The nearly three decade drought is over. Big Brown takes over after six furlongs, opens up a clear lead, and holds off a very game Denis of Cork by two lengths to win the Belmont Stakes.
That is my prediction and although it is the way I see the Belmont unfolding, to back myself up I will also use Denis of Cork in the top spot. Since the trifecta is unlikely to pay much with Big Brown on top, I will play a superfecta. Here is my $1 ticket that costs $112:
With Big Brown on top it still has potential to pay over $1,000 if Casino Drive runs out. And if you have read any of my stuff this week, I think there is a good possibility this will happen. The agonizingly slow :57 four-furlong work on June 5 convinced me that Casino Drive is a tired horse, and he will also not take to an off track, if weather plays a factor. If I am wrong, so be it. His 3-1 odds won't make me feel like I missed a big score.
Big Brown wins because he is a push button horse who has not even been asked for his best yet. He should have plenty left in the tank even though his breeding suggests 12 furlongs is not an ideal distance. This horse has no problem rating, Desormeaux is experienced enough to know not to move him too early, and there does not seem to be enough talent in here to keep him from becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner.
I definitely think Denis of Cork is an improving horse and if Big Brown has an off day, he could pull the upset. I also expect Tale of Ekati to improve some off his 4th-plave Derby. He may be a factor. Macho Again and Ready's Echo might be charging late to get a piece of the money. I can't see any other horse challenging.
There you have it. Forget about Dutrow's arrogance, IEAH's business-first operation, the quarter crack, the Hooters girls, the racing Gods, and whatever other reasons you think will prevent Big Brown from becoming a Triple Crown winner. The horse keeps getting better and he has no equal in this race.
My late Pick 4 selection will come out Friday.