Belmont 143 Picks

At this point in the season, I think most would have to agree that the current 3-year-old class has been far from overwhelming. The parity that exists amongst them, coupled with the average speed figures and final times, has made this an ordinary group so far. A superstar may still come out of the class of 2011, but that has not happened in the first five-plus months of the season. I'm sorry is that offends some people, but I call it like I see it.

That said and without a Triple Crown on the line, the Belmont Stakes is a fairly interesting race. With the top seven finishers back from the Derby for the first time ever, Derby winner Animal Kingdom squaring off against Preakness winner Shackleford, and a full 12-horse field, the Belmont is a decent betting race.

I won't give a lengthy analysis; instead I'll focus on the late Pick 4 worth a guaranteed $1 million. Animal Kingdom is a standout to me based on his consistency and how well he seems to have come out of the first two Triple Crown races. Shackleford, who I do not believe is best suited for 12 furlongs, had a much better trip in the Preakness and still would have been passed by Animal Kingdom in another 100 yards. Animal Kingdom ran a very good race considering how much dirt he had kicked in his face and how much ground he had to overcome. He seems like he will relish the extra ground and is the most likely winner.

I think enough of Nehro's chances that I will include him on top of all of my tickets. You really can't fault anything he did in his last three races, and he gives the impression that he is a horse that keeps getting better and wants longer. Nakatani mistimed his move in the Derby or he very well may have won that race. Based on those factors, he should have a very good chance.

If forced to give my top four, Mucho Macho Man and Master of Hounds would round out my choices. If he can keep his shoes on (has there ever been a horse to lose shoes in a pair of $1 million races?) he should benefit from the rider switch to Ramon Dominguez, who has won practically every race in New York except the Belmont. He has seemed to really take to the surface at Belmont and usually gives an honest effort.

Master of Hounds ran pretty well in his first start on dirt. Aidan O'Brien probably took the last five weeks to tighten the screws and there is a good chance Master of Hounds will move forward again. He is certainly bred to go this far and should probably be included in all tickets.

After those four, I'm not overly intrigued, certainly not by any newcomers. I suppose Stay Thirsty and Santiva will be used on a few tickets, but Animal Kingdom, Nehro, Mucho Macho Man, and Master of Hounds trifectas and superfactas are the big plays for me.

Now for the late Pick 4.

Woody Stephens

I'm using Travelin Man as my single. I'm tossing the Derby Trial, where he was on the pace but faltered at the top of the stretch. Pletcher said he struggled to get over the track that day and he's putting a line through it. The cutback to seven furlongs, a distance he won at in the April 3 Swale, should only help him. He's had three very sharp works since the Derby trail---all at Belmont. Breaking from post 1, you can bet he will be on or right near the lead. I'm betting that he is fast enough to hold off J J's Lucky Train, Little Drama, and Justin Phillip.

Just a Game

I like Gypsy's Warning most here but will go four deep and also use Aviate, Fantasia, and Justaroundmidnight. The Jenny Wiley is a throw out for Gypsy's Warning ; she just didn't handle the yielding turf. If you toss that one, she has been sharp for more than a year since shipping to the U.S. She shows a nice work pattern since the Jenny Wiley and should be much sharper here for Graham Motion at a distance that she is probably best suited for. Aviate and Fantasia are both very logical as favorites for many reasons. Justaroundmidnight is my hunch play coming off the bench for Biancone and Gomez. She has been working up a storm at Monmouth. C.S. Silk is a reluctant exclusion.


I'm hitting the "all" button here. Gio Ponti is vulnerable to me. Not only because it's first race back from Dubai, but because I'm of the belief that he has lost a half step. Belmont is his preferred surface and having won this race in 2009 and finishing second last year, he has to be respected. But at 8-5 or lower and against at a few horses that are capable of beating him, there is room for an upset here. Prince Will I Am nearly always fires and with the right pace scenario will have a very good chance. Viscount Nelson has fared pretty well against top-level horses in Europe.  Al Khali can run a big races every once in a while. I'm hoping for a price here.


I like Animal Kingdom and Nehro most, but respect Mucho Macho Man and Master of Hounds enough to use all of them.

50-cent Pick 4 ($72)--1/1,2,6,9/All/1,6,9,10

Good luck to everyone. Let me know who you like.


Leave a Comment:

Fran Loszynski

Shackleford deserves it.

Nehro will be on his heels if he tires.

and Animal Kingdom neck in neck with Shackleford. Mucho Macho Man along with Nehro.

If there is a longshot  Prime Cut sneaks in and jumps out front.

Master of Hounds could even take it all. But I want and hope

Shackleford ! He reminds a little bit of Secretariat and with Unbridled in his lineage-enough said. I hope he doesn't tire because we could see a follow-up to Secretariat. But- Nehro that second place was no fluke, awh gee! who knows!!!!

09 Jun 2011 3:36 PM

While I dont disagree with any of your picks you are playing a lot of chalk and I think $72 is too much for a combination that includes Gio Ponti and Animal Kingdom in the last two legs.I am glad that you gave your picks and like horses you didnt pick but I will not try to be so ambitous and play doubles with horses that pay more if I get the right odds.

09 Jun 2011 4:47 PM

My Belmont picks which honestly are somewhat chalky so it probably isn’t a good race to bet much on

Key AK and Shack


AK, Shack, Brilliant Speed, and Nethro---$12 Total

it’s only going to pay $60 or $70 IF IT HITS --maybe over $100 if Bril Speed cracks it--better races to bet

P6 started not finished 3 of 6

I 1/2 like is Al Khali only because I believe he doesn't like Churchill and having a $100 plus bet two back he had absolutely no excuse for not closing the deal--but I admit I am a sucker for him because given even a glimmer of room he wins two more big stakes last year.

There are many reasons to take a shot against Turbulent Decent--but I WILL GO CHALK and pick her---I just think she is the best and you have to single somewhere win or lose. CA Horse and all

That with the Derby and Preakness Winners on the back end (note I picked Shackford in the Preakness so no Johnny Come Lately)

3 of pick 6 one (TD) by two (Al and Gio) by two (Shack and AK)--the other races since I am in another airport waiting to go home and without a form but a good memory I haven't a pick yet for the middle races(will)

I really want to pick Straight Shot as a bomb because of the pace scenario I expect which will also hinder my 2 but can't because he just doesn't look good enough. These are not NYB's although he beat a very good but troubled trip horse last time but was off a layoff---big step up---3rd horse in tri?

09 Jun 2011 5:35 PM
mr pibb

Just 5 short weeks ago the thing called draynay was wailing like a baby about Animal Kingdom having "only" won a G3 on poly and that he didn't deserve to even be in the Derby after he won. Looking at the most recent blog before this one I now see he's choosing two horses to finish 1-2 that are maiden winners only. Not even a first level allowance win between them but now it doesn't matter. The guy doesn't know from day one to day two what he actually believes. A classic case of needing to hear yourself talk when no one else will listen. On the other hand maybe he's remembering how the Belmont can be tricky after watching his beloved Big Brown get beaten by a full field of allowance horses and even by a horse who had never won his maiden race.  

09 Jun 2011 6:12 PM


EX Box:

Animal Kingdom - (my top pick) I just think  he will be very tough to beat here.

Brilliant Speed - Built for the distance and the grinder type plus 5 weeks of rest.

Master of Hounds - Same as above, only downfall is he is traveling an awful lot.

Nehro - since his maiden win he has never run a bad race, but may have the case of seconditis. (That's why he is in my exacta :) )

Prime Cut - Hunch play, at first his connections didn't want to run him but then they changed their minds after his work.

WPS money on Santiva and MMM

Reluctantly not using shackleford.

Of course, like my ky derby bets, I bet after I get a good look at each horse in the post parade. I switched soldat for nehro in the derby because soldat was drenched with sweat and looked really nervous, it was the best gambling decision I have ever made so far. However, this did NOT help me when I jumped off shackleford because he was drowning in his sweat before the preakness. Still, I stick to this almost all the time because it works.... most of the time.

09 Jun 2011 6:18 PM

Im really looking forward to this race. It intrigues me because of Shackleford being lone speed and running far beyond his breeding. Ive been lucky enough to have used him in the Fla derby and also the Preakness to get both trifectas. So my heart wants to use him again. The only problem I have is my head tells me his will be either 3rd or 4th. This horse has such heart but many really good horses have slowed in the last 1/8th of a mile at Belmont.

I will have to single Animal Kingdom in both the first and second spots as he looks like a horse that wont let us down. Also want to toss Nehro because he certainly wont win this race. but will have to use him underneith. Lots of horses have second itis and this one certainly fits the bill. On the far turn in the Derby he made a great move and looked like he would fly by the Shack. Did you notice as soon as he got even he slowed down. I say he is only a maiden winner for a reason.

MMM doesnt want to run a mile and a half either but just hasnt told anyone yet. Master of Hounds and Animal Kingdom exacta box. Will use these two with the Shack  singled in 3rd and 4th. Toss the newcomers and use the other four in the 3rd and 4th spots with the Shack.

Good luck to everyone and may they all come home safe and happy.  

09 Jun 2011 6:51 PM
The Rock

I like your P4 ticket Jason. I'm a little hesitant on Traveling Man as a single b/c he's breaking from the rail. Haven't looked at the pp's yet, but I remember Justing Philip making that move last time out in the Jerome?...where he looked like he was cruising and then hung. If he's able to reproduce that effort, I think he'll keep going. But I guess you have to single somewhere. Gio Ponti is definitely the best in the Manhattan, but if you're going to beat him, this is the race to do it. Very well put together.

09 Jun 2011 6:57 PM

Animal Kingdom could not run down a tired Shackleford so there is NO REASON to believe he will run 1 1/2 and beat fresh horses.  Master of Hounds will have to contend with a fresh Nehro and I will box them in the Exacta but my win choice is Master.  He trains for this distance and his trainers have won many races at this distance.  Master wins, back him up with Santiva, Nehro and Animal Kingdom for the Tri.

09 Jun 2011 7:58 PM
Paula Higgins

Animal Kingdom, Shackleford, Nehro and Mucho Macho Man. Animal Kingdom is the best horse there. Should be fun. I think Animal Kingdom is the closest thing to a Super Star we have since Uncle Mo is out of commission. But there is no one on the scale of Zenyatta and Rachel for certain.

09 Jun 2011 9:30 PM
Dr Max

My son, brother, wife, and I hit a grandslam in the KDerby soloing ANIMAL KINGDOM on top.  We had the WIN, PLACE, EXACTA ($2), TRIFECTA ($1), & SUPERFECTA ($1) for a total of $27,000.00 - and we only made a pool bet of $255.00! If ANIMAL KINGDOM had passed SHACKLEFORD in the PREAKNESS, we would have won another $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 because we would have had the TRIFECTA, SUPERFECTA, & the PICK-5! Darn that SHACKLEFORD!

In this Saturday's Belmont Stakes, here's how I see it:  ANIMAL KINGDOM will assert his quality and class in this 3-year old crop when he repeats the same late move he made in the KDerby. SHACKLEFORD will surprise many by disappointing them and finishing out of the money; MUCHO MACHO MAN could be another who will not run to expectations. Throwing out SHACKLEFORD and MUCHO MACHO MAN will increase the exotic payouts. Horses to put underneath ANIMAL KINGDOM are MASTER OF HOUNDS, NEHRO, BRILLIANT SPEED, SANTIVA, and STAY THRISTY. Even with AK on top, these exotics should pay reasonably well.

I think this Belmont Stakes is one of the most interesting Belmonts when a Triple Crown is not on the line. It is definitely a great betting race. I think it will be ANIMAL KINGDOM's coming-out party!

09 Jun 2011 10:40 PM

I am really torn here.  I like Animal Kingdom, Shackleford and MMM, but they are at the end of the triple crown and I wouldn't be surprised to see all three miss the board.  However, I cannot bet against Shackleford as I gave money away at the Preakness by not putting him on top.  His lone speed here may allow him to get away by 5-6 lengths at the half mile pole.  I can see him stealing this one.

I really love watching the overhead view of the Derby and seeing Master of Hounds final move.  He sure impressed me with how easily he was dodging horses, with more ground and a second time with GG on his back he is dangerous.  However, Draynay has picked him and could really affect his performance!

Mine that Bird went 1st in the Derby, 2nd Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont, I am seeing the same thing for AK.  My two trifecta bets will be:



$24 each

Late $50 P4:

1,5,6/ 1,2,5,6/ 2,4,6,8/1,9,12


Good Luck to all!

09 Jun 2011 10:41 PM

Still Shackleford for me here, come rain or shine. If he's 5/1 or more, I'll just straight bet him. If he's less, I will take a shot with the following horses in the bottom slot of the exactas:

Ruler On Ice

Brilliant Speed

Prime Cut

Out of these three, Ruler On Ice intrigues me the most. Visually, if you look at his races it looks like he's screaming for more distance. Also, he's never lost ground in the stretch in all but one of his races - and in that race he lost a whopping .25 lengths only to get 2nd by less than a length. In that race he was coming off a layoff and it was his first try at 2 turns. He doesn't seem as fast as the others, but looks like a good one-paced horse who can carry it further when the others are spitting the bit.

Two exacta keys:

9 over 3,5,8

12 over 3,5,8

I'm not going to spend much on this race. I already got the odds I wanted on Shackleford (twice!) and those days will be no more.

They'll have 10-cent superfectas for this race! So just to be in it, I will play the following boxes:

Dry track: 3,6,8,9,12

Wet track: 2,3,9,10,12

Good luck to all!

09 Jun 2011 11:55 PM

Since I only put what I would actually be betting and I never spend big money on P6--maybe 3 or 4's but never P6---I will make a cheap ticket and leave out a few I'd like

On closer look Turbulant Descent still is the pick who I will single but I might go down quickly if Victoria Wildcat-- who may add I cashed on both times this year-- kills (feel she is the only one who could) me for my lack of loyalty.X1

Have to go 3 D/Phil,Trappe Shot,Calibrachoa X3

Very shakey here--speed wasn't really holding when Travelin Man last ran all that day BUT the place horse was with him on the lead and just got beat--I'll pitch him using Justin Phillip --Arch Traveler hoping Lezcano's agent going to son instead of dad's horse knows what he is doing--JJ always shows up and the pace might help his cause---got to use X3

What to some may look easy--this is my toughest race Aviate looks the best and is a "must use" but I just don't like her. If I were spending big bucks I would hit the ALL button---since I really would spend that on a P6 I will narrow to 3 and go down on this leg probably -Much Rejoicing-Aviate and Fantasia--would not be shocked if any mare in race won this--sucks the placement of this race because it kills very bettable  P3 and P4.  X3 scary like to X9

As above Gio Ponte and Al ka but I will add the English horse Viscount Nelson as he is coming off a very recent cofidence building win and ran Twice Over to a length and was only 4-1 then doing it---prediction--will run Much Better than his shipping mate.

Belmont Derby and Preakness winners

About shipping??? Dale Romans sends out a 2yr old kin to TD hooks a W.Ward, and Dutrow both with excellent works a Pletcher with a big excuse yet ran great and it proved to be a key race as the place horse won back--She shows average works and not many---Doesn't figure but i suspect I will take a flyer SMALL on her and the Fawkes horses who also should be fairly big prices in the 5th and 8th. Anything under 7-1 only any of these 3 Friday picks would make them a pass---none are solid and not worth taking a shot at unless the price warrants it. All are in tough

10 Jun 2011 1:04 AM
Forbidden Apple

I think Brilliant Speed will run past Animal Kingdom for the win. I like that Brilliant Speed is coming into this race a fresh horse. He will need Shackleford to set an honest pace and the rest is up to Rosario.

I'm picking Prince Will I Am and playing him in the double with Brilliant Speed. I will also have to use Gio Ponti in the doubles, he is far to good to ignore.

Take a long look at the Poker on friday's card at Belmont. A horse named Right One has turned into a monster!

10 Jun 2011 1:45 AM

Mr. Pibb my pick is Master of Hounds.  Let me know who your pick is because I guarantee he finishes behind the Master.  Pick on Big Brown ?  The horse who won numerous G1 races with one lone defeat after getting stepped on ?  Really ?  Silly.

Here is your late pick 4.

Race 8 - Arch Traveler loves the track and the distance and a outside post should only help his chances

Race 9 - If it comes up wet I like Strike the Bell and Fantasia.  If it is dry go with Gypsy Warning and Amen Hallelujah.

Race 10 - Viscount Nelson just won with 135lbs on his back need I say more?  18 pounds comes off and the horse gets first time lasix. Winner.

Race 11 - Take Master and Nehro.  Master is rested and can get the distance Shackleford and Animal will not be a factor for the win.

10 Jun 2011 3:29 AM

I'm happy, and a little surprised, that both Animal Kingdom and Shack are running in the Belmont.  I thank the connections of both horses for their sportsmanship, and their desire to settle the rivalry on the racetrack.  

This is in contrast to the 06' Belmont, when to my great disappointment the connections of Bernardini held him out of the race even though he had not run in the Derby.  

10 Jun 2011 3:44 AM

With a win in the Manhattan, Gio Ponti will move into a tie for most gr.1 wins among North American based males this century.  As of today, Gio Ponti's 6 career gr.1 wins leave him 1 shy of Curlin and Lava Man at 7.  

It is highly doubtful that Gio Ponti will ever be viewed as Curlin's equal, but it would be a tremendous accomplishment if he were able to retire with the most gr.1 wins by a North American male so far this millennium.  

10 Jun 2011 3:53 AM
Pedigree Ann

There was a photo of Mucho Macho Man in Bloodstock Review yesterday that was quite interesting. He was trying to graze, but his legs are so long in relation to the rest of him, he had to spread his forelegs apart to get his nose to the ground. This horse is still built like a yearling! He seriously needs some time off to grow up.

10 Jun 2011 10:17 AM
Linda in Texas

You ask, what does what i have to say have anything to do with the price of eggs in China? But here goes.

Today at Ballydoyle, Ireland, the temp is 51.8 F, Humidity is 62%, wind is out of the Northwest at 15 MPH, and it is partly cloudy. So i would venture a guess that Master of Hounds will feel right at home.

And do extremely well. Just a thought.

The weather for tomorrow's race is predicted to be in the high 60's,

which will be a lot cooler than it has been all week during training. I feel it will be a big factor in the race as to the energy left in the tanks of the big giants lumbering to the wire in The Belmont. This coming from an ex Weather Bureau Employee in the mid 1960's.

Good luck everyone. And thanks Jason.

10 Jun 2011 11:22 AM

the belmont ive been thinking of a superfecta using AK, Brilliant speed, Prime cut and Monzon. but it might be a last minute decision. im going to bet Brilliant speed,Monzon and isn't he perfect to win.

the true north i like calibrachoa over frazil.

in the woody stephens im going to use bold warrior little drama and derivative.

the just a game im going to use and strike the bell.

the manhatten im going to use the entry with gio ponti with straight story .

good luck every one.

10 Jun 2011 12:07 PM

imo- Nehro AK and MOH are in my supers, but I also have to look at Dominguez taking the ride on MMM- that's something that bears strong consideration.  Shack to show or for 4th; and in event of wet track, Stay Thirsty is in the mix.





10 Jun 2011 2:09 PM

Everybody likes the favorites or near favorites. I'm using 3

longshots in the mix, Brilliant Speed, Santiva, and Prime Cut who has been very respectable after they wised up and yanked Borel from his saddle.

10 Jun 2011 2:33 PM

Hi! And good luck everybody! I'm Putting MOH and Brilliant speed on top!   And there is a reason to not like animal kingdom. He already peaked...just like nehro and shack......upset likely!

10 Jun 2011 3:43 PM

Every year at this time, I remember True North.  One of Northern Dancer's 25% stakes winners in his first crop and although his race is a sprint, he also won the Widener (when it was essentially a Grade 1) and a couple of other mile or further races.  Wonderful breeding too -- out of a half to Bold Ruler.  Who knows what might have been if he wasn't a gelding -- maybe another really good line from the Dancer.

10 Jun 2011 4:10 PM
Mike Relva

Going with AK for the win. Not of the opinion Gio Ponti has lost anything,going with him also. BTW,DRAYNAY get your excuses ready when AK wins tomorrow,ok?

10 Jun 2011 4:14 PM
Jason Shandler

TrueNicks has Monzon with an A++ rating. Maybe he finishes third or fourth at 50-1 to light up exotics?

10 Jun 2011 4:21 PM



Nehro, Animal Kingdom



10 Jun 2011 4:27 PM
Carlos in Cali

Nehro/AK/MOH box'em!

Arch Traveller/Trappe Shot/JJ's Lucky Train box 'em

Turbulent Descent over It's Tricky over All. You're welcome.

10 Jun 2011 5:01 PM
Pedigree Ann

Mz, the original True North was no slouch, either. A foal of 1940, he won the Hialeah Juvenile at 2 (yes, they had 2yo races at Hialeah in those days) and the big autumn sprint in New York, the Fall Highweight, at 5, 20 wins in 54 starts overall.

10 Jun 2011 5:39 PM

This is one of the toughest Belmont's in sometime due to the very difficult pace scenario it presents. It doesn't appear that there is anyone who will challenge Shackelford early and so we may expect a moderate pace early, but that is not necessarily what may happen. It might be that Master of Hounds will put and keep the pressure on Shackelford early which could lead to some fast early fractions. If that happens I would expect MOH to stay longer than Shack. But they could burn each other out and anyone else who trys to stay close to them and therefore set this race up for a horse with a ton of stamina, who will only get better the further he runs. So I'll pick Ruler on Ice as a longshot to win the Belmont. He standsout to me as a horse that can run with this quality of horses and wants as much distance as possible, a mile and a half? no problem!

10 Jun 2011 6:08 PM

Jason do you really like Monzon in an exotic or just as a longshot bet? I need some help here...

I was on MMM in the Derby, thought it was short for him in the Preakness and had Shackleford but I don't like him at this distance. My other picks in those two races stunk the place up.

I'm thinking back to MMM, MOH and maybe make it an M trifecta with your Monzon?  

The WS Little Drama, Bold Warrior and Derivative in my exotics and a longshot.  

I'm still working on the rest and stumped I am, so I'm up for stealing other people's picks.

10 Jun 2011 7:49 PM
Jason Shandler

I think Monzon could be fourth, but I was more joking.

I think this is going to be a chalky Belmont. Monzon, Santiva, and Stay Thirsty on the bottom of favorites, maybe Ruler On Ice.

10 Jun 2011 8:06 PM

Ugh I'm really not in love with anything running.  

It's supposed to cool off but who knows? If it stays super hot then that makes it tougher yet.

I'm not on Stay Thirsty at all.  Ruler On Ice ah heck maybe I'll just wait until the last second, since I'll be at a simulcast and bet.  I've had a lot of luck with that in past. I hit some real long shots doing that, an epiphany I guess.

Are you really into ST or just on him because of your connection with Repole?  I assume you're friendly with Todd, but I read your noon blog. Eh, might not like some of those comments know what I mean?

10 Jun 2011 8:40 PM
calico cat


Who knew you had that much influence on BH?

10 Jun 2011 9:08 PM

Linda In Texas, nice angle!  I hadn't really considered MOH's greater comfort with the likely weather.  When I read of his antics upon arrival at Belmont I initially thought, no way, traveled too late to adjust; then I thought about Shackleford's behavior leading up to loading, and thought maybe he's just really in high form and has to unleash some energy - maybe he's primed and ready to fire.  Weather may actually help his chances, thanks for pointing it out.

Pedigree Ann, you never fail to see things of particular interest.  In the case of MMM, I'm going to hope for youthful exuberance combined with natural talent and a stride meant for this track, but agree that after this race he probably is due for a bit of a break.  His trainer and breeder have been quoted saying he keeps himself in condition even turned out.  Then again, he may be one of those horses who thrives on continuity and prefers to remain around the people he has grown accustomed to.  Perhaps someone who has spent some time at the track can offer an opinion as to whether he looks stressed or tired out.  He is such a tall, lanky colt who seems to naturally run a bit on the slender side, which given his long legs may actually be better for his still-maturing knees and ankles.  I quite agree overall though that he has the appearance of a juvenile and will be some time yet growing into that frame.

10 Jun 2011 11:28 PM

Zookeeper- lol.  But I didn't see any fascinators mentioned.  I designed one for a girl I knew.  It was a red leather rose complete with metal thorns on the coiled stem, handcuffs and two small riding crops.  A red veil completed it.  I know they are supposed to have feathers, but I just couldn't put a feather on it.  It just didn't seem right.........

11 Jun 2011 12:29 AM

Here are my picks


Brilliant Speed


Animal Kingdom

Stay Thirsty

May they all come back safe to race another day!!

11 Jun 2011 4:41 AM


Based on your quote below, I think you are being hard on the class of 2011.

“I think most would have to agree that the current 3-year-old class has been far from overwhelming. The parity that exists amongst them, coupled with the average speed figures and final times, has made this an ordinary group so far.”

One on the most explosive 3YO was sidelined by an injury i.e., Premier Pegasus. Uncle Mo had his issues. The Factor is already a brilliant miler. The Wood winner Toby’s Corner and Jaycito were also sidelined by injury. The TC series of races was robbed of some potential stars due to injuries. If MMM was able to finish 3rd in the Derby, where would the like of Premier Pegasus, Riveting Reason, Toby’s Corner, Uncle Mo, Arthur’s Tale, Jaycito etc finish. The class of 2011 is certainly better than the 2010 class. The final time for the 2010 Belmont was 2:31.57. This time was the slowest recorded in the last 76 years.

I am of the opinion that with steroid use for racing now prohibited the days of jaw dropping times are behind us. Consequently, exceptional times will be restricted to a few from each crop that are blessed with exceptional speed with the stamina to compliment.

11 Jun 2011 7:46 AM

The dams of seven of the last 10 Belmont winners were from Northern Dancer broodmare line i.e., Drosselmeyer, Summer Bird, Rags To Riches, Jazil, Birdsrone, Empire Maker and Sarava.

Who are the colts whose dams fall in this favorable category? Master Of Hounds, Stay Thirsty, Monzon and Prime Cut.

Seven sons of Mr. Prospector have sired Belmont winners i.e., Seeking The Gold, Afleet, Gone West, Kingmambo, Forty Niner, Gulch and Woodman.

Which colt was sired by a son of Mr. P? Master Of Hounds

Eight of the last 10 Belmont winners’ sires won or placed at 10F or longer. Summer Bird/ Birdstone; Da' Tara/Tiznow; Rags To Riches/A P Indy; Jazil/Seeking The Gold; Birdstone/Grindstone; Empire Maker/Unbridled; Sarava/Wild Again; Point Given/Thunder Gulch.

Who are the colts whose sires fall in this favorable category? Nehro, Isn’t He Perfect, Stay Thirsty, Santiva and Monzon.

Master of Hounds:

Positives: Sired by a son of Mr. P (7 of Mr. P’s sons have sired Belmont winner)); Dam sired by a son of Northern Dancer (5 sons of ND have been broodmare sires of Belmont winners)

Negatives: In the last 53 year Seattle Slew is the only stallion to sire multiple Belmont winners i.e., Swale & A P Indy; Kingmambo never won at 10F.

Do MOH’s negatives supersede his positives? I contend yes. However, on the weight of the success of the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer sire and dam lines he has to be the horse to beat.

The sires Nehro, Isn’t He Perfect, Stay Thirsty, Santiva and Monzon all won at 10F. In the case of Monzon his sire Thunder Gulch sired Belmont winner Point Give. Stay Thirsty‘s sire Benardini won the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont with ridiculous ease and his dam was sired by a son of Northern Dancer. Nehro’s sire Mineshaft also won the JCG. However, his dam was sire by a son of Mr. Prospector and that a major negative. No son of the great stallion has broken through as a broodmare sire in the Belmont. Mine That Bird came close with his third place finish. I consider Santivo lacking the c lass to hit the board although his sire gives him a major stamina influence.

The most intriguing colt in this category has to be Isn’t He Perfect. Four Breeders Cup Classic winners have sired Belmont winners i.e., Tiznow, A P Indy, Unbridled and Wild Again.  Isn’t He Perfect’s sire Pleasantly Perfect is a BCC winner that was produced from a mare sire by TC winner Affirmed. He is one of three horses that have completed the BCC/Dubai WC double with Cigar and Curlin being the others. Isn’t He Perfect dam was sired by a son of Belmont winner Conquistador Cielo. His second dam was sired by Exceller who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Danzig and Sir Ivor sired the 3rd & 4th dams. This colt is bred for 12F. If his trainer would remove the figure eight and blinkers he would be a live exotic horse.

I believe the winner will be MOH. Based on historic data, Isn’t He Perfect, Stay Thirsty, Santiva and Monzon are great exotic options to mix in.

11 Jun 2011 9:11 AM


Thanks for the analysis.  Very helpful.  Let's hope for no more rain and the track can go from Good to Fast.

This Triple Crown trail has been fun. Who knew that Animal Kingdom and Shackleford would come into the Belmont like this?  I agree that this is a mediocre bunch because of their numbers but they are a very competitive bunch and have provided some exciting racing.  Having said that, here's my picks:


Ex Box:

Animal Kingdom


Brilliant Speed


Animal Kingdom is bred for this race, no one has passed him in the stretch of the last two, has shown no regression and is my pick to win.  I'll do a WPS on him. Nehro should be right there.  Would not be surprised if Brilliant Speed or Santiva jump up and win AND I'm looking for a healthy Exacta.

As much as I like Shackleford, I don't think he'll get the 12 furlongs and breaking from the outside, he'll have to be used and I don't think the other riders are going to allow him an easy lead, especially Jose Lezcano on Monzon.  MMM has too many question marks and I don't think he's a 12 F horse.

For what it's worth here's my pick 4:

#8:  Arch Traveler, Little Drama

#9: Aviate,Fantasia

#10: Gio Ponti, Prince Will I Am

#11: Animal Kingdom

Good Luck to all!

11 Jun 2011 10:42 AM

Take a shot in the Belmont:

Box Santiva and Animal Kingdom plus take Santiva on top:

1 - Santiva

2 - Animal Kingdom

11 Jun 2011 1:03 PM

I don't think this will be a chalky finish.  

WPS on Stay Thirsty.  His pedigree looks like a Who's Who of Belmont winners and stamina influences.

I was never on his bandwagon but he does have excuses for his last two bad races.  In Florida he had the failed blinkers experiment.  As for the KD, he'd already shown he doesn't like that track plus he was on the "dead rail" (to quote DRF).  He likes NY though.

11 Jun 2011 1:17 PM
Mike Relva

Can't imagine TD losing today in Acorn. Stay Thirsty has no shot!

11 Jun 2011 2:18 PM
Jason Shandler

based on the muddy track and how it is playing, this is how I decided to structure my late pick 4: 1,2,5/1,2,4,6,9/6,7/6,9.

For the Belmont I am going to use Stay Thirsty and Shack on most of my tickets with AK and Nehro. It's going to be tough to close and the front runners should have an advantage.

11 Jun 2011 3:39 PM
Paula Higgins

Well Skip, I think you are the only one who even mentioned ROI. Good for you. Congratulations to Ruler On ice and his connections. Also, to Mike Repole. I was happy to see Stay Thirsty run a really nice race. Animal Kingdom had some really bad luck but I don't think he was going to win it regardless. The distance was a little too long and Shackleford same thing, clearly. Shackleford did not mind the mud and ran well, but the distance was the issue.

11 Jun 2011 7:15 PM

I can't see where anyone had the winner.  The lousy track condition and the unfortunate start for Animal Kingdom (and maybe MOH who didn't get away either) had a lot to do with the outcome.  Good for the connections, for Kelly Breen and Jose Valdivia, both of whom were very emotional.  It's rewarding to listen to some of the lesser known jockeys and feel their emotions.  In the Preakness Castanon and today Jose (the second consecutive Jose to win a G1 as Espinosa won the Manhattan).


I hope you followed your instincts with Stay Thirsty.  In future, NEVER ask me for advice.


I thought you were going to be a winner today.  Nice race for Runflatout and I can see where he should move forward off his effort today.

11 Jun 2011 7:19 PM

well besides hitting  the manhatten and just a game i had a bad day.

stay thirsty i take back what i said and he's finally starting  to live up to his pedigree. maybe he just likes NY.

and once again i ignore the horse nobody talks about. good for valdivia he deserves along with the rest of the connections

11 Jun 2011 7:26 PM

Belmont 11 $10.00 WPS 3 ONLINE $30.00 $455.50

Not a bad way to end the day..

11 Jun 2011 7:38 PM

Well I had Ruler on Ice,like I said yesterday.

Another Sunland Park Derby connection.

With the muddy track I just didn't think the big heavy horses were going to do much.  

I putzed around on my exotics and had some money on all combinations with ROI.  Only one ticket on the exacta because I was not feeling Stay Thirsty but threw him in on an exotic. Oh well made enough on my bet with ROI to make up for it.

This is sure a mediocre group of three year olds.  Lets hope for better next year.  Switch to the 2 year old races and see how they start to mature and what happens there.

11 Jun 2011 7:52 PM

Nice call by Predict and Rinzler on Ruler on Ice.

11 Jun 2011 8:19 PM


Right on with Ruler on Ice.  Good pick.

11 Jun 2011 9:25 PM
Mike Relva


The jury is out,too early to state this is a Mediocre group.

11 Jun 2011 10:07 PM


I missed you on ROI.  Good pick.

11 Jun 2011 10:54 PM
Jason Shandler

You're right Mike: Mediocre is probably too complimentary.

Coil might be the best 3YO in the country.

11 Jun 2011 11:03 PM

Well, I'll say it first: everything about the 3YO colts is now clear as mud.

(On to the Queens Plate)

11 Jun 2011 11:56 PM

Only two exactas, the Acorn and True North, a show bet on Brilliant Speed and a ROI button after a day of upsets. Should've listened to the kid handing out Ruler On Ice buttons in the paddock.

Shackleford was dropping gears fast in in deep stretch and Nehro bairly got by him lugging in to take 4th by a head. Animal Kingdom and Johnny V had no chance, nice  effort though and big move around the turn, especially for gaining back the stirrup and not falling off. And  the other horse to run in all 3 races, MMM bringing up the rear of the group who werent trotting over the finish line at the end, a tired horse.

I also didn't think Stay Thirsty would hit the board but he ran a nice race at his track. And as for MOH, I think I saw him swimming back to Ireland somewhere around the far turn...

12 Jun 2011 12:17 AM

Zookeeper- congrats on Runflatout's performance today!

12 Jun 2011 12:25 AM
Paula Higgins

Jason, too soon to say that. We have the rest of the season and maybe Animal Kingdom will step back up. Plus, if Mo can come back, who knows what will happen.  

12 Jun 2011 12:30 AM

This is sure a mediocre group of three year olds.

Skip 11 Jun 2011 7:52 PM.

You are particaly correct in the above post, I would state it as a mediocre group that has run in the Triple Crown races, as there are some good 3 Y.O.'s that didn't run in any of the T.C. races in this crop.

12 Jun 2011 12:43 AM


I agree with you on Coil, he is the only consistent 3 Y.O. which makes him better than the rest.

Congrats to anyone who had ROI, I heard someone say he was a wet track specialist, can't remember who said it though. AK had obviously really rough trip, the shack had no chance. This was obviously a wet track fluke. Stay thirsty was not as big of surprise until after the race. I completely bombed on the belmont and manhatten, but got a couple races earlier on the card to finish the day even.

12 Jun 2011 12:55 AM

Jason, I was impressed with Coil today, at least compared to what the rest of his generation was doing at Belmont.  

Although Coil was only winning a grade 3 and only beat a relatively unproven Rnuflatout by a length, folks should not underestimate the middle move Coil was asked to make and then sustain.  Coil made up about 4 lengths into a 24 second quarter, then ran head to head with Awesome Patriot through a 23 and change internal quarter.  That's not a common way to win on any surface, but I think it even more unlikely on Cushion Track or any synthetic.

But moving early was absolutely the correct move by Martin Garcia.  Bejarano on Awesome Patriot was about to get away with larceny because, for some reason, Espinoza on Runflatout wanted nothing to do with the lead or even prompting it.  Garcia saw things unfolding poorly for him, but he did something about it, and was willing to risk criticism for such boldness.  In the end, Coil had enough ability to pull it off, and Garcia's aggressiveness was rewarded with a graded stakes photo.  

12 Jun 2011 1:01 AM
calico cat


Thank you! I thought Runflatout did very well. He rated nicely and tried really hard all the way to the wire. Coil however was much the best. After what happened in the San Felipe, you can imagine that this result was very encouraging. I would have preferred a win of course but Run coming in second to Coil (a beast in the making) is pretty darn good.

12 Jun 2011 1:35 AM

i think that this crop is better then last years as of now. i mean lookin at lucky had the 3yr old title wrapped up when he won the preakness

12 Jun 2011 1:55 AM

Skip--give credit where credit due and a few that liked Stay Thristy-- good pick he ran well--neither were of my taste.

Thank goodness for Finger Lakes only cashed 1 race at Belmont a 10 ex Justin and JJ and $3 tri 1 box and 2 straight 20 to win Justin

They got way more back on the rest of the Belmont card -only other shot was with 8-1 winner I wasted in tri key and exs after the Belmont dead heat and still tri paid big needed Go Go second instead DH for 3rd

Why I bet the big tracks when Finger Lakes and Lone Star are so much easier to cap- I don't know--I like to buy things and if you win at a B track gambling the money spends just as well.  

Coil was touted by a blogger as a horse to watch in the future before the win by a blogger and he looks right

Time to take a rest--I will have the Queen's Plate winner heavily bet if I get 2-1 or better--just hope they bet Queensplate Kitten and I get better odds

Watching today if Check Your Soul can run on dirt he may be the best 3yr old in NA. You heard it first as you did Noble Promise months ago as a top sprinter--both may go to BC races if I am right. Long way off though.

Except in the cash department a few positives--Like seeing a small no-name outfit win a big race off a $35000 claim and Jose E get a big one and Kelly Breen has been doing a great job for years and he has taken 2 big 3yr old races this year and gets some limelight.

Going fishing --kill them folks, as my money won't be going into the pools for a time.

Also got to catch up on my studies of Ancient Sumerians and their books as in how similar passages and myths as they relate to the Bible. My other hobbies- Ancient history and religions of the world.

Take care.

12 Jun 2011 4:41 AM

One other note on a thought although I didn't profit nearly enough nor because it was my only cash

Does anyone think the Justin and JJ exactor and Tri paid huge? It was a short field and if you threw out Travelling Man which really wasn't that hard to do--at least in my mind as posted. What other horses could you use? Even if you boxed the 3 you got a $40 ex and $105 tri---a little late to lament on not pulling the trigger on a bigger bet but just a thought. I should have looked at the will pays

12 Jun 2011 4:53 AM


Good call on Ruler On Ice, enjoy your winnings.


same on WPS for Stay Thirsty for you, good call.


Good call also on ROI.

To this point this is a mediocre group.  Let's see what happens from here on.  Interesting comments by Barry Irwin and Graham Motion on AK....Arlington Million, then a poly track race then the BC at CD.. Good plan.

I liked Kelly Breen's comments as they were trying to get ROI settled to walk him into the winner's circle.  Something like, "this horse is nuts."  Even after gelding him he is still a crazy, stubborn handful but he can sure run.  What an animal!  

12 Jun 2011 6:13 AM

What a day it turned out to be. Showed up at the track in just in time to play my J J Castellano factor in the 9th, 10th, and 11th at $50 WPS in each race. That gave me a cool 1900+. I used the proceeds from that to play $1 tri's keying Brilliant Speed in 2nd and 3rd, all/5/all and all/all/5 in the big race. That gave me another $4134. How did you do with Nehro and MOH draynay? Another day and another pile of losing tickets in your pocket. Rookie!!

12 Jun 2011 7:27 AM


Speaking of 2 yr olds did you catch the performance by Power World at CD Saturday? 1st time starter, bumped and pinched back to last at the start, behind by 11 lengths after 2f, closed to win by 1, in a 4 1/2f race. Ran the last 2 1/2f in 28.2 Sired by Distorted Humor and Damsire is Purrfectly who is out of Storm Cat. At 14/1 he made me some money, took down a $3 EX for 346.50 and a $1 TRI for 584.50. This horse could be a good one and he already has shown he likes CD.  

12 Jun 2011 8:19 AM

I didn't hit a thing at Belmont all day.  Thank goodness for a few races at Calder or it would have been a blood bath.

12 Jun 2011 11:41 AM

Bad luck for my horse Animal Kingdom but glad Ruler on Ice won.  Why?  Because Repole's decision to enter Uncle Mo in the derby,even though he knew he was sick, knocked ROI out of the derby.  Well the racing gods saw pay back time by having him beat Repoles other horse, Stay Thirsty, in the Belmont. Gotta change that AE rule in the Derby.

12 Jun 2011 12:30 PM
Jason Shandler

Derblin: If the facts dont support you pathetic comment, you can always distort them. ROI was No. 22 on the Derby list, not 21. Move on.

12 Jun 2011 1:33 PM

sorry.  I know now not to believe what the commentators say on pre race shows.  Everyone else on here make far more pertinent comments than I.

12 Jun 2011 2:09 PM
calico cat

Ruler On Slop would be a very appropriate name for the winner of the Belmont. Congratulations to him and his connections. Jose Valdivia was one of my favorite jockeys here in So. Calif. I was sad to see him go. Obviously, he's glad he made the move and I'm very happy for him.

Very good also for Stay Thirsty to come a solid second. Over-shadowed by Mo for all of his career, he chose the right day to put in his best effort. No doubt Mike Repole is very proud of this colt and with good reasons.

Kudos to all those who had a winning ticket on Belmont day. I didn't bet on any of the NY races. One thing I found out, about having a horse run on any given day, is that one gets tunnel vision and all other races sort of get lost in the excitement of having a horse competing. All I can say is: Thank goodness for!

12 Jun 2011 2:41 PM
Pedigree Ann

All we learned about the current 3yo crop in the Belmont is who could handle slop when not falling on their faces out of the gate. I don't take the results as in any way definitive.

12 Jun 2011 2:48 PM
Linda in Texas

You tell'm Jason (post 12Jun 2011 1:33 PM.)

derblin-Animal Kingdom clearly clipped MMM. Cannot blame that on Mike Repole. Blame it on Mucho Macho Man's big feet! Hooves, i mean. It was unfortunate and no one liked what happened, no one. AK is a great horse and he isn't done! And neither is Mucho Macho Man's whose 3rd Birthday is this Wednesday!  

And let me tell ya'll what i was thinking as Stay Thirsty paraded past the camera. I quietly said, Stay Thirsty, you need to do well today, your Mike and Mo need something to brighten their spirits!

And so Stay Thirsty was right there and placed in The Belmont in New York yet! Not everyone can make that claim.

Hope somebody doesn't forget to go and tell Uncle Mo! He might do another 'Shack Buck' in his paddock!

I was happy for Mike Repole and his great big wonderful family and

i would have loved to have been at the celebration dinner!

And to Kelly Breen the trainer of

Ruler on Ice,(and Pants on Fire i would like to add) congratulations to you also sir and ROI's owners. He was right behind Shackleford til Shack dropped back and slowed down, the race was ROI's with Stay Thirsty coming on fast.  

And Mission Approved in his race, a $35,000 claimer 2 stakes back and hadn't raced for 11 months. What can i say, I love the claiming races and the horses of course and watch them all the time, never know when one is going to surprise you and Mission Approved did it big.

Zookeeper - Runflatout was awesome and he was probably thinking "Someone move the wire please need just a little more track!" He is so much fun to watch race and just practicing for the big one! The expression on his face is what comes thru to me. Total determination.

Thanks Jason, if this is too long please don't publish it. No sport brings such different emotions to the surface for me and i know others than Thoroughbred Horse Racing. Nothing. Not even The Jets and The Patriots or The Cowboys and The Eagles. Not even.

12 Jun 2011 4:16 PM
Linda in Texas

Agree with you Pedigree Ann, so the best is still yet to come on which is the best 3 year old. Not enough repetition in the so far winners and with many more races scheduled there is plenty of time for one to top the charts on performance.

That means interest continues in horse racing and that is a good thing for handicappers and plain ol' fans like me.

12 Jun 2011 4:48 PM

Pedigree Ann:  Totally agree with you about the slop and bad luck having no bearing on the talent of this years 3 yr olds.  Hope Animal Kingdom has other chances to redeem provided the owners give him that chance.

12 Jun 2011 5:06 PM

Who actually makes money at the races?  I mean keeps track of real bets (all bets) and comes out ahead?  I consider myself a good handicapper and come up with my share of 10-1 shots winning; but overall come out behind each and every year.

12 Jun 2011 6:45 PM

I didn't hit a thing at Belmont all day.  Thank goodness for a few races at Calder or it would have been a blood bath.

Draynay 12 Jun 2011 11:41 AM.

Sorry to hear about your bad day at Belmont.

I guess I did alright then, as I hit the exacta on C.S. Silk and Fantasia, Win/Place on Mission Approved, and hit the exata in the Belmont.

12 Jun 2011 7:03 PM

sigh nehro out with an ankle injury at least its not serious

12 Jun 2011 7:16 PM

In addition to getting to see Coil at Hollywood Park yesterday, I was also able to see Acclamation sweep the Murray-Whittingham for the second straight year.

The male marathon turf division is not a strong group, but even then I don't know quite where Acclamation fits.  The one time he shipped out of California, for the UN Cap last year, he ran up the track.  But I do know this-at Hollywood Park Acclamation can beat ANY turf horse on the continent going 10-12 furlongs.  If the Breeder's Cup were at Hollywood, he might even have a chance at taking down the Euros.

12 Jun 2011 9:22 PM

Concerning the Belmont, I definitely give Animal Kingdom a pass.  Shackleford is not bred for 12 furlongs, but even so I was surprised by how little fight he put up down the stretch.  Shackleford likely will need everything his way to win a 10 furlong race like the Travers or  BC Classic, and such a scenario is unlikely.  However, Shack should be tough in races like the Haskell at 9 furlongs against his own age group.  Nehro once again came up short.  

As for the top 3 finishers, they were given the opportunity to step up and delivered.  By no means did anyone run a really strong race in the Belmont, but give Ruler on Ice, Stay Thirsty, and Brilliant Speed credit for plugging through that final quarter.

Over the last decade or so the Belmont has been won by horses that were, frankly, of questionable talent.  There was Commendable, Sarava, Jazil, Da' Tara, and Drosselmeyer.  All won one of North America's most prestigious races, yet that's about all they did(Drosselmeyer can still work on his legacy).

12 Jun 2011 9:34 PM

Yes Jason I was trying to be kind.

By the way did you do anything at Belmont on Saturday?  I sort of lost track of your bets.  I know Draynay didn't do well but that's no shock. LOL.

Trackjack, I meant the TC group. Since that's who we were focused on right now.

Funny, on ROI's personality.  Actually Kelly Breen is quite a character himself.

Havre De Grace may be the best NA horse going right now IMO.

But there may be some 3 y.o. out there who didn't excel or make the Classics but will do well in some other distances and surfaces.  

I love Saratoga and can't wait. I just have this odd feeling that Mo isn't going to make it back this year and if not well I'd guess he's done?   I don't have any inside info like Jason but I've seen this before and it makes a person just want to cry when you have a horse who does well and then it all falls apart. We've all seen it with 2 year olds who don't make the transition and the older horses who just fall apart.  I sure hope I'm wrong on Mo.

the_wiz, I didn't catch them. I was focused on the Belmont and the undercard. Trying to come up with some good bets. It was a good day!

But I'll file the name in my memory bank for a look in the future. Hey you wouldn't be related to the Whisenants would you?

Kevin, yes.  My tax is convoluted and a nightmare to begin with and the winnings just make it worse.

I've been all over the place in this post.  Sorry everyone but that's what happens when you go back to the track the day after winning on the Belmont. Hard race to pick.

12 Jun 2011 11:00 PM
Jason Shandler

Skip: No luck. I didnt bet much on the Belmont. My main bet was the late pick 4; hit the first two legs and was feeling good. But it went up in the smoke in Manhattan. Was alive to Viscount Nelson and Prince Will I Am. Neither ran a lick. Oh well. It was a poor TC season for me.

13 Jun 2011 12:37 AM

must say, got lucky lucky lucky on Sat. Always bet the 1,7,8 and 2,3,9 when applicable in a $2 exacta box and hit the Manhattan and Belmont. Started out on fire, did not bet the Acorn b/c of short price, Nailed Trappe Shot and the Tri straight for $10, then hit the tri with Justin Phillip and had him to win, bet $50 on Coil only to have him go off a low odds, had $50 to place on Tiz Miz Sue. Havre De Grace is legit. I thought Sue would get to her, but she won in a hand ride. Sue will make some noise this year.

13 Jun 2011 9:26 AM

I ask when was the last crop of 3 year olds that were worth a crap in everyone's opinion?

13 Jun 2011 11:46 AM

Well ROI had the stamina to win at 1 1/2 miles,at  least in that race.Do I think he could win it if they ran it again,I would say no.The connections of the Belmont winner were proven right in how to win the race, adding blinkers and running close to the front.They were definitely aided by the sloppy track, and drawing inside of Shack.This horse reminds me of Mine That Bird if you look at his mud breeding in the Brisnet program both are very similar in mud breeding.Mine That Bird's mud breeding percentages were 20(sire)19(dam)look at Ruler on Ice 19 and 18.IMO Ruler got the right track and the right trip, against horses who for the top contenders on paper, AK,Shack,Nehro,MOH had factors going against them that they were not good enough to overcome.AK bad start and dropped too far back,Shack distance limitations,Nehro injured during race was also climbing because of the kick-back,MOH I dont think he liked all the mud in his face.There was a full field for a reason all these horses can be beat on the dirt by their 3yo competitors depending on the circumstances.I am sure that   some of the best 3yo's this year never ran in the TC.I did have ROI on my radar but only as a pace factor as I stated in the Belmont chat at noon on this site.I just didnt think he could last 1 1/2 miles.

13 Jun 2011 12:53 PM
Mary Zinke

Johnny, The last crop of 3yo's that were worth the amount you specified? 2007.

13 Jun 2011 1:26 PM
Karen in Texas

Johnny---This question came up prior to the Derby. 2007 gave us a nice crop, including Curlin, Street Sense, Hard Spun, Any Given Saturday, and Rags to Riches--all fairly accomplished. The current year started with promising possibilities, but several have been lost to various forms of attrition (for lack of a better term). These are living creatures and are subject to the happenstance of life. Uncle Mo, Premier Pegasus, are examples. I think Animal Kingdom is/was a quality colt who sort of developed under the radar. He ran successfully on three surfaces by May of his 3-year old season and never finished out of the money until Saturday--and that result was understandable.

Zookeeper---It looks as though Runflatout has learned to rate. He seems to be moving forward in his training!

13 Jun 2011 1:53 PM
Paula Higgins

ITA that Havre de Grace is the best horse racing right now in America, hands down. Coil is getting intersting too. I won $50.00 from my husband when he picked Shackleford and I picked ANYONE else. GOD Bless him, he shouldn't have taken the bet, but he did. I knew Shackleford would not get the distance but had no clue who was going to rise to the top in the slop. I was thrilled Mike Repole's Stay Thirsty did so well. For his sake, a really nice guy.

13 Jun 2011 2:44 PM

"Oh well. It was a poor TC season for me.

Jason Shandler 13 Jun 2011 12:37 AM"

Take heart Jason, you aren't alone.

It was for the horses who ran in them as well.

I hope Mo makes it back in form for the Travers. I hear they've reversed directions and are sending Animal Kingdom to those Summer races in an effort to secure the Eclipse.

I did okay on the winners but I sure did flop on my exotics.

13 Jun 2011 3:03 PM
Dr Drunkinbum



13 Jun 2011 3:52 PM

must say, got lucky lucky lucky on Sat. Always bet the 1,7,8 and 2,3,9 when applicable in a $2 exacta box and hit the Manhattan and Belmont. Billy's Empire 13 Jun 2011 9:26 AM

It seems like a lucky system for you, stick with it. It probably will give you a better return on investment than doing it a different way.

12:12  [Comment From Billys EmpireBillys Empire: ]

prime cut and ruler on ice have no shot.  

13 Jun 2011 4:44 PM
Bob from Boston

Who actually makes money at the races?  I mean keeps track of real bets (all bets) and comes out ahead?  I consider myself a good handicapper and come up with my share of 10-1 shots winning; but overall come out behind each and every year.

Kevin 12 Jun 2011 6:45 PM

Kevin,  Are you married?  Because I have never seen a married man this honest about his gambling losses.  I win every year.  Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.  I usually go to the track with my girlfriend...... Marissa Miller.  Yeah, that's the ticket.

13 Jun 2011 4:51 PM


The 2007 crop was quite good.  Curlin won the BC Classic, Hard Spun was 2nd, Street Sense 4th(Awesome Gem best of older horses in 3rd, and he's still racing).  Curlin also beat older male champ Lawyer Ron in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Hard Spun and Street Sense ran 1-2 in the Kentucky Cup Classic against older, and even Tiago won the gr.1 Goodwood vs. elders.  Also, Any Given Saturday won the Brooklyn.

Before that, I thought the crop of 2004, led by Smarty, Birdstone, Rock Hard Ten, Borrego, Lion Heart, and Lava Man was a good crop.

The 2000 crop was solid. Tiznow, Fusaichi Pegasus, Captain Steve, Albert the Great, Red Bullet, Dixie Union, High Yield, War Chant, Aptitude.  Including Giant's Causeway, they ran 1-2-3-4 in the Classic that year and won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Goodwood, Kentucky Cup Classic, and the next year won the Dubai World Cup and ran 1-3 in the Classic.

1998 was solid(Real Quiet, Victory Gallop, Coronado's Quest, Indian Charlie, Arch, Event of the Year, Favorite Trick, Old Trieste, Classic Cat, Lil's Lad).

1997 was outstanding.  That year you had Silver Charm, Free House, Touch Gold, Captain Bodgit, Behrens, Deputy Commander, Pulpit, Frisk Me Now, Anet.

In my time following the sport, the other great crop was 94'.  That crop had Holy Bull, Tabasco Cat, Concern, Go For Gin, Dramatic Gold, Soul of the Matter, Strodes Creek, Silver Goblin, and Irgun.  They ran 1-2-3-4 in BC Classic in 94'.

13 Jun 2011 4:57 PM


There's a reason you still have the 07' crop up as the avatar/visual for Triple Crown Talk?

That was a quality crop.  Street Sense won the Kentucky Derby, Travers, Jim Dandy, and Tampa Bay Derby and lost the Preakness by a nose and WAS NOT the champion 3 year old.  Throw in the filly Rags to Riches, and it was a very, very good crop.  

And technically, Zenyatta is counted as part of that crop.  

So that crop produced the best male of this new century in Curlin, two of the greatest females ever in Zenyatta and Rags to Riches, and accounted for the 07', 08', and 10' Horse of the Years.

13 Jun 2011 5:03 PM
Mike Relva


Your recent opinion regarding the quality of the three yr olds is curious. Tell me,do you ever question why many can't seem to get thru half the season without incurring some sort of injury?

13 Jun 2011 6:46 PM
Mike Relva


Congrats to you and RFO. Guess he performed far better than some thought.

13 Jun 2011 6:51 PM
calico cat

Footlick, Linda and Karen in Texas, Mike Relva--- Thank you! He surprised (even) me!!!

Runflatout came out of the race in fine form. Ate all his feed and was bright-eyed in his stall after cooling off. Apparently, the race did not take too much out of him. (Sigh of relief!)

13 Jun 2011 9:23 PM


Sorry for not wishing you congrats on Runflatout earlier.  He ran a solid race, but as you admitted Coil was better on the day.

I thought Runflatout got a curious ride from Espinoza, allowing Awesome Patriot to set an uncontested slow pace.  But it actually worked out well for Espinoza and Runflatout because Garcia boldly moved Coil up on the backstretch, and became engaged in a duel with stablemate Awesome Patriot.  For a second it looked like the Baffert horses could knock each other off and that Runflatout would get a dream set-up.  However, Coil was too much horse and kept going.

I would assume the Swaps would be next.  After that, there is nothing out in Cali for 3 year olds, so I would imagine Sadler ship him back East.

14 Jun 2011 12:35 AM

2007 ill buy that thanks.

Only negative I can see other than Z and Curlin none of them raced past 3 correct?

14 Jun 2011 10:43 AM
calico cat


Run has learned to relax. I was very happy that Espinoza didn't take the bait and engage Patriot in a speed duel. Been there, done that, didn't like it much.

Coil ran to his looks: awesome! I was a big fan of Point Given and this colt reminded me a lot of his sire when I saw him in the paddock area. Not as big but still very imposing. Brrr!

Thank you for your comment and astute observations. If everything continues to go well, what you think is in store for the future may very well happen. Fingers crossed!

14 Jun 2011 12:30 PM


That was a great analogy of the 2004 crop (2007 three year olds).  They also won the BC Distaff, two BCC's and produced N/A's leading money winning male and female.  To think that just four years later there is such a difference in the quality of the individuals is kind of scary for racing in N/A..

14 Jun 2011 12:42 PM

Kevin, I came out $10 ahead last year.  I bought myself not only a Subway sandwich with it, but also a cookie and drink.

The last time before that when I came out ahead was when I was twelve.  I used to bet names and pretty horses back then so I'm considering going back to that strategy.

14 Jun 2011 5:19 PM

YES...It is possible to win at this game..I am a professional handicapper, and make 6 figures a year betting on the ponies...The best thing about this game is..youre betting against most people that dont understand this sport. A horse runs great, and people jump on that horse...this is the wrong strategy. You get the horse BEFORE they get sharp....Nehro was tired...animal k was tired...shack ran 3 tough races in a row....HOW A HORSE COMES UP TO A RACE is the most important thing! People actually try to use BREEDING to pick a race....this is next to useless. understanding that racing hurts horses, is the most important tool in handicapping..EVERY RACE DOES SOMETHING to the horse.....people actually think a 2 yr old they see now, is a derby contender! Any 2 yr old that runs great now, has no shot to last till next year....unless they put them on the shelf for months....Why are the top 3 yr olds hard to handicap? because they are hardly much more than alw horses...there are about 50 3 yr old horses that can run around 100 beyers...the par time or average for classics are around 110! no more than a handful most years can run that....this years runners are very very weak!...not hard to understand why the prices.....

14 Jun 2011 11:32 PM

KY Vet - are you joking?  Here's a (paraphrased) list of your most recent picks and predictions:

Uncle Mo will not be scratched from the Kentucky Derby (May 5, 2011)

Zazu win/place in the Oaks (May 5, 2011)

Amen Hallelujah win/place in the Humana Distaff  (May 5, 2011)

Uncle Brent in the Peter Pan (May 12, 2011)

Dialed In win/place in the Preakness (May 19, 2011)

MOH and Brilliant Speed on top in the Belmont (June 10, 2011)

You sure aren't making 6 figs a year off those picks.

15 Jun 2011 2:22 AM

dont forget mmm wp in what? i bet 10 races or more a day...if anyone wants a challenge, lets go....loser leaves blogs for 3 weeks.....any track 5 or more races......

15 Jun 2011 12:08 PM
no_mo _mo

Now that the Triple Crown races are over we shouldn't have to hear any more about Mucho Macho Man. He reminds me of his daddy who never beat much of anything and who was the better horse that day but lost to RA by 1/2 length and was only a little above average. I don't subscribe to the theory that any horse who wins a graded stakes is great especially if it's a 2yr old or 3 yr old race. Someone has to win those races and alot of the time the competition is no better than allowance horses. Both Macho Man and Mucho Macho Man fall under that category, winning races that look good only to rookies or novices because they carry a title. Any horse who faced or faces either of these two and didn't or doesen't beat them by 3 or more hasn't done much.  

15 Jun 2011 1:11 PM
Mike Relva


Bet it makes your day teeing off on some horse. Nice!

15 Jun 2011 6:03 PM

no_mo _mo

I think you got your sires mixed up.  Mucho Macho Man is by Macho Uno, as in Macho Again.  Macho Uno won the BC Juvenile when he defeated Point Given by a nose.

16 Jun 2011 1:29 AM
Pedigree Ann

No Mo Mo;

Macho Again (the horse who ran against Rachel) was NOT 'the daddy' of Mucho Macho Man; he was racing only two years ago!! Both are sons of Macho Uno, the champion 2yo of 2000 and a graded winner at 3 and 4. Just thought you ought to know.

And MMM is still a baby, a June 15 foal, still built like a long yearling, with legs too long for his body. It is amazing he has done as well as he has. He should now be put away to grow into his legs and come back a more mature and better racehorse.

16 Jun 2011 10:44 AM
Karen in Texas

Thanks, Pedigree Ann, for your 10:44 A.M. comment! I am so weary of the undeserved, mindless (clearly) bashing of horses for no apparent reason by various bloggers. It is truly amazing that MMM has done as well as he has.

16 Jun 2011 12:05 PM

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