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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Belmont 140

When my tickets arrived via the big brown delivery truck today via the Capital Region, I could only wonder if it was an omen for good things to come Saturday evening. History to be made, cocktails to be tipped, train rides to be enjoyed, weather forecast looking bright, hmmmm, could this be the year? I don't think I can read another article or analyze much more at this point. I've seen what I need to and I just don't think this field can touch Big Brown and his Triple Crown hopes. He's won from the outside, from a middle post in the Preakness and now in leg number 3 he will win from the inside post. Prado tried to trap him at Pimlico, but Edgar's on a different type of horse this race (not a speed favoring horse like Riley Tucker), so I don't think that will be his plan of action. Brown has shown that he can rate and accelerate when Desormeaux asks. This horse race is for second.

So the play here will be the trifecta as obviously at 2-5 or less there's not much value in betting him to win (other than for the souvenir). I think Denis of Cork, with five weeks rest, nice jockey change to Albarado, decent works, pedigree and dosage will be the place horse. Tale of Ekati (two wins over Big Sandy, five weeks rest, solid trainer and jockey) will battle his way for the show. I like Pletcher's Ready's Echo who should be closing late to round out the superfecta. We'll also play a five horse superfecta box by adding Casino Drive. I'm not convinced the Japanese horse will pull off the Better than Honour three-peat and am hoping he gets bet down heavily by the expected large Asian contingent, to improve DOC and TOE prices on the tote board.

I'm excited to see a lot of talented horses on the undercard such as Thor's Echo (BC Sprint winner in 2006) and fellow millionaire Benny the Bull in the True North (G2); the Just a Game (G1) features Lady of Venice, Bit of Whimsey, the ever dangerous Criminologist, Sharp Susan and Vacare. That race could be the best of the day. The Acorn (G1) kicks off the guaranteed Pick 4 has just a five horse field, with BC Juvenile Filly champ Indian Blessing making her return from a spring freshening. The Woody Stephens (G2) has J Be K and Majestic Warrior as the name entries. The opening act for the Belmont, the Manhattan (G1) after Einstein's defection as reported here yesterday, includes the ever present Better Talk Now (one of my favorites), and Shakis. Better Talk Now's rabbit Shake the Bank is also entered, but regular jock Tommy Turner (who I met down at GP a few years ago) gives up the ride to Jeremy Rose, you can bet the house he'll be out front at the first call.

Here's to a fun, exciting and safe Belmont. We'll be starting the wave down in Section 2B, so keep an eye open...(just kidding, i hate the wave). Best of luck to all.



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