position, and I think he has a chance to win with the same strategy that put him in the Preakness Winner’s Circle.The distance is a major question.....but that's a major question for everyone in this race.

The Second Morning Line Favorite is #9 Revolutionary – and he has won three out of his last five races….his two losses were both to Orb.

Revolutionary could be dangerous because he skipped the Preakness – and he could benefit by having fresher legs than Orb and Oxbow. Revolutionary has shown a powerful late kick and he may have just enough going for him this Saturday to finally beat Orb.

Moving back to the top of the order –

#1 Frac Daddy – 16th in the KY Derby and hasn’t won a race since last November. I like this rascal of a horse but I don’t think he’s got more than a mile and 1/16th in him.

#2 Freedom Child – recently defeated #6 Incognito (5th) in a romp here at Belmont in the Peter Pan Stakes. I think he could challenge Oxbow for the early lead and then it could come down to which horse is going to have the distance and is most comfortable at Belmont Park… 8/1 he’s a very interesting prospect that needs a little help.

Peter Pan Stakes:

#3 Overanalyze – if you believe in horses bouncing (meaning he wins a race than loses a race than wins the next race) then you’ll love Overanalyze who finished 11th in the KY Derby – and has won 4 out of 8 lifetime races….never having two consecutive losses or victories in a row. So he’s due for a win. 

He was rusty having not raced for several months in his Gotham Stakes loss….won with style in a tough Arkansas Derby field…and then finished poorly in a sloppy Kentucky Derby – that I’m kind of dismissing because the mud was such a factor. At 12-1….how can you not put a couple of dollars on a horse that always seems to bounce back???

#4 Giant Finish – finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby, I think he’s outclassed here.

Strangely Sensitive Cheetah
Starring as Jungle Cat
in the best selling novel,
adaptation for film.....
#8 Midnight Taboo – comes in as a 30-1 mystery. He has one victory in three attempts and he finished 2nd in his last race, an allowance race here in Belmont. With the quantity and quality of talent in this Belmont Stakes I just think this is asking too much of this inexperienced horse……at 100-1 he might catch my attention….although he’s got a great name….sounds like a trashy novel that everyone would read but nobody would admit too…….either that…..or a Tiki Drink that everyone would drink and never remember drinking.

#10 Will Take Charge – Defeated Oxbow in  the Rebel Stakes by a head when he stormed late down the final stretch to steal the victory……but since then he’s finished 8th in the Kentucky Derby and 7th in the Preakness….where O’ where did that late stormy action go? 

If Will Take Charge can find that lightning in a bottle again, I think he could upset – but my gut tells me his Rebel Stakes victory was just a unique outing for him. I think he could crack the top three – but he needs help to win, and he will need to find that great late kick that he only showed once.

#11 Vyjack – This horse was a New York favorite leading up to the Wood Memorial where he finished a disappointing 3rd place, followed by  a VERY disappointing 18th place in the KY Derby.  I’m tossing out the KY Derby result – but I don’t think this horse has got the distance for this race….in fact I think that’s what most people believe. But he may be worth a $2 bet if he stays at 20/1 odds……he is a very solid contender and if he has found the distance in his training he’ll fight for it.

#12 Palace Malice – One victory in seven attempts…..the problem with this horse is that he could push the early pace and force horses like Oxbow and Freedom Child to get caught in an early speed trap. He’s the kind of horse that really doesn't have a chance to win…but his style of racing could very well change the outcome.

The Filly #13 Unlimited Budget – has won four of her last five races, but her only loss was her most recent race the Kentucky Oaks (the filly version of the Kentucky Derby) where she finished 3rd.

She is the daughter to Kentucky Derby Champion Street Sense – which makes her Zenyatta’s niece (or whatever the horse term for that is?).  She very well could have the breeding for this distance – but I don’t know if she’s got the talent?
She’s going off at 8/1 and she has the very dangerous Rosie Napravnik as her jockey --- could this be a “Girl Power” Belmont – that would be pretty cool??

Last, but certainly not least is the 2nd place finisher in the Kentucky Derby #14 Golden Soul.  I think the distance will help Golden Soul – however he never seems to be able to “close the deal” and win the race when it counts.  Lifetime he has finished 2nd behind Orb (KY Derby), Revolutionary (4th – Louisiana Derby) and Oxbow (LeComte Stakes).

To be honest I’m rooting a little bit for Unlimited Budget – filly with a female rider taking the Belmont Stakes (certainly considered the most grueling of the Triple Crown races) would be pretty awesome! 

However that’s not who I’m going to pick to win…..I think Palace Malice, Oxbow and/or Freedom Child are going to wear out early….too fast too furious.

And I think the closers will pull out a victory.

Closing Speed likes: Revolutionary, Overanaylze, Orb

If I’m betting $20 here’s who I like

$1 Exacta Box – 3,5,9, 13 = $12

$4 – Freedom Child to win

If the following are still at 20/1 or higher:
$2 – Will Take Charge to win

$2 – Vyjack to win