BELMONT STAKES PICKS
PREVIEW OF EACH ENTRY
By Ryan Patterson
On Saturday June 7, 2008 Big Brown will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in the history of horse racing. We have seen many horses do what he has done thus far only to falter on the this final leg, this test of champions. Big Brown has something on his side that many of them did not. He is undefeated and has never had another horse look him in the eye. Kent Desormeaux has not had to ask Big Brown for everything he has yet. Will he have to do that in the Belmont Stakes? There is only one way to find out. Below is a preview of each horse followed by Our official Belmont Stales picks including win, place, show as well as a trifecta and superfecta.
#1 Big Brown– What can I say about this colt that hasnt already been said? He has been bulletproof so far. Despite this, horses are not MAChines. This will be his third race in five weeks, so he has every excuse to bounce if he does. He will break from the rail, something he hasnt had to do yet. I still expect him to run a great race. The stars have aligned, Our Triple Crown winner has arrived.
#2 Gaudalcanal– You can throw this one out, he has ZERO chance. This horse winning would be the equivalent of the Miami Dolphins winning the Super Bowl.
#3 MACho again– The white hot Garrett Gomez will pick up the mount on this colt. He has serious distance questions. Although he was second in the Preakness, he didnt beat much. I could see him picking up third or Fourth possibly, but his chances for the runner up nod are slim.
#4 Denis of Cork– The first thing that comes to mind when I look at this horse is the fact that Calvin Borel has lost the mount. I can only guess as to why, but the horse had success with him. Robby Albarado will get the call this time. The added distance of the Belmont Stakes should bode well for this deep closer. Their doesnt seem to be enough speed to set up for him, but it wouldnt be a shocker if he won. Im thinking he is looking at second or third most likely.
#5 Casino Drive– He lies the main threat to Big Browns Triple Crown conquest. As you probably already know, this colt is a ¾ sibling to the 2007 winner Rags to Riches, and ½ sibling to the 2006 winner, Jazil. Distance should be no problem. His win in the Peter Pan was awfully impressive, and he gets Edgar Prado who has won the race several times. Look for him to be right there when they come down to the wire.
#6 Da Tara– Little to no chance, you can put an X on this one.
#7 Tale of Ekati- Barclay Tagg will be in the spoiler role this time, instead of going for the Crown as he was with Funny Cide in 2003. Strangely, Big Brown has been in the stall of the 2003 winner Empire Maker, who defeated Funny Cide. Time for a little role reversal? Probably not, as dstance is a serious concern, and I think he isnt good enough anyway. I would include him third and Fourth on the exotics, but dont count on him for second.
#8 Anak Nakal– This ones name means mischievous child in Arabic. He could prove mischievous with jockey Leparoux back up, who was aboard for his Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club victory. He hasnt been the same horse since. I would use him third and Fourth as a price horse, but he is not a horse you MUST include.
#9 Readys Echo– I like ascending Beyer Speed Figure pattern on this one, but he is probably outclassed in this spot. I wouldnt use him on my exotic tickets.
#10 Icabad Crane– I had the pleasure of watching this horse in person at Turfway Park in the Rushaway Stakes. He is quite a horse, and went from there to win the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico. He had a bit of trouble in the Preakness and still ran a Game third. I encOurage you to use him second and third in your exotics.
Our official Belmont Stales Picks
1st- Big Brown
2nd- Casino Drive
3rd- Denis of Cork
$2 Trifecta Big Brown/ Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Tale of Ekati/ Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Tale of Ekati, MACho again, Icabad Crane, Anak Nakal
S1 Superfecta Big Brown/Casino Drive/ Tale of Ekati, MACho again, Icabad Crane, Denis of Cork/ALL