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    SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 2017

    In a race that requires stamina and endurance, let’s try something new and evaluate the field based on recent Beyer Speed Figures to see if we can solve one of the greatest mysteries of each and every year, arguably the toughest race to handicap, the inscrutable Belmont Stakes. As Janis Joplin sang so beautifully in Me and Bobby McGee, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left lose”!

    (102) #4 J BOYS ECHO (15/1) – The Gotham Stakes is seldom a race you look to for guidance about who might win the Belmont Stakes. However, it is hard to ignore that this horse soundly defeated Preakness winner, Cloud Computing in that race on March 4 to earn the highest Beyer in the race. Since that race, he could only manage fourth in the Blue Grass after bobbling and being bumped at the start and he ran a dull 15th beaten 23 lengths after being bounced around at the start of the Kentucky Derby. Being a grandson of A.P. Indy, a Belmont winner, indicates he probably can get the distance if he gets a clean start. His best 2 races have been stalking trips when third or fourth early.

    (101) #7 IRISH WAR CRY (7/2) – Shouldn’t be distance challenged being by Curlin who ran Rags to Riches to a nose in defeat in the Belmont in 2007. However, his all or nothing pattern of going gate to wire in the Holy Bull and the Wood and folding like a cheap suit in the Fountain of Youth and the Kentucky Derby make him hard to embrace. The Belmont is kinder to front speed that the other Triple Crown races because of the usual dawdling pace, but I won’t be betting the farm that he will be around at the finish as a very lukewarm favorite.

    (98) #6 LOOKIN AT LEE (5/1) – Is very slow from the gate but is always around the money at the finish being part of the Superfecta in some position in 8 of his last 9 races. His only wins were at Ellis Park but he has been Top 4 in 5 G1’s, and 2 G3’s. His style doesn’t usually play well in the Belmont, but that may not matter to him as he just canters along early running his own race and as he has done so many times, clunks up and gets into the Superfecta behind some very good horses including both legs of the Triple Crown this year. He seldom is a threat to win but he almost always gets a piece.

    (96) #2 TAPWRIT (6/1) – Todd Pletcher almost always plays a role in the Belmont outcome, winning it twice with Rags to Riches in 2007 and Palace Malice in 2013. He has been second 4 times in recent years with Destin last year, Stay Thirsty, Dunkirk and Bluegrass Cat. Tapwrit’s efforts at Tampa Bay were good but his Blue Grass and Derby were lackluster with tough trips in both. If this horse wings it early like he did in earlier races this year he might be able to steer clear of trouble and hang around at the finish. That has been Pletcher’s pattern recently along with a 5 week vacation between the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes.

    (95) #8 SENIOR INVESTMENT (12/1) – Is another with the kind of late running style that seldom fares well in this race. However he did just finish third in the Preakness finishing closest to Classic Empire, who would have been the favorite in this race. Deep closer Creator did upset in the Belmont Stakes last year when the Triple Crown races had three different winners, which will definitely be the case this year.

    (94) #3 GORMLEY (8/1) – Seemed to have a perfect trip in the early stages of the Kentucky Derby unlike so many others who found severe trouble, actually reaching fourth only 2 lengths back at the mid-point of the race but called it a day. Gormley’s Santa Anita Derby race would work well here but his fastest trips have been nearer to the pace. Like Irish War Cry, he is a real in and outer and if he can repeat his pattern of always bouncing back from a poor effort he is not out of the question.

    (94) #10 MULTIPLIER (15/1) – Jumped up from winning his maiden race to winning the Illinois Derby. His Preakness was subpar and we are not making excuses for that race here. The horse he beat at Hawthorne came back to fail in an easier spot.

    (91) #9 MEANTIME (15/1) – Has only a maiden win to his credit and even though he finished second last time in the Peter Pan, his numbers are too low to be taken seriously and he will likely falter on the expected faster than usual pace.

    (89) #12 PATCH (12/1) – Ran well in the Louisiana Derby and took money in the Kentucky Derby going off only 14/1 drawing the extreme outside post. He could be the Pletcher pace factor which seems to materialize each year so even though he seems too slow, his sire Union Rags also won the Belmont.

    (88) #5 HOLLYWOOD HANDSOME (30/1) – Failed in both the Illinois Derby and the Louisiana Derby, so with no other stakes experience it is hard to give this last minute entrant much of a chance.

    (78) #1 TWISTED TOM (20/1) – If Chad Brown’s horse wins this with a 78 Beyer Speed Figure, the Stewards should post the inquiry sign even before the rest of the field crosses the finish line. He has won back to back Laurel Stakes, but if speed figures have any meaning at all, he should finish well out of it in here.
    Last edited by smartmoneyhorses; 06-10-2017, 02:18 PM. Reason: SCRATCHES UPDATED

  • #2
    Repost Saturday Detailed Analysis Belmont Park