Belmont Picks 2009

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The final leg of the Triple Crown has finally arrived. The Belmont Stakes will be contested at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday. Flying Private and Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will be the only horses to compete in all three legs of the Crown. Most of the horses in this race have never been 1 ½ miles and will never go this far ever again. It is truly a Test of Champions.

Kiaran McLAughlin has trained only one Belmont Stakes starter, and that was the 2006 winner Jazil. He is hoping to make it two for two with Charitable Man. He has always been high on the colt and even said that the son of Lemon Drop Kid is one of top five best three year olds in the country. I have to agree with him. Charitable Man is my top selection to win the Belmont Stakes.

Charitable Man made a big splash in his first start when he won by 11 ½ in maiden special weight company at Saratoga. He earned a massive 96 BSF for that effort. It is very rare to see any horse run a BSF that high in his first race. McLAughlin instantly recognized his potential and took him to the Grade 2 Futurity for his next start. He won that race by a single length over future stars Flying Pegasus and Kentucky Derby favorite Friesan Fire. Unfortunately, he would soon incur an injury and would not be seen again for nearly seven months.

His next start came in the Grade 1 Bluegrass Stakes and he was up against some stiff competition. He was trying synthetic dirt for the first time. While he was training well, it was too much to ask for him to run a big race and he finished seventh. McLAughlin then regrouped and decided to go back to the dirt and give the Grade 2 Peter Pan a try. Jockey Alan Garcia laid eight lengths back in second behind the freakishly fast pace and bided his time. The decision paid off, as he jogged home to a 3 ¾ length Scoreunder a steady right hand whip. Charitable Man earned a career high BSF of 100 for that effort.

Charitable Man has enough tactical speed and stamina to be successful in the Belmont Stakes. He has shown heaps of ability and is a perfect 3 for 3 over dirt tracks. He is also a multiple Grade 2 winner over the Belmont surface. Kiaran McLAughlin and Alan Garcia definitely know what they are doing. All systems are going for the son of Lemon Drop Kid, and I expect him to run a career best race at the morning line odds of 3-1.

Another appealing option is Summer Bird. Trained by Tim Ice and ridden by Kent Desormeaux, he was most recently sixth in the Kentucky Derby. That race was only his Fourth career start and he desperately needed the experience. He popped a 99 BSF when finishing third in the Arkansas Derby, so we know that he has plenty of potential. The only bad thing about the son of Birdstone is his closing style. This race treats horses better that are able to stay close to the pace and that have enough stamina to keep pushing home. He is a threat to win at 12-1 and should be includedon all exotic tickets.

I don’t like Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner up Mine That Bird in this spot. His closing style will work against him, and is coming off the two biggest races of his career. That has to catch up with him sooner or later. I expect the public to bet him down from the 2-1 ML odds and will give little to no value. I might use him to round out a trifecta or superfecta ticket, but definitely not on top.

Other viable options include $3.7 million auction purchase Dunkirk, the Garrett Gomez ridden Chocolate Candy, and the Nick Zito trainees Miner’s Escape and Brave Victory. D Wayne LUkas has won the Belmont Stakes Four times and will send out the duo of LUv Gov and Flying Private as he did in the Preakness. The Belmont Stakes is shaping up to be an exciting race and it could pay huge dividends if you are able to hit the trifecta or superfecta. Good luck and check back to for the latest horse racing information!



$2 EXACTA 6/1,2,4,9,10

$1 TRIFECTA 6/1,2,4/1,2,4,7,9,10

$1 SUPERFECTA 6/1,2,4/1,2,4/1,2,4,7,9,10



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