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Just 64 hours or so till first post on Belmont Day. Here's the 13-race, seven-hour and 45-minute lineup:
The breakdown: Four G1 stakes, two G2 stakes, five allowance races (three for statebreds) and two maiden races (one for statebreds; nine dirt races (six sprints, two miles and the Belmont) and four grass races; ten races for males, three for fillies and mares.
The Acorn drew only five, the True North eight, and everything else attracted 9 or more entrants. I can't find a full wagering menu on Belmont's website, but presumably there are more pick-4's than the guaranteed one on races 8-11. And no dime supers either Friday or Saturday on the Belmont races.
I had to make my 1-2-3-4 selections tonight for the Saturday newspaper and after picking him in the Derby and Preakness, I got off the Big Brown wagon, picking him second here. Of course he's a swell horse, and the most likely winner on paper, but he's a severe underlay at 2-5 in a spot attempting what 10 straight Derby-Preakness winners have failed to do. I landed instead on Denis of Cork (12-1 ML), who has room to improve and did well to pass 17 horses during the Derby. I put the favorite second, my old friend Tale of Ekati third, and Ready's Echo, who has a freaky little late run that could prove interesting if the race falls apart, fourth. Casino Drive has the potential to be any kind of horse, but I can't abide 7-2 on a horse making his third career start.
Just realized I type Casino Royale insted of Casino Drive in my last post
Bruce Friday I think Johnny Campo was a hell of lot better horseman than Buddy Delp. He's also a man after my own heart. He bet $5000 at 50 to 1 in the derby future pool in Vegas on pleasnt Colony to win the derby. That's knowing horse.
My thoughts on the Belmont I think Big Brown is fifty fifty to win, but will be horribly over bet 1 to 5, or 2 to 5. My main strategy is to play trifecta's. Tale Of Ekati and Dennis of Cork in a box with Big Brown Tale Of Ekati and Dennis of Cork in a Box with Casino Royale Tale Of Ekati and Dennis of Cork in a box with Macho Again Tale Of Ekati and Dennis of Cork in a box with Icabod Crane Tale Of Ekati with Macho Again and Icabod Crane All 1$ boxes 30$ In total also might consider a some exacta's 1$ Box Tale Of Ekati and Dennis of Cork with Icabod Crane and Macho Again 4$ box Tale Of Ekati with Dennis of Cork I'll also do some Pick 4$ in With Tale Of Ekati and a small win bet on Tale Of Ekati If Big Brown and Casino Royale are 1 2 there's no value. I'm betting that one or both of them falters. If they run one two I'll lose my money an move on and get ready for Saratoga
Mike_D It wasn't me at CBS. I'm a computer geek never worked in the media. I bet the guy you new at CBS remembers that Russ Harris article too and still holds a grudge. By the way everybody thought the Bid was a cinch just like they think Big Brown is tommorrow. He's very very good, but is he great we'll know at about 6:00 PM tommorrow. A 1 1/2 race unless your Secratariat and run every 1/4 mile faster than the last one, depends on pace and tactics. BB has an edge because his jockey at least rides Belmont regularily. But at some point tommorrow Casino Royal will try to spurt to the lead. Kent D. has to decide if it's too soon to ask his horse for his best. If he makes the right decision his horse will probably win, if not the same thing can happen to Big Brown that happened to Smarty Jones. I don't think anyone thinks Birdstone was a better horse than Smarty, but he did beat him in the Belmont. So don't go out an remortgage the house to bet make your fortune. It's only a cinch after they cross the finish line. I think Tale of Ekati may be ready for a move forward after his works since the Derby. I'll have some thriples with him, BB or Casino and couple of other bombs and hope both favorites aren't in the thriple. There's no money to be made if both favs hit the board.
The meteorite that everyone is mentioning is the final quarter mile. It has taken down horses with better resumes than Big Brown. As a horse player, there are two options, play straight triples with him on top, or take a shot against. Based on the past history of favorites in this particular race (see Steves tables), there is every reason to take a shot against, especially with the quarter crack and very light training schedule (casino drive has done more). I commend those like Steve that are publicly picking against him for having the guts to do so in print. I have yet to get down and dirty with the contenders, but would say in print that one, or more, of the following will finish in front of Big Brown on Saturday. Dennis (the reality is he closed ground on BB at the point in the race BB was making his big move, Dennis was moving too), Casino Drive(would be all over him except for his recent negative appearance on track), Tale (he has "exploded late, not recently but as a 2yo over this surface, twice, so not impossible), Anak Nakal(pure pedigree/Zito play), or even Ready's Echo(who can explode late as even Steve mentions). I see Casino and BB taking over from Da Tara with a half mile to go, opening on the field to the gasps of the masses, only to tire in the final eighth as we have all seen so many time before, with someone else getting to them at the wire a la Anak Nakals daddy Victory Gallop.
Steve, In the Belmont section on here you have the wagering menu listed with P4's starting in race 2, 8 and 10. Is that correct? Also I can't believe the Acorn is in the $1M P4. The Just a Game would have made more sense given its larger field. Does NYRA want the guaranteed P4 to pay $100? What will this thing pay if Inidan Blessing wins the Acorn and Big Brown wins the Belmont? Also with the short field in leg 1 and Big Brown being a single on many tickets the P4 can be bought for only $495 (All/All/All/Big Brown). The same situation occured on Preakness day. I split an All/All/All/Big Brown P4 with two people, it cost $576 for a buck and we got back $591. Poor investment because a favorite and second choice won legs 1 and 3. With this sequence having less combinations if Big Brown is singled it will likely pay poorly. It might make more sense to focus on the early and late P4's. Early P4 - 10 x 11 x 11 x 12 = 14,520 combinations $1M P4 - 5 x 9 x 11 x 1 (BB) = 495 combinations Late P4 - 11 x 1 (BB) x 12 x 14 = 1,848 combinations Of course if you think Big Brown is beatable then the $1M P4 and the late P4 would have more potential value. Personally I think he is a strong A, if not a single. I think the early P4 will pay the most, the late P4 second most and the $1M P4 the least. Lenny
The stage is set for the game to possibly provide another "Bud Delp Beatdown", despite what appears to be long odds of it happening. I remember setting at the 1/8 pole in the Belmont grandstand in 1979 watching first Coastal, and then Golden Act go past Spectacular Bid. Living in Maryland at the time, I was so embarrassed by the attitudes of Buddy Delp and extreme confidence conveyed by the Meyerhoffs leading up to the race that I couldn't help but walk out of the track that day with a great sense of satisfaction. Class prevailed. 29 years later we get similar connections of Big Brown to put up with. Geez.....maybe class will make a return appearance to Belmont on Saturday. The Bid went off @ 1-9 in an 8 horse field and Costal paid $10.20. Costal had also won the Peter Pan prior to the Belmont, so maybe, just maybe Casino Drive can shock the general public and return some short term satisfaction to all horseplayers who are tired of watching trainers like Dutrow et al, whose statistics clearly indicate "something is going on". Even if the satisfaction is for only one day....because it's business as usual come Sunday. For those of you who hold onto the foolish notion that Big Brown winning the Triple Crown will somehow be good for racing, get your head out of the sand. The connections of Big Brown are not good for racing; and the horse has no say in the matter. Next stated race - The BC Classic, give me a break, I mean really.... P.S. Due to editting and legal standards applied to all postings in this blog, my comments are completely watered down. I hope everyone can figure out where I'm coming from. Thanks to Andrew Beyer for providing a clear picture to the public of the individuals managing Big Brown.
Hi Steve: Two quick qestions: 1. How are you going to play the $1 million Pick 6? Given that there are 3 heavy favorites (Benny the Bull, Indian Blessing and Big Brown) in the 6 race sequence, along with 3 wide open races, is the strategy to play multiple tickets whereby you solo on 1 or 2 of these horses and play against the other(s) on each ticket? History suggests that at least one of these favorites will lose, thus creating an overlaid payoff (especially with all the novice money in the pool). 2. Why are there only 2 Superfectas (Races 11 & 13) on the 13 race card? In my opinion, this is a total disgrace and makes no sense, especially give the big fields on most of the races. Races 10 and 12 have large fields and lend themselves to potentially large superfecta payoffs. Why would NYRA limit itself to only 2 Superfectas on its biggest handle day of the year? Thanks again for your insights.
arcstats I ahve very fond memories of the Spectaular Bid Belmont. Or Should I Say the Coastal Belmont. I was making my own beyers (they weren't in the available commercially then) and I was convinced Coastal would win the Belmont. I agonized the whole three weeks between the Preakness and Belmont as David Whitely went back and fort on whther to enter Coastal in the Belmont. I made Coastals Beyers coming into the race 3 to 4 Lenghts better than Bid's. I thought I'd get 8, 10 or maybe 20 to 1. Then the day of the race the back page of the daily news had a huge headline. Russ Harris Say's Coastal To Win Belmont. Itw as literally the whole back page. He went of at 4 to 1. I never forgave Russ Harris. LOL
Right on Steve! It's Denis Of Cork if it's going to be anyone...he actually GAINED on Brown in the stretch of the Derby...hmmm. Also, he just got back to his 2yr old best fig in the Derby and that can signal the quantum leap in figs for his next start; of which he's had 5 weeks rest for. What is the deal with DRF availability in south Louisiana (Lafayette area) lately? Haven't seen em in my newsstand since the Preakness. Only at EvD (where i would NEVER dare to bet) and at over $7 a pop...that's $7 a pop!!! Rough man, rough. If it's dry today Operation Red Dawn should do well.