06/05/2012 3:55PM

Belmont Stakes 2012: Romans wouldn't mind role of villain

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NEW YORK – The Belmont Stakes came to New York City on Tuesday with I’ll Have Another and his quest to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 the obvious center of attention in a special reception at Rockefeller Center. But it was trainer Dale Romans who stole the show. Romans, whose Dullahan could provide I’ll Have Another with his toughest challenge in the race, was asked if he had any mixed emotions about possibly spoiling the party and preventing history from being made on Saturday.

"I’d like to have 120,000 people booing me when I walk out of Belmont Park on Saturday," said Romans. "I have no mixed emotions at all about winning this race."

[BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds]

Like the Pied Piper, I’ll Have Another’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, and jockey, Mario Gutierrez, drew plenty of followers to Manhattan for the well attended event, which also featured appearances by trainer Ken McPeek, who will run Atigun and perhaps Unstoppable U in the Belmont, and jockey John Velazquez. Velazquez, who will be aboard another top contender, Union Rags, for the first time in the Belmont, was the subject of a special video presentation commemorating his induction into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame later this summer.

For Gutierrez, it was his first local appearance since he rode I’ll Have Another to victory in the Preakness 17 days earlier as well as his first visit to New York City.

Gutierrez said even though he has yet to ride a race over the spacious 1 1/2-mile Belmont Park oval, he’s confident of his chances.

"I’ll gallop a few horses in the morning to get the feel of the track, and I’m riding several horses on Friday," said Gutierrez. "I’ll be fine. I’ll Have Another will take care of the rest. I get all my confidence from him."

Gutierrez, O’Neill, and owner Paul Reddam are all scheduled to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium before the Yankee-Mets game on Friday night. And while O’Neill acknowledged his pitching arm is in great shape, he said those plans may have to be canceled since he runs and Gutierrez rides Boxeur des Rues in the Brooklyn Handicap in the final race on Friday’s card at Belmont.

"Post time for the Brooklyn is 5:40 and they want us at the stadium by 6:15," said O’Neill. "Unless they get us a helicopter it doesn’t look good for us making it there on time."

O’Neill reiterated the confidence he has in I’ll Have Another despite the daunting task of attempting to end a 34-year drought in search of racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner.

"There are some really talented horses in this field," O’Neill said. "But as long as I’ll Have Another doesn’t wake up with a headache or on the wrong side of the bed on Saturday morning and doesn’t feel like running, I don’t think he’ll get beat."

Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Dullahan is this year's Ice Box. Check out the story of Ice Box in the 2010 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, and I am being generous to Dullahan because: - Ice Box had 3 wins on dirt before the Belmont including the G1 Florida Derby. Dullahan had never won on dirt, his best efforts were two 3rd place finishes on dirt. This race is called The Test of a Champion, and no horse had ever won this race without a prior win on dirt and this is the 145th running, a race that is older than the Kentucky Derby. - Ice Box made up 7 lengths on Derby winner in the final furlong. Dullahan only made up 2.25 length in the final furlong. - They both have mediocre pedigree for the 12f distance, but Ice Box's pedigree was actually slightly better. His Distance Tomlinson for 12f was 270 vs. 260 for Dullahan and his Dosage Index was 3.36 vs 4.20 for Dullahan. Historically any horse with Distance Tomlinson less than 280 and/or Dosage over 4.20 is a toss out on the win end unless affected by other factors such as sloppy track etc. Tomlinson and Steve Roman's Dosage Index are not always right, but they are almost never both wrong at the same time. Ice Box promptly ran 8th in the 2010 Belmont Stakes. I can understand taking a shot with Dullahan at 10-1 or more, but he's gonna be second choice at around 7-2 to 5-1. Alternatives: - I'll Have Another, the Derby and Preakness winner is a much better bet as I believe that his post time odds will be closer to 3-2. - if not Union Rags is a much better choice at about 9-2 to 6-1. Union Rags was a G1 winner on this very dirt oval, even tho his Distance Tomlinson of 247 for 12f is even worse than Dullahan's, his Dosage Index is a sterling 2.14 which is the same as I'll Have Another's and the second best Dosage in the field behind Five Sixteen. The way Steve Roman calculated his data Union Rags got a boost from his Raise a Native dam sire line while Dullahan was penalized for the most severe in-breeding with Raise a Native on both the sire and the dam sire lines.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
My oh my Rob Beaudoin, Let's be constructive here. There is no right or wrong handicapping angles before a race. No one is right all the time, and no one is wrong all the time either. We'll find out after the race. I state my opinions and I support them with lucid explanations. You don't have to agree with me, we will compare notes after the race. So far between the two of us, it is 2-0 in my favor. Score 1-0: You said 5 or 6-1 on Went the Day Well in the Preakness was a steal. I said classic sucker bet. This is the thread: http://www.drf.com/news/2012-preakness-cleaner-trip-may-be-all-went-day-well-needs Score 2-0: You insisted that IHA would be even money chalk in the Preakness, I said that he will vie for favoritism with Bodemeister at around 2-1 and I was hoping for 5-2. This is the thread. http://www.drf.com/news/2012-preakness-dullahan-trinniberg-drop-out-replaced-teeth-dog-zetterholm I identified Went the Day Well as a sucker bet in the Preakness and Dullahan the same for the Belmont almost a month ago because I have seen the examples before years ago, I might have even been burned by similar setups. See: http://www.drf.com/news/2012-preakness-dullahan-skipping-race-belmont-stakes-next I watch over 1000 races a year and has been doing this for a long time. I am not always right, in fact I'm not afraid to admit that I am right less than 50% of the time. But this game is like baseball, I only have to bat .300 to make money. Occasionally I have to live off 8% cashback wager rewards, that 8% is my cashback level for a wager account that averages over $250k total bets a month. I was a floor trader/money maker on Wall St before this, NYSE trading hours, before the bell, after hours, futures, CBOE, overseas etc. I was working 20 hours a day weekdays at my real job, and 10 hours a day weekends absorbing costly lessons on how to handicap thoroughbred races. I burnt out and this is all I do now. I make now 20-25% of what I used to make, I really don't miss it I have more free time to pursue other interests.
Shibbley More than 1 year ago
Dead closers rarely win the Belmont.
Joe Tartaglia More than 1 year ago
Dead closers rarely win any race.
Robert Konazewski More than 1 year ago
Breathright noseband is outlawed in NY. IHA runs without it for 1st time since he began his winning streak. If he labors in stretch going 1.5M, Dullahan will be coming and take it all. You can take that to the bank!!
3pac69 More than 1 year ago
Dullahan is exactly the kind of closer that can run down IHA, especially if Mario G. moves too early as many others before him have. Romans may be full of hot air sometimes but you can't deny the horses he puts out there. They are dangerous and he is becoming one of the better trainers out there.
Bob More than 1 year ago
How can anyone say Dullahan can't get the distance? He was closing faster than IHA in the Derby, he's run more distance races, he's got Derby winner & Breeder's Cup Classic winner Unbridled on one side, his dam is also the dam of a Kentucky Derby winner
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Ice Box too in the 2010 Derby
Morris More than 1 year ago
take him (ggg) " with a grain of salt. dont send him to another sport. we need people like him to help build the mutuel pools. " an ole railbird" said it .
D More than 1 year ago
Grass is Greener is a real idiot. It is painful to read his posts... I mean this guy thinks IHA is going to pay $5 to win the Belmont!! LOL Try 1-9 MORON!
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
7/5 is fair odds. Dullahan will draw money, as will Paynter and Union Skags. I can see Paynter or Bolero's Boy or IHA winning. Of course, IHA looks slightly the best.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
3/5 is my best guess. Every bozo who has never been to track before betting this horse. Dullahan will be between 9/2-6/1 Union Rags will be between 7/2-5/1 Paynter will be 12/1 ish. Street Life to me the only other horse other than those with a shot.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
This Belmont Stakes' win pool will total $5mil or more. Let's assume $5mil. To be even money, the amount bet to win on IHA has to be about $1.9mil. Now let's pretend 100,000 people in America each buys a $2 souvenir win ticket on IHA, that's $200,000 of souvenir tickets bet to win on IHA. Assuming IHA was even money, it will lower his odds from even money to 9/10.
Joe Tartaglia More than 1 year ago
What point are you trying to make? Do you really think he's going to be better than even money?
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
No doubt IHA will be around 3-2, may even creep up to closer to 2-1. What did you think Afleet Alex, Point Given, Empire Maker, AP Indy, Risen Star and Swale go off at? These were much more popular and even more highly regarded horses that routinely went off at odds on before the Belmont Stakes. IHA has never even been 3-1 in 7 career starts, he was 3.20-1 in the Preakness, a race in which longshots rarely come in. When you mention the Belmont Stakes, the first thing people think about is longshots. Coupled that with the no name rider and the controversies surrounding the trainer, IHA will definitely go off at a higher odd than those legendary horses.
Michael Castellano More than 1 year ago
IHA will have a tough time winning. The distance is never run and like Beyer's says,theyare bred for speed alone. The race is often won by long shots, so pick one, maybe you'll get llug get lucky. Good luck!!!
Arnie More than 1 year ago
We heard you the first time! J/k mc.
Michael Castellano More than 1 year ago
IHA will have a tough time winning. The distance is never run and like Beyer's says,theyare bred for speed alone. The race is often won by long shots, so pick one, maybe you'll get llug get lucky. Good luck!!!