Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Belmont Stakes

Belmont Park – June 10, 2016
Race 12 - 6:37 PM (EST)
Belmont Stakes (Grade I)
Purse - $1,500,000
Distance - One And One Half Miles
Surface - Dirt

1 – Twisted Tom
2 – Tapwrit
3 – Gormley
4 – J. Boys Echo
5 – Hollywood Handsome
6 – Lookin at Lee
7 – Irish War Cry
8 – Senior Investment
9 – Meantime
10 – Multiplier
11 – Epicharis
12 - Patch

Ahhhh the Belmont Stakes ----  the Test of Champions!!!

(Or as most of America views it when there isn’t a Triple Crown on the line):

Image result for cc sabathia
They're still running races??
Why run when no one can win a Triple Crown?
To make matters worse…… or at least to make matters less interesting:

The Kentucky Derby Winner Always Dreaming is recovering from a light injury.

The Preakness Winner Cloud Computing will be….I don’t know......rebooting that day,

And Classic Empire who would likely be the favorite in this race – and one would imagine would like to pick up a Triple Crown victory….will be Classically Napping – which anyone who enjoys a good nap will understand how that is done.

Image result for 18th century sleep
Having read Pride and Prejudice for the 200th time because it's our
only book -- Molly takes a nap.

Looking at the field I feel it’s important to write that I believe this Belmont Stakes is wide open – I think the odds should be much closer bunched together – and I believe there’s a very good chance for a “relative” Long Shot to help you bring home some cash!

So let’s take a look at who will be racing –

#1 Twisted Tom – he’s won 4 out 6 lifetime races – he visited the Winner’s Circle in his last race and his odds are currently an enticing 20/1. He hasn’t raced against this quality of horse though,

HOWEVER – the real question in the Belmont is if he can handle the distance?? He’s had 49 days away from racing – he could be the big surprise here – and I love his post, but I like the talent I’ve seen from the other horses.

I wouldn’t mind seeing his odds get closer to 30-1 before laying down a bet.

#2 Tapwrit – Finished 6th in a muddy Kentucky Derby, and before that he finished 5th in the Blue Grass Stakes.

The Blue Grass Stakes results are always funky – and the Kentucky Derby was slop that day – Tapwrit is a solid late closing horse, I like him in this race.

#3 Gormley – Winner of the Santa Anita Derby – and finished a disappointing 9th in the Kentucky Derby.

Gormley has won 4 out of 7 lifetime races – he’s a very talented horse and he certainly has a solid shot here .

#4 J Boys Echo – There are a lot of people, that I respect, that think J. Boys Echo (going off at 15/1) is the horse to beat in the Belmont Stakes.  After finishing 15th in the KY Derby and 4th in the Blue Grass Stakes – I believe some bettors are throwing both of those races away – and instead looking at his victory in the Gotham stakes where he beat Preakness Winner Cloud Computing.

He only has 2 wins in 7 races – but the Gotham was a big one.  I’m hearing a lot of talk from the track, and those folks often know the inside scoop. Just letting you know.
Strangely Sensitive Cheetah
understands the hardships of
being Hollywood Handsome.

#5 Hollywood Handsome – 2 wins in 9 races and  going off at 30/1 – Has lost races to Multiplier and Patch. Probably just hoping to pick up some money in a 3rd or 4th place finish. Great name for a horse, but this horse has been without a Blockbuster so far.

#6 Lookin at Lee – Hasn’t won a race since August 2016 – however he’s very good at ending up in the money. He has 2 wins in 11 races – he finished 3rd in the Arkansas Derby, 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and 4th in the Preakness Stakes.

I like Lookin at Lee – he’s a late closing horse – but I think (at this point) he's been raced too much – he maybe should be Classically Napping with Classic Empire and Molly -- I like him to be in the Top 3 but I don’t like him for a win here.

#7 Irish War Cry – Currently he’s the favorite in this race at 7/2. He finished a disappointing 10th in the Kentucky Derby, however he had a very unfortunate starting position in that race – a month before the KY Derby he won the Wood Memorial (here in New York) – beating Preakness winner Cloud Computing.

Irish War Cry has 4 wins in 6 races and when it comes to running a Mile and 1/8th I think Irish War Cry is likely the best horse in this field. But I don’t know that he’s going to have the distance in this one.

#8 Senior Investment – has won 3 out of 9 career races and most notably finished 1st in the Lexington Stakes and 3rd in the Preakness.

Senior Investment looks like he has the distance in him for the Belmont Stakes – I really think this horse has a shot – the big question is if he’ll be rested enough after only a 21 day lay off from the Preakness.

#9 Meantime – has 1 win in 4 attempts – my hunch here is that Meantime hopes to build a very early lead and then hope all the other horses are too exhausted to catch up --- I have seen this work in the Belmont before, but I don’t know that Meantime will be able to build that kind of lead.

#10 Multiplier – Won the Illinois Derby and then finished 6th in the Preakness Stakes. Multiplier has a good late kick – but I’ve gotta say I’m disappointed with that 6th place finish in the Preakness, along with the fact that he’ll only have 21 days rest before this race.

#11 Epicharis – the true wild card in this race!  This horse is currently the 2nd favorite in this race going off at 4/1, just behind Irish War Cry at 7/2.

Epicharis is a lifetime 4 wins in 5 races and his only loss was in the UAE Derby where he finished 2nd by a nod of the head to (I REALLY HATE RAINY KENTUCKY MUD) Thunder Snow.

Related image
Thunder Snow would be the horse in the very back - FREAKING OUT!

Epicharis definitely has the Past Performances and Talent to deserve being the favorite or second favorite in this race.

However – he hasn’t raced in 77 days and he will have to acclimate to a different continent and also (more importantly) different drug rules  -- legal supplements vary from State to State in the US – let alone the World.

Under normal circumstances I would understand considering this horse the ideal horse to win here. But horses traveling this kind of distance usually don’t fare well in their first race in a new environment.

#12 Patch – The one eyed wonder only has 1 win in 4 attempts – although he did finish 2nd in the Louisiana Derby. This horse is a great story --- and I do think this race is fairly wide open, but he’ll need a break out performance and some sizeable luck to pull off a win here. Would have preferred his ownership raced him in the Iowa Derby in early July.

Here's how I see the Belmont Stakes -- I'm looking for Meantime, Irish War Cry and Epicharis to set the early pace -- Gormley and J. Boys Echo will likely be in the middle of the pack -- and I'll be looking for Tapwit, Lookin' at Lee and Multiplier to be towards the back as they enter the second turn.

Coming out of the final turn -- I believe Meantime will fade...HARD -- like the kind of fade where he goes from 2nd to last in about 3 seconds.

Irish War Cry and Epicharis may have enough talent and stamina to finish the Belmont like a 15 round heavyweight fight -- where Irish War Cry and Epicharis will basically be looking just to keep standing at the end.

In this scenario -- the late closers will be too far from the lead to significantly close ground on the leaders -- the closers will have "some" burst, but not enough to steal a victory.

I don't believe Irish War Cry and Epicharis pull this one off though -- I think Epicharis comes out rusty and fades early.

I think Irish War Cry will swing out of the final turn free and clear -- but I don't think he'll have enough of a lead or the endurance to hold off the late closers.

I like Gormley, Tapwrit, J. Boys Echo and especially Senior Investment to make enough of a late run to pull off a mild upset.

I don't think Multiplier or Patch can do it -- and I think Lookin' At Lee could finish anywhere between 2nd and 7th -- just depends on how much energy he has left in the tank.

In the end -- I like Irish War Cry to be the early leader who has just enough to finish in the money.

I like Tapwrit -- because he's had enough rest, and he can close.

But I'm taking Senior Investment -- because this horse has awesome closing abilities and I like his chances in this one!

Closing Speed likes:  Senior Investment, Tapwrit, & Irish War Cry

If I’m betting $29 on this race I like:

$1 Exacta: 2/4/7/8 = $24
$5 Gormley to Win.