06/06/2008 9:42PM

Belmont Eve


The pool for the Brooklyn Handicap-Belmont Stakes double was $275,716, more than 10 times the puny $20,285 in the advance win pool Friday, so the implied odds from the double payoffs are probably a better gauge of what to expect tomorrow:

All prices and prospects are in limbo pending the possible scratch of Casino Drive, who was higher than his 7-2 morning line in both pools after the discovery of a possible bruise in his left hind foot Friday morning. Going by the double betting, if Casino Drive were scratched, Big Brown would drop from 7-to-20 ($2.70) to 1-5 ($2.40), with Denis of Cork becoming the 7-1 second choice and Tale of Ekati next at 13-1.

If Casino Drive does run, it will be interesting to see if he's still bet as strongly as was expected before the Friday incident.

--No carryover into Saturday's $1 million guaranteed pick-six after two winners collected a seriously overlaid $32,583 payoff Friday for a sequence of winners that paid $9.10, $13.60, $5.10, $4.20, $6.60 and $6.50 -- almost 10 times the $3,553 parlay. The joker in the deck was the $13.60 Phipps/McGaughey firster Tourism, a 3-year-old Seeking the Gold-Resort filly who got up by a head over 1-2 Platinum Plus, the only odds-on starter in the pick-six races.

Tourism is Resort's second foal. The first, Sightseeing, was a disappointing fourth at 3-1 in the featured G2 Brooklyn Handicap, repositioned and lengthened into a 12-furlong race this year and won by Delosvientos, a 5-year-old Siphon gelding who also won the local prep for this, the $75k Fit to Fight at Belmont May 15. Both times, 10-year-old Evening Attire ran on late to get up for second behind the front-running Delosvientos, falling 2 1/4 lengths short in the Fit to Fight and two lengths short in the Brooklyn.

Despite the nearly identical outcomes, Delosvientos set a much slower pace in the prep and finished up quicker, while he ran faster early and slower late in the Brooklyn:

Fir to Fight: 24.47, 49.72, 1:15.05, 1:39.68, 2:04.33, 2:29.40
Brooklyn H.: 24.22, 48.11, 1:12.74, 1:37.65, 2:03.91, 2:30.96

Friday's other stakes, the G3 Hill Prince for 3-year-old grass horses, featured a very impressive 3-year-old debut by Gio Ponti, who circled the field from last despite mild fractions to run down Prussian and win off by two lengths. The Tale of the Cat colt won his debut at Saratoga, beat Nownownow in the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland, and suffered his lone defeat in four starts running eighth to Nownownow after a rough trip in the BC Juvenile Turf.

The grass course seems in perfect shape after Wednesday's needed dousing, and the current forecast calls for only a 10 to 20 percent chance of rain between now and the Belmont. Gio Ponti made up four lengths on a final quarter of 23.89 in the Hill Prince.

--Everyone's a wiseguy: Only three of the 21 "selectors" on the special DRF consensus-pick pages for the Triple Crown races are alive to pick the winners of all three races this year -- and all three two of us got off Big Brown for the Belmont. Brad Free stayed with Big Brown switched to Tale of Ekati, Mike Watchmaker went for Casino Drive and I'm on Denis of Cork. [See Dave R.'s comment below.]

Watchmaker, Dave Litfin (who picked Big Brown) and I will be doing a seminar somewhere near the paddock at Belmont from 10 to 10:45 a.m. tomorrow, and I might as well stay for the races as long as I'm already out there, so any live blogging will be much briefer than it was when I played the shut-in on Derby and Preakness Days. I'm going to try posting via cell phone from my seat outdoors -- wish me luck. I'll post some thoughts on the card either before or after the seminar. [Update 2:18 a.m.: Let's make that definitely after the seminar.]

Dave R. More than 1 year ago
>> all three of us got off Big Brown for the Belmont. Brad Free switched to Tale of Ekati That was actually an error on DRF.com -- Brad Free picked Big Brown on top and Tale of Ekati second, and it appears that way in the print edition of the newspaper for Belmont Day. The online version of his picks was corrected as of early Friday afternoon. Just wanted to set the record straight! Good luck tomorrow. - Dave (from the copy desk)
Clinton More than 1 year ago
Not sure if Icabad Crane can duplicate his run from the Preakness BUT if he's able to I fail to see why he can't run 2nd in today's Belmont. I think he was visually the far better looking between he and Macho Again and had he not been stopped making his move in the Preakness he IMO clearly completes the exacta. As for the way the race shapes up, I'm disappointed at the setback of Casino Drive. I really thought he would have been good enough to beat Big Brown. But if he goes to post tomorrow then the bruised hoof cannot be used as an issue, (it just leaves a doubt that as a bettor I'm not comfortable with).
SamG More than 1 year ago
Good Luck Steve!
dfwbuck More than 1 year ago
Here's my BEL picks: Race 2- #9 Chaysen Alex Race 6- #7 Benny the Bull Race 7- #3 Bit of Whimsy use with 1, 7, 10 Race 8- #5 Golden Doc A Race 9- #6 Fatal Bullet Race 10- #1 Better Talk Now #1a Shake the Bank #10 Dancing Forever Race 11- #1 Big Brown use with 10 with 3 4 7 9 Good Luck everybody!!!
gideonstargrave More than 1 year ago
About the article warning of ESPN/ABC Belmont coverage possibly not showing the Manhattan and other supporting stakes races: Why?! They have SEVEN hours to fill, and a race is 2 minutes! Horse racing must be the only sport where they put it on TV but REFUSE TO SHOW IT! Instead, we'll get an extra hour explaining what shady characters IEAH and Dutrow are, and other overblown "character" pieces.
Jersey Josh More than 1 year ago
BOO...Steve its too hot to sit at the track today. Gonna miss the live blogging today. I really don't see any live longshots at Belmont today. Looks way too chalky for me, Will of course watch but will be spending my wagering dollars elsewhere today. Good Luck to all!
Pozac Jack More than 1 year ago
Dear Steve, Why do we have to here every year how bad the crop of 3 year olds are? They say Big Brown hasn't beat anyone,just all the horses he's faced, I would LOVE to have a horse that bad.If he wins by 50 lengths that STILL won't be good enough.It's enough to make a person sick.... These triple crown races are great races to WATCH or tread lightly,your readers are better off playing claiming races, if there object is to MAKE MONEY, for the average mutual price of a claiming is $ 9.40 compared to allowance and all others at $ 14.40. Have fun WATCH the classics and make your money in the claiming races.......
SamG More than 1 year ago
Rats,I got up too late and caught about 5 minutes of the seminar.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Okay, a moment of clarity for me please...why would I think Denis can win this race? Absurd...lemme ask ya'll this: when Desormeaux sets Brown down who is going to go with him? who? Yes, we are gamblers and value lies elsewhere, but don't go too deep trying to beat Brown. He has beaten around 29 three year-olds in the first two legs...who's left? Think the W Stephens is the best beting race on the undercard and I will swang for it with Ling Ling Qi and Silver Edition on top. Yup, Ling's figs (by my #s) put him in contention even though Beyers say no. His last 2 were good and his price will be even better. PS- i stink picking sprints...much better on turf and distance. Good luck ya'll !!
ray flack More than 1 year ago
Too bad about Casino Drive. That leaves all of us ex-Marines to couple BB with Ichabod Crane and of course Guadalcanal. Good luck to all. Ray