06/06/2013 5:11PM

Steven Crist: Belmont picks have familiar ring to them

Tom Keyser
Overanalyze may be better than double-digit morning-line odds suggest.

My 1-2-3 picks for the Belmont Stakes are the same 1-2-3 picks I made five weeks ago for the Kentucky Derby, even though they ran 11-1-3 instead of 1-2-3 and none of them won the Preakness. I swear I am not merely being stubborn. Let me explain.

[BELMONT STAKES: Live updates and video from Belmont Park]

I picked Overanalyze over Orb in the Derby and got absolutely no run for my money. In a hot-paced Derby where horses running 16th, 15th, and 17th early ended up leading the field under the wire, you would think the race set up well for a horse who was 14th early. Overanalyze gained only three places and was beaten more than 13 lengths.

Many handicappers concluded that this proved Overanalyze a second-rater, and maybe they'll be proven correct. However, I think that as the winner of the Belmont Futurity, Remsen, and Arkansas Derby, he is better than that and deserves another chance, especially at a big price. He was 16-1 in the Derby and he's 12-1 on the morning line for the Belmont.

Price is one of the few things not to like about Orb. He may well turn out to be the best of these 3-year-olds, and he's easy to root for because his connections are sporting and likelier to keep running him in important races than to hustle him off to stud. I think he'll be around 2-1 Saturday, and that just seems too short a price on two counts.

First, for whatever reason, since Affirmed's Triple Crown in 1978, only two Derby winners have won the Belmont - Swale and Thunder Gulch. Second, while Orb's Derby was visually impressive, it received a ho-hum Beyer Speed Figure, and his Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby figures were similarly mediocre at best. He's a very nice horse, but not a spectacular talent at this stage.

Revolutionary strikes me as a horse whose best days are in front of him. He took a while to get his act together and was still green winning the Louisiana Derby before running a solid third at Churchill Downs. It won't take a lot of improvement to pull him closer to Orb.

As for leaving out Oxbow, he's obviously talented, but I don't think he'll get the same dream setup he did in the Preakness, where he got loose and relaxed on the lead through a very mild pace of 1:13.26 for the first six furlongs. It appears he will have some company early this time in addition to having to stretch out an additional five-sixteenths of a mile.

However the race turns out, my fondest hope is that the principals in this year's Triple Crown races stick around and race for a while. Last year, I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, and Union Rags never ran again after the series but still justifiably finished 1-2-3 in the voting for the 3-year-old championship when no other 3-year-old routers emerged to be factors later in the year. Racing is a lot more fun when the 3-year-olds continue to improve and race and take on the top older horses in the fall.

Goodbye to an editor

Of the roughly 700 columns I've written for Daily Racing Form over the last 15 years, this is the last one that will be edited by Rich Rosenbush, who signed on as Executive Editor in 1998 and later became our Editor-in-Chief. He's been fooling with my copy even longer than that, having been my principal editor on the sports desk of The New York Times when I was their racing writer from 1981 to 1990.

Rich was a building block of the new team that bought Daily Racing Form in 1998, and the architect of the goal to make it a professional, objective news operation with high standards and top writers. He succeeded and was widely respected not only by his staff but also by industry leaders, even when they disagreed with something in the paper.

We had our dustups over the years when he would call to strongly suggest I eliminate an unnecessarily inflammatory adjective, or had been less than fair. I usually argued with him, but had to concede the next day when I read the column in print that he had been right. He made us better writers and made this a better newspaper.

Irwin Cohen More than 1 year ago
Wow the 70s were really the golden years in this sport and i was all over it then wtf happened ?
bill bart More than 1 year ago
Does anyone know why? So "sad' to not have any blog from Steve today ... his beloved NY Belmont.
Jim More than 1 year ago
The richest man in NY is Serlings bookmaker
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Right on I think he rolls the dice to get his picks. How he gets paid for this job I can only guess some of my best scores are made beating his best of the day.
Janine Barrett More than 1 year ago
ok I picked Oxbow the day before the race, and He did so well.. yes the pace was slower, but I think he will be in the money... my sleeper is Midnight taboo.. even though his bloodlines scream turf, I think he will upset the field. My tri box: 9,7/ 7,8,9/3,8,12... good luck all!
Frank Kulcsar More than 1 year ago
#12-early speed--no mud in the eye here
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Will take Charge , will take charge under old man Jon Court later on today. Big horse of DWL should just love the size this track . Don"t see really any horses being in any kind of trouble today going a 1 1/2. Will take Charge wins this one outright and shows alot of young riders that the old guys still got some run in them ! $1 tri Wheel Will take Charge Revolutionary ALL.
Theerth Easwaran More than 1 year ago
oh my god , that means we will not see your writings, what a sad day, Dear steve, i love your book Exotic betting, it is a wonderful guide , it is helping me here in india any way thanks for your write ups.hope you will continue to pen some more books and certainly blog. thank you Dear steve Easwaran india
Richard Tihamam More than 1 year ago
A big THANK YOU to Rich Rosenbush and "King Of Pick Six" You guys score phenomenally high in the kind-o-meter. Seriously, I checked, we sincerely appreciated. Anyway, Vyjack and Will Take Charge are long forgotten items, well...one of them will be something to talk about later on tonight.
steve szymanski More than 1 year ago
I've been say OVERANALYZE all week. I think you have a winner, Steve.
Donald Henry More than 1 year ago
I see a Prado repeat of 2005