Passing Some Time at Penn National

By J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman")

With one more weekend left to go before the much-anticipated Belmont Stakes, racing fans everywhere are struggling to contain their excitement and wait out the final nine days that separate them from Belmont Day. Fortunately for these fans—myself included!—Penn National has compiled a tremendous card of racing for this Saturday, featuring four excellent stakes races and many big-name horses, trainers, and jockeys. It promises to be a memorable day of racing, so to pass some time as we wait for the Belmont, let’s take a quick look at the highlights of Saturday’s card…

Mountainview Handicap

A very deep field of eight has turned out for this nine-furlong handicap, headlined by three-time graded stakes winner Last Gunfighter. Winner of the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) at the end of last year, Last Gunfighter has proven time and time again that he is one of the most capable older horses in this country, and while he may not possess much early speed, his finishing kick is potent and difficult to deny.

But with that said, this will be Last Gunfighter’s first start in six months, and with only four workouts since mid-April, he may prove beatable at a short price. If that’s the case, there are plenty of other talented horses in the Mountainview that could step up, including the experienced Taptowne. The six-year-old gelding has won seven of his thirty-one starts, but more importantly, has not finished worse than third in his last eleven races. Last time out, he was beaten just a half-length in the Texas Mile Stakes (gr. III) by Grand Contender, a horse that came back to win the Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) on Memorial Day by four lengths. In addition, Taptowne has run well at Penn National in the past, winning the Swatara Stakes in November by 5 ¼ lengths. Perhaps he won’t win on Saturday, but he should be in the mix at a fair price.

Another obvious contender is Golden Ticket, who finished in a dead-heat for first in the 2012 Travers Stakes (gr. I). Since then, Golden Ticket has turned in a number of solid performances, including a runner-up finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I). However, it’s worth noting that Golden Ticket has only won three times since the Travers, with two of those wins coming in allowance company. He is also developing a habit of turning almost certain victory into defeat—in both the Alysheba Stakes (gr. II) and Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. III) this year, he rallied strongly to take the lead in the homestretch, only to be re-passed in the final strides by horses he seemed certain to beat. There’s no denying that he is a contender in this spot, but stretching out in distance to nine furlongs may increase his chances of flattening out in the stretch.

On a side note, it will be a pleasure to see 2011 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Ruler On Ice return to action in this spot. Unraced since a fifth-place finish in a November allowance race at Parx Racing—which was, in turn, his first start in five months—Ruler On Ice has had considerable trouble staying sound enough to race, but has trained well for his return and could be sitting on his best performance in a long time. Perhaps this is the year that he gets back on track!

Selection: Taptowne

Penn Mile Stakes

Readers of this blog may remember that I’m a big fan of Bobby’s Kitten, and that I believe him to be one of the most talented three-year-old colts in this country. I picked him to win the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, and declared that if he were to win, I would consider him a legitimate threat to win the Kentucky Derby.

Well, Bobby’s Kitten didn’t live up to my expectations in the Blue Grass, finishing twelfth after fighting his rider early and failing to handle the switch from turf to Polytrack. On Saturday, he will return to his favored surface in the Penn Mile Stakes, a one-mile turf race that seems absolutely perfect for him. So although he will be the favorite—and perhaps a heavy favorite—I’m going to pick him again in this spot, regardless of his headstrong nature.

His primary challengers will most likely be Global View and Storming Inti, the 1-2 finishers in the American Turf Stakes (gr. II) on Derby Day at Churchill Downs. If Bobby’s Kitten runs off with his rider and sets a pace that’s too fast, either of these colts would have a great chance at reeling him in—after all, Global View ran the final five-sixteenths of the American Turf Stakes in about :28 2/5 seconds, an absolutely stellar time. But they are 5-2 and 3-1 on the morning line, and unlikely to offer much value.

If you want to try and spruce up your exactas and/or trifectas, you might want to take a look at Divine Oath, who finished second in the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) last time out for trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt went unbeaten in two starts on turf during the winter at Gulfstream, defeating such talented colts as Ring Weekend, Big Bazinga, and Quotient. Despite his good credentials, Divine Oath is a respectable 6-1 on the Penn Mile morning line, and if he stays at that price, he might be worth considering for a win bet.

Selection: Bobby’s Kitten

Who do you like this weekend?


Leave a Comment:


$10 exacta Valid & Taptowne over same + Golden Ticket & Last gunfighter

$10 Exacta Global View & Storming Inti over Same + Bobby's Kitten

Good Luck

29 May 2014 6:26 PM
Rick Needham

RACE #1 - 6:05 PM

The Penn Oaks Stakes






#1 READY TO ACT shares the overall speed honors in this stakes field tonight with #7 FAMOUS ALICE, and has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in three straight starts, including back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in his last two "adventures." Jockey Javier Castellano has been in his irons on four previous occasions, hitting the board in each, winning three times, en route to a +263% return on investment in the process, and is back here in Grantville tonight for his 5th ride, gunning for a "Grand Slam Win!" #7 FAMOUS ALICE has hit the board in each of her four career starts to date, winning twice, including a "POWER RUN WIN" in her last start.

RACE #2 - 6:33 PM

The Pennsylvania Governor's Cup Stakes






#3 MARRIEDTOTHEMUSIC, a 6-1 shot on top folks ... has hit the board in each of his last five outings, winning four times in this recent streak of racing consistency, including back-to-back "POWER RUN WINS" in his last two starts. #5 TIGHTEND TOUCHDOWN is the overall speed leader in this stakes field sprinting at 5.0 furlongs on the grass, and has hit the board in four of his last five outings overall.

RACE #3 - 7:01 PM

The Mountainview Handicap






#4 LAST GUNFIGHTER is the overall speed and pace profile leader in this stakes field this evening, and has won half of his 8 starts racing at, or about, tonight's distance of 9.0 furlongs on the dirt, and has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in two of his last five outings overall. Jockey Javier Castellano and Trainer Chad Brown send him to the post this evening ... they've "whacked the tote board" with 68% of nearly 200 entries saddled as a team to date. #5 TAPTOWNE has hit the board in each of his last five outings, including a "POWER RUN WIN" in his 3rd race back.

RACE #4 - 7:31 PM

The Penn Mile Stakes






#1 GLOBAL VIEW is the overall speed and pace profile leader in this stakes field tonight racing at the mile distance on the turf, and has hit the board in "POWER RUN FASHION" in four of his last five outings, winning three times in this recent streak of racing consistency. Jockey Gary Stevens has been in his irons on three previous occasions, winning twice, and this Hall of Fame Jockey is here at Penn National tonight gunning for a "Hat Trick Win" to add to his +243% return on investment statistics on this entry! #4 BOBBY'S KITTEN also has a nice pace profile, and has hit the board in four of his last five respective outings, winning three times, including a pair of "POWER RUN WINS" added to his past performance resume!

RACE #6 - 8:26 PM

The Penn Dash Stakes






#2 MARRIEDTOTHEMUSIC is the overall speed and pace profile leader in this stakes field sprinting at, or about, today's distance of 5.0 furlongs on the dirt, and has won an impressive 7 of 11 starts sprinting at today's distance, including a quartet "POWER RUN WINS" in his last five outings. #7 EVOLUTION ROCKS has nice early speed abilities to compliment for this sprint, and has hit the board in five straight, winning twice, including a "POWER RUN WIN" in his 2nd race back.

29 May 2014 8:02 PM
Little Bill

I like the 1 7 8 box in the mile.

29 May 2014 11:53 PM

Rick Needham :   MarriedToTheMusic must be one heck of a horse, running two races in one day and both stakes races.  He'll be fresher in the 2nd race, I would suggest not playing him in the 6th race, it might be coming back too

Penn Mile :   Going to box Bobby's Kitten, Global View and Laddie Boy for trifecta.  Adding Divine Oath and Coastline on the bottom for the superfecta

Governor's Cup :  Bold Thunder and Great Attack exacta box, will play Stormy Rush on the bottom for the trifecta.

30 May 2014 3:07 AM

Always wanted to see coastline on turf, I will box him with miler bobby's kitten.

Last gunfighter wins easy.

I see toast of New York is skipping Epsom for belmont derby, O' Brian is also sending horses, should be nice race.

30 May 2014 7:27 AM

Rick Needham;

Welcome aboard! Good luck with your selections!


I was thrilled to hear that Toast of New York will be coming for the Belmont Derby -- he'll be a terrific addition to the race! Do you know if Aidan O'Brien plans to bring Giovanni Boldini?

30 May 2014 2:17 PM

Kid Cruz, who remains a candidate for the Belmont Stakes, breezed six furlongs in 1:14.53 over the Belmont Park training track this morning.

30 May 2014 2:22 PM
Pedigree Ann

More Belmont interjection:

Uh oh. Noble Causeway just died, laminitis. You know what that means, don't you? As soon as a stallion dies or is exported or otherwise becomes unavailable, some offspring jumps up and wins a big race. Or at least, that is the old saying among horsemen. [Samraat is by Noble Causeway.]

31 May 2014 5:07 AM

Keelerman : Where did you read / hear about TONY (Toast Of New York) ?

31 May 2014 5:43 AM

Pedigree Ann :  You're torturing me!!   I love this colt but I don't know if he can get the distance, I like him a lot because he's the only one that can go with Chrome, he's fast enough to get with him and he's a fighter and never gives up...I just don't think he can fight for 12Fs, I can see him fighting up to 9Fs, I don't think he'll have enough energy after that....

Do you think he can get the distance ?

31 May 2014 5:47 AM
Rusty Weisner

Social Inclusion :33+/:45+?  Please let him run in the Belmont so I have another automatic toss.  I'll even toss him in the Woody Stephens.

31 May 2014 8:43 AM

If someone would have told me Gary Stevens would take off all his mounts in Cali to come ride in my backyard today. I would say your crazy....................

Well low and behold its real...............

Goodluck to all and have a safe weekend

31 May 2014 8:55 AM
Rusty Weisner


It's okay to leave money at the track, but don't leave any regrets.

31 May 2014 8:56 AM

BREAKING NEWS: General a Rod, most recently fourth in the Preakness Stakes, has joined the expected field for the Belmont Stakes. This morning, he breezed five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 (out five furlongs in 1:13 3/5) at the Churchill Downs Trackside training center. Rosie Napravnik has the mount for the Belmont.

31 May 2014 10:32 AM

'Social Inclusion :33+/:45 out in 1:09 plus. Wow! Now that's how a potential Belmont starter is trained. Take off the blinkers and put him in front and run them into the ground.

31 May 2014 10:39 AM

It was a very busy morning for the potential Belmont Stakes starters, with California Chrome, Social Inclusion, Tonalist, Samraat, General a Rod, and Medal Count all turning in timed workouts, while Ride On Curlin galloped strongly in preparation for his workout tomorrow morning.

The splits, final times, and gallop-out times of all the workouts have been posted on DRF Live. Here's the link:

Details on the workouts by California Chrome, Social Inclusion, and Tonalist can be found here:

31 May 2014 10:47 AM


General A Rod is a great addition to the Belmont field. The history of success of tail male descendants of Mr. Prospector in the Belmont makes him a player.

Mr. prospector and his tail male descendants has accounted for 16 Belmont winners.

I just wish the trainer would remove the blinkers for a change.

31 May 2014 10:55 AM
JJs Rocket

Im glad General A Rod has joined the field. I hope that Social Inclusion doesn't run in the Belmont. He is such a nut case that it worries me to have him in here with a chance at history.

Im bored today so will make a small wager on the Penn Mile Stakes.

#1 Global View with #4,7,8 with 4,5,7,8 for a $5 tri

Good luck to all

31 May 2014 11:39 AM

I am sorry to advise the fans of CC1 that there will be no 12th Triple Crown winner on Saturday. The distance will of the race will cause his defeat. His performance in the Preakness indicated that 12F will be challenging against fresher horses.

31 May 2014 12:04 PM

Cold Facts

CC1 was forced By S/I to make his move at 1/2 mile pole and still won! Yes it forced him to run harder and hold off ROC. That's what T/C winners do.

Put your money on your horse and I will gladly take it from you.

Thank You in advance

31 May 2014 6:02 PM

Now I'm worried, General A Rod is a real threat to Chrome in the Belmont.  I posted about his trip in the Preakness and it's ironic that Rosie ended up with the mount...I'm sure Rosie will have to return the favor by trying her best to win the Belmont for the connections of GAR. I'm not sure the jockey change was needed for GAR.  I still think Chrome is the best in the race but it will be his toughest race yet.   I think everything that can be said about Chrome has been said, it's another week before we find out who was right and who was wrong.

I'm with Rusty, I hope they run Social Inclusion in the Belmont...that workout would definitely attract some sucker money.  He just ran the first 6 furlongs of the Belmont in that workout.

01 Jun 2014 1:58 AM
Pedigree Ann

I've posted before that I think Samraat is a nice one-paced sort of horse. He can probably keep on at the one pace for quite a while, BUT he has to depend on everything in front of him to collapse to get in the money. That often happens in the Ky Derby so that a one-paced sort like Giacomo or Gato del Sol can win, Imperialist or Sanhedrin (long ago) can hit the board. Jazil may have been the last one-paced sort to win the Belmont.

01 Jun 2014 3:48 AM

What’s the point of running Social Inclusion in the Woody Stephens? He is not a sprinter. He is a top class colt with excellent tactical speed. The Stephens would be a retrograde step. Take off the blinkers and enter the Belmont.

He does not work in company and consequently it must be strange when he has to chase or repel challenges.

I believe he has the pedigree to stay 12F and has the speed to keep all and sundry honest. He now has a 9F & 9.5F race under his girt and was not disgraced. Since he was not trained properly for neither race he must have benefited greatly from those efforts.

Social Inclusion is in a situation where he has to learn things in races that he has not been taught in training. I suspect the Wood and Preakness have improve him immensely.

His last work though fast looked easy. I say run him in the Belmont and let the chips fall where they may.

01 Jun 2014 7:48 AM

Pedigree Ann,

I must disagree with you regarding Jazil.

Revisit the 2006 Wood Memorial and advise if Jazil was one pace in that race? Jazil raced in last position in the Derby before finishing DH for 4th. He was not the only one closing at the end.

He also raced in last position in the Belmont before moving up to join Bluegrass Cat at the top of the stretch. He then outstayed him to the line. Now, if he was one pace what exactly were those defeated?

I would classify him as a deep closer but definitely not one pace.

01 Jun 2014 8:11 AM

Pedigree Ann,

I must disagree with you regarding Jazil.

Revisit the 2006 Wood Memorial and advise if Jazil was one pace in that race? Jazil raced in last position in the Derby before finishing DH for 4th. He was not the only horse closing at the end.

He also raced in last position in the Belmont before moving up to join Bluegrass Cat at the top of the stretch. He then out ran him to the line. Now, if he was one pace, what exactly were those he defeated?

I would classify him as a pace reliant deep closer but definitely not one pace.

01 Jun 2014 8:13 AM
Rusty Weisner


I feel like SI would damage CC's chances, like he'd do something kamikaze like open up an eight length lead and lure CC into a premature move.  

General A Rod will definitely take some of my money underneath after what he endured in the Preakness.

I will probably try against Medal Count, even though he also had that trouble from Danza in the Derby.  Using my primitive handicapping methods I'm going to compare him to Dullahan and bet he doesn't run well here.

01 Jun 2014 8:52 AM

IMO I think SI uses too much energy before he gets into the gate, and thats why he dosent have a good chance to win in these races,he did hit the board.That dosent mean hes a good bet at this point in his career hes too keen, as he ages he should correct his pre race antics.If he runs in the Belmont hes the true brilliant speed and his odds will be high.

01 Jun 2014 10:35 AM

As of now subject to revision.

My plays will be.

Ticket A CC 1 over Wicked Strong Tonelist Medal Count over same + ROC Commanding Curve (CC2)

Ticket B W/S S/T M/C over CC over same 5

Ticket C Super CC1 W/S Tone/ M/C with same with same plus ROC CC2 w same + Samratt

May tweak is Social Inclusion defects.

Victor is riding at Belmont which is a big plus. He was forced to move early in the Preakness. I doubt he will move early in the Belmont. He is riding there this week and will be ready for battle just like he shoved S/I out of the way and did not let him get by him then repelled R O C. I am confident that he will succeed and will have my alternates just in case. 19 horses have won the first 2 and failed in the T C so everything has to be perfect.

01 Jun 2014 10:41 AM


I heard about Toast of New York coming for the Belmont Derby on

Rusty Weisner;

As much as I liked Medal Count in the Kentucky Derby, I will also be leaning against him in the Belmont Stakes. I probably won't go against him entirely, but memories of Dullahan are indeed coming to mind, so I probably won't consider him for anything better than third or fourth, and perhaps not even that.

01 Jun 2014 11:07 AM


Thanks for sharing your early superfecta tickets for the Belmont Stakes! I'm still mulling over mine, but it sounds like Matuszak had a really nice workout at Belmont Park this morning, so I will definitely consider using him in the third and fourth spots. At the present time, I think California Chrome, Ride On Curlin, and Wicked Strong are the win contenders, with respect to Commanding Curve, General a Rod, Tonalist, and Commissioner.

I will be watching the odds closely on Belmont Day, because with California Chrome as the heavy favorite, we might see surprisingly large prices on solid contenders. For example, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see General a Rod go off at 20-1 or higher, while Matuszak and Commissioner should be nice prices as well.

I'm very glad to hear that Victor Espinoza will be riding at Belmont Park over the next several days, as it will help him get a good feel for the track and prepare him for riding the Belmont Stakes.

A decision is expected to be made today on whether Social Inclusion will run in the Belmont Stakes. If his connections choose to skip the race, does anyone here think that California Chrome will be sent to the lead? Or will Victor Espinoza try to take him back and let someone else -- perhaps Tonalist -- seize the initiative?

01 Jun 2014 11:29 AM

Coldfacts :  You seem to tout every horse that enters the Belmont,  I guess you have to since you already declared Chrome wasn't going to win. Are you going to post who your horses are ?  Or are you going to play each and every horse ?   I'm guessing SI will be one of the winners in your ticket.

Pedigree Ann : Got it.  Like I said, Samraat and Tonalist will be the two that will be up front with Chrome, whether Samraat sets the pace or let Tonalist do it is the question but I think if they set a fast enough pace to make it harder for the closers to catch up, Samraat may have a chance to hold on for the tri or super.

01 Jun 2014 12:49 PM

Who taught you people these things? Like this horse is a stalker? that horse is a grinder? this horse is one paced? Its really a joke, how you people handicap......a horse is speed, and you always say he cant go long....a horse is a closer, and you say he wants to go longer......."i like this horse because he is a stalker"........this is really why i take your money! Its amazing the stupid things you go on.......keep betting! please!

01 Jun 2014 12:57 PM

Good Luck Secreteriat I wont know my exact bets until betting closes on Saturday.

01 Jun 2014 1:59 PM
Pedigree Ann

Coldfacts - I have to disagree with you on 'the way to train a horse for the Belmont'. Social Inclusion gets too wound up anyway and working a sub-1:10 3/4-mile will just get him more so. You need your horse to relax in the Belmont, not take off like it is a 6f sprint. His pedigree may say he ought to get longer, but his head isn't there.

And those of you who keep worrying about a fast-paced horse 'dragging' Chrome along..., Haven't you watched this horse, looked at his PPs? He follows orders - if Victor says go here, he goes here; if Victor says back off, he backs off; if Victor says time to go, he goes. If Victor doesn't lose his cool, neither will Chrome.

01 Jun 2014 2:50 PM

What? Now we get the social inclusion doesnt relax? Oh, because he sweats and was nervous.......thats why......well, its not correct! He DOES relax.....every time he has run! Has he ever ran off? has he been rank? no! no! rated perfect when he blitzed honor code didnt he? You forget he was 5th early in preakness?

Why do people make things up?

01 Jun 2014 5:15 PM


Rusty Weisner submitted a post regarding Social Inclusion. Was he touting the colt? JJs Rocket submitted a post regarding Social Inclusion. Was he touting the colt? You included SI in one of your earlier posts. Were you touting the colt?

My post regarding the colt related to the pending decision regarding the race he will contest i.e., the Woody Stephens or the Belmont. If giving my two cents on the issue equates to touting, then I am guilty as charged.

I have declared that CC1 will not win the Belmont. However, I have not submitted the horses that will comprise my wagers and I have no intention of selecting the entire field.

Samraat will be in requirement of an oxygen tank in the last 2F. Beware of the Jamaican duo they are out for glory.

01 Jun 2014 10:42 PM

Coldfacts : What are you talking about ?  Did you read what Rusty and I said about SI ??   We both said we wanted him to run in the Belmont as we thought he will take money and that he would be a toss.   How is that "touting" ??  

What you said would be consider touting because you talked about his speed.   I asked you before but you seem to ignore the question, what's the difference between your so called "evaluation" and your handicapping angle ?   Here's your initial post about SI :

"  'Social Inclusion :33+/:45 out in 1:09 plus. Wow! Now that's how a potential Belmont starter is trained. Take off the blinkers and put him in front and run them into the ground. "

If that's not touting, then maybe you have a different definition of touting lol.

02 Jun 2014 12:26 AM

SI will be double figures if he runs in the Belmont one that will take money he shud take CC2

02 Jun 2014 3:31 AM


Coldfacts: "  'Social Inclusion :33+/:45 out in 1:09 plus. Wow! Now that's how a potential Belmont starter is trained. Take off the blinkers and put him in front and run them into the ground. "

The above represents ridicule. No serious trainer tries to put more speed into a horse already gifted with same if it is under consideration for a 12F race.

If the connections intend for him to make all then the least they can do is remove the blinkers. He should be less agitated before the start and less keen when the gates open.

02 Jun 2014 6:47 AM

Brontexx 01 Jun 2014 10:35 AM     IMO I think SI uses too much energy before he gets into the gate, and thats why he dosent have have a good chance to win in these races,

SI 70-30 To WS because of his gate antics

02 Jun 2014 8:35 AM

Has a horse ever prepped for the Belmont by going 3 furlongs in his final work in around 33 seconds?


How did the horse do in the race?

He won by 14.

See Risen Star.

Any top class horse can go 3 furlongs in 33.5 seconds.

Behistoun covered the final 2 furlongs of the 12- furlong Wash DC International in 22 seconds.

Good horses are just fast horses.

Was Social Inclusion rank? No. He is just a naturally fast horse.

The trainer knows best. If the horse is good enough, he will perform well in whatever race he runs.

02 Jun 2014 9:11 AM

RE 8:35AM post       SI 70-30 To WS because of his gate antics  That means 70% chance SI runs in WS Woody Stephens NOT BELMONT STAKES

02 Jun 2014 9:20 AM

Coldfacts : You should've stated it was a joke...but also, I should've known since you've stated before that he needs a new trainer.  My bad.

02 Jun 2014 12:19 PM

So does this mean you all are picking SI in the WS,or throwing him out in the BS but not the WS.

Coldfacts : You should've stated it was a joke...but also, I should've known since you've stated before that he needs a new trainer.  My bad.

02 Jun 2014 1:22 PM
Rusty Weisner


It's pretty telling that you had to go back that far to even find that kind of a number.

The trainer knows best?  Color me skeptical.  I may not know best, but I've known better than to bet him in either the Wood or the Preakness (other than tickets with him to fill out the trifecta in the latter).  

Go ahead, bet him.  I'd have to be even more lathered than SI to do it.

02 Jun 2014 1:41 PM
Rusty Weisner


He stopped dead in the Wood and the Preakness.  He was lathered up and nervous before each, almost flipping in the gate at Pimlico.  Like Brontexx said, he uses up too much energy before the race.  Newsflash: looking to see if the horse is foaming and flipping out in the gate should be an elementary item on the handicapper's checklist (is anyone overcome with optimism when a horse they bet on breaks through the gate?).  And that's not even saying that a wet horse is always a toss (see Shackleford's Preakness).  But that in combination with can take it.  

I don't want this to be interpreted as a general insult as to your abilities -- I'm sure you're very good -- but in three years here I've never seen you pick a winner in a Triple Crown race, so you could at least tone it down.

02 Jun 2014 1:51 PM
Rusty Weisner


It was clear to me and most that you were being sarcastic.

02 Jun 2014 1:53 PM
Rusty Weisner

My point about SI was that I really have a gut feeling things are only going to get worse with this horse, that something bad could happen to him in the Belmont.  If I'm wrong I'm wrong, it's just a horse race.  I won't have much money in verticals, and he's certainly not going to beat me on top.  I'm curious if anyone here mocking my take is actually going to bet this horse, and how.

02 Jun 2014 1:57 PM
Rusty Weisner

Wicked Strong seems on track.  Did anyone have any notes on his workout?

02 Jun 2014 1:59 PM
Rusty Weisner


Don't let me talk you onto Samraat now (I won't have him on any tickets), but you should at least anticipate high odds on him.  Did you know that Oxbow was 11-1 in the Belmont last year?  Makes no sense that no one would like the second place finisher in the Preakness, right?  My guess is a lot of bettors wrongly think "speed" can't hold at the longer distance of the Belmont.  So I would guess Samraat would be at least 15-1, if not 20-1.  I still won't bite - he's not Oxbow: he didn't have the excuse for not holding on better in the Derby...but, on the other hand, if the 4th place finisher of the Derby skips the Preakness and comes back fresh to hit the board in his home state, it'll be perfectly logical.

02 Jun 2014 2:07 PM
Rusty Weisner


What am I saying: I meant the winner of the Preakness.  And Samraat almost tied for 4th, but was 5th.

02 Jun 2014 2:27 PM

SI on the bottom in verts in BS, possibly top in horis and verts in WS. WSt on top in BS verts, got it, I can always clarify or amend later at my own discretion.

02 Jun 2014 3:02 PM

preliminary contention amendment should have contributed  an additional letter to WSt in the BS should read WStG,got it dont worry I can always amend as the disagreements or questions arise.

02 Jun 2014 3:10 PM
KY VET relaxes in the race, is not rank, is very rateable.........yes he sweats.....thats a different topic than in a race.......he quit because he broke slowly, rushed up too early.........its fun teaching sure he isnt in your 6 horses a race you bet.......

02 Jun 2014 4:19 PM


My post about Social Inclusion was not intended as an endorsement of the horse in the Belmont. It was made merely to show that the fast workout in itself does not necessarily destroy the possibility that he could perform well in the Belmont-if he runs, of course.

I have no plans to bet on the race at this point. My bet of the day will be in the Epsom Derby if the track is soft.

02 Jun 2014 5:07 PM
Monarchos Matt

Does anyone know if Belmont has announced the wagering menu for Saturday yet? I can't seem to find it...but, is it possible that there will be a Pick 4 that includes the Met Mile- Phipps- Manhattan- Belmont? That would be a whopper. It feels like the Breeders' Cup except on a fair track!

Rusty, I'm sticking with Wicked Strong and Ride on Curlin as my primary win keys. Will use CC narrowly as a hedge because I don't want to have to root against him entirely. Will probably buy a $2 souvenir win ticket too just in case! Looking forward to going over this entire card later in the week.

02 Jun 2014 5:10 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

I plan on singling Wicked Strong in the P4/P3 series ending in the Belmont.  If I have a live ticket with a good payoff I'm going to find it hard, psychologically, to not play CC as a hedge over WS, especially as I think the tri will fill out like last year with obvious horses: ROC, A Rod, CCurve.

02 Jun 2014 5:19 PM

Monarchos Matt,

Save your $2. if CC1 could only defeat ROC by 1 1/2L in the Preakness, how can he put run WS, CC2 and a fresh ended Medal Count?

I do not like ROC. as two horse that finished ahead of him in the Derby return fresher.

I saw a photo of SI being schooled in the gates and he looked crazy. Why not remove the blinkers and see if he is more settled.

When the blinkers were affixed to Place Malice in the Derby he ran off with Mike Smith. That how ranked some horse get with the equipment. I am sure Mike did not want PM to record 1:09 for 6F and stop a if he was shot by a sniper. They were promptly removed for the Belmont and which won.

02 Jun 2014 5:57 PM

I'm sorry, but coldcuts is totally ignorant to what blinkers are for.....and workouts? Look! These horses are fit.......workouts are just to maintain the horses health....way, way inclusion has blinkers so he doesnt get do this on horses that act doesnt run off.......he relaxes in his races fine.....LET THE TRAINERS TRAIN! you dont know anything!

02 Jun 2014 7:28 PM

CC2 is a plodder even Medal Count has more chance to stay close his negative in KD was time between races.We will find out which one is a sucker bet.

02 Jun 2014 7:43 PM

All of those Belmont winners that came out of the KD that only had a maiden win as listed by the blog historian were not plodders like CC2,starting with Palice Malice last year.

02 Jun 2014 7:46 PM

SMartyJones was expected to win the T/C in 2003

Purge and Rock Hard Ten sprinted for the lead trying to steal the race. Smarty Jones got sucked in too early and got caught by Birdstone. Purge finished last and Rock hard Ten finished way back.

I see Tonelist and Samraat going for the lead with General A Rod right behind him as well as Calif Chrome.(SI will not run in the Belmont.)

Victor will take charge early a la Seatle Slew slow the pace down and open up in the stretch, and the rest will have to sprout wings to catch him.

CC wins it followed by General A Rod, Wicked Strong, Medal Count, Tonelist, Commanding Curve.

Ride on Curlin and Commisioner could get fourth.

I expect the TRI & Super to pay well If GAR and Medal Count hit the top 4 @ 20 to one or better.

Good Luck All

I prefer General a Rod to out finish Samratt here.

Good luck

02 Jun 2014 9:42 PM


I had to revisit the definition of ‘Plodder’ as I was sure my definition did not match yours. A fairly comprehensive definition is listed below:

“To walk heavily or move laboriously; trudge: to plod under the weight of a burden. 2. To proceed in a tediously slow manner”

Firstly, I revisited CC2’s 2nd start where he was beaten by a NK in a mile race completed in 1:36.89. He was no further than 2 to 3 lengths off fraction of 22.71, 46.19 and 1:11.22. He was in the lead when 7F was completed in 1:23.79 and got caught close home. A plodder than can run 7F in 1:23.79 and a mile in 1:36.89 I have never seen.

Secondly, I revisited CC2’s 3rd place finish in the LA Derby. He was pinched back at the start and raced in last position for the 4F. He made a big mid race move to get into a challenging position and ran into problems again. He was sandwiched between horse and blocked momentarily. After securing room he rallied to fall short of catching Intense Holiday for second.

Thirdly, I revisited CC2’s 2nd place finish in the KD. He raced just ahead last place horse Ride On Curlin. He made a big mid race move leaving the Preakness runner-up for dead. He was taken wide for his stretch run and had to check off a horse for clear passage. He closed willingly to secure second. By my estimation he ran about 10 1/4F based on his draw and trip.

CC2 has not move laboriously or proceeded in a tediously slow manner in any of his races. In fact he has accelerated impressively in his last two starts. I firmly believe he will finish ahead of CC1 in the Belmont.

02 Jun 2014 10:18 PM


Palace Malice finished 7th in the LA Derby and 12th In the KD. CC2 finished a trouble 3rd in the LA Derby and 2nd in the KD.

The fact that CC2 will enter the Belmont with better credentials than Palace Malice cannot be disputed.

Commendable, Jazil, Summer Bird and Palace Malice entered the Belmont with fewer credentials than CC2.

Jazil closed from last to secure 4th in the Derby. Summer Bird raced in the back four in the Derby before finishing 6th. Commendable raced in 10th before fading to 17th. Palace Malice led for 6F before fading to 12th. The so called plodder closed from 2nd to last to secure 2nd and he is the worst MSW to exit the Derby.

That does not compute.

02 Jun 2014 11:08 PM


Interesting Belmont Tri/Super combination!

Regarding your projected winner, are you aware that the last two Preakness winners to also win the Belmont won the Preakness in commanding fashions i.e., Afleet Alex and Point Given?

CC2’s 1 1/2L victory in the Preakness cannot inspire confidence. He defeated the 7th place finisher in the Derby and will now be facing the fresher 2nd, 4th and 8th place finishers.

Word on the back stretch is that Wicked Strong is abusing his exercise rider. CC2 is reported to be fit and well and looked great in his breeze. Medal Count worked 1:10 before shipping in.

The Preakness showed that CC1 is no wonder horse and he is going to leave a lot of people crying the wrong tears.

02 Jun 2014 11:34 PM

Secreteriat : I'll be landing around 5:30AM on Friday and was wondering if the track will be open by then to see horses work out.  Also, any tips on what to check out around that area ?  I won't be able to check in to my hotel until around noon or 1.

02 Jun 2014 11:56 PM

Coldfacts : How much time do you need to decide who will beat Chrome ?  You've been posting it over and over and over and over again without stating who your horses are lol.  Is it that hard for you ?  It took you two seconds to decide that Chrome is a toss but with all the good things you said about the "fresher" horses, you can't post who the winner is ?  I don't know what else you're researching at this point.  There's only a few "fresher" horses, you said the winner will come from that group, so who is it ?  OR are you going to have multiple combinations with each horses on top ?  Please make sure to provide us the list of the so-called "fresher" horses so there's no confusion after the race who they are.

03 Jun 2014 12:44 AM

Coldfacts CC2 is a sucker bet in the Belmont, you made money on him in the KD but you will be subtracting from that in this race.CC2 best hope is 4th place.Lets see what you write after the race.

03 Jun 2014 8:01 AM

Palice Malice got 2nd in the Bluegrass which you did not recite because you want to try to convince others that you are correct,sorry I dont buy into your so-called biased facts,you are a good contributor on here but shouldnt be used as an advisor.Good luck lets see if you continue the malarky.

03 Jun 2014 8:06 AM

Jay Jay

Call Belmont General Info @ 718-641-4700 for the earliest time to get there unless you know trainer/owner/media connections who could let you in earlier.

03 Jun 2014 9:42 AM


I have a backup plan if CC gets caught see my earlier post of my Tri and Super picks.In my opinion CC2 could be another Golden Soul one race wonder. Yes he did make up ground on CC1. The fact is he pasing stopping horses and could not catch him. I can see him in 3rd or fourth but the horses I see possibly catching CC1 are Wicked Strong Tonalist and Medal Count. Most handicappers will not use Medal Count because of his poly record but Animal Kingdom did finish in the Super and this horse could the key to a nice payback. Good luck with your picks. I respect your opinion..

03 Jun 2014 9:57 AM

Secreteriat :  Oh, I thought the track has a pre-set times for the fans to go check out the horses working out.  I could've looked that number up myself, now I feel lazy for having to ask you lol....thanks for the info, much appreciated!

03 Jun 2014 10:01 AM

Cold Facts

CC1 and CC2 gave me thousands of reasons to back them in the San Felipe, San Anita,, Derby Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. You are correct in saying that there are fresh horses. I am putting my money where my mouth is that my top four will finish ahead of CC2

03 Jun 2014 10:10 AM

“All the good things you said about the "fresher" horses, you can't post who the winner is”

I think you left out the word ‘Likely’ from the above quote. The winner is only determined after the official sing is displayed. I have not finalized my selections as yet. Fresher horses belongs to one group but there are others groups

Of the 13 likely starters, six will be from the A P Indy sire line that equates to 46% of the field.

I know CC1 will not win. CC2 has the better historic pedigree to win the Belmont. His grand dam sire, Storm Cat was son of Storm Bird. The dam of Belmont winner Thunder Gulch was sired by Storm Bird who was also the grand dam sire to Belmont winner Summer Bird. There have been 12 Belmont winners who dams were tail descendent of Northern Dancer.  

Commission’s dam is also from the Northern Dancer line but his is just too slow to win. However, he could be another Drosselmeyer but final time would have to be very slow for him ro win..

Tonalist dam is from the rarely seen Ribot line and is an interesting entrant. He will have quality company upfront and that is a negative.

Matuszack is the one that has puzzled me the most. He is bred to have good tactical speed and stamina. He has shown the stamina but not the tactical speed. He will be the freshest horse in the field with 7 weeks between his last start. He reminds me a lot of Stay Thirsty who came into his own in the Belmont after a 12th place finish in the Derby. Matuszack has recorded two 59 breeze. In his last work over 5F he came home in 23 for recoded time of 1:00 and a bit. He is now showing the speed to complement his stamina. He has never made a start over the Belmont surface and it appears he likes it as he has never worked that fast prior to a race.  Bernardini was a class act. Mr. Prospector tail descendants have won 14 Belmonts and he just happens to be the dam sire of Matuszack. Bill Mott won the Belmont at 13-1 with the oddly name Drosselmeyer. The oddly named Matuszack will be longer.

I will be selecting two from this group.

03 Jun 2014 10:33 AM
Rusty Weisner


"Palice Malice got 2nd in the Bluegrass which you did not recite..."

No kidding.  It's bizarre to see Coldfacts persist in knocking this horse when he did such a bad job of handicapping him last year.  In the Belmont he had one that finished up the track; it might have been Freedom Child.

03 Jun 2014 10:36 AM
Rusty Weisner


I can take constructive criticism.  Yes, I had too many horses!  But I still handicapped the Preakness better than you and more than doubled my money on it.  Give us a pick for the Belmont!  

With SI, you're not listening to what people's problems are with him.  It's not some problem of not being able to run a good tactical race with the horse (he's looked like a winner in both of the last two races), it's the restiveness that tires him out before the race is run.  Again, how do you feel when one of your horses breaks through the gate?  

That all said, I think there's a possibility that this time he could just bolt or cause trouble for other horses.

03 Jun 2014 10:45 AM
Rusty Weisner


Steve Haskin has a post up about Medal Count.  He's high on him for obvious reasons.  Since you can't bet 'em all I'll cross my fingers that he runs like Dullahan did.  I don't think there's going to be money in the trifecta this year and it's too hard for me to pick a third choice from among the very logical ARod, ROC, Medal Count, CC2 or even Samraat (though I suspect ARod will be the best bet for the odds).  I'll put a lot of money into getting a live single with Wicked Strong to finish the P4 and P3.  My only hedge against that would be a CC/WS straight exacta.

03 Jun 2014 10:52 AM
Rusty Weisner


"I could've looked that number up myself, now I feel lazy for having to ask you lol....thanks for the info, much appreciated!"

I think it's just your way of reminding everyone that you're going to be there in person ;-)

The weather so far is looking to be perfect: sunny, low 80's.

03 Jun 2014 10:55 AM

IMO without knowing the post time odds, but just guessing by what people will see on paper in the PPs, I would take Medal Count over CC2,I think CC2 will be and underlay and Medal Count an overlay.

03 Jun 2014 11:02 AM


I admire your confidence. CC2 will be ridden by my fellow Jamaican brother Shaun B. I therefore have additional rooting interest.

"The fact is he passed stopping horses and could not catch him."

I would not disagree with the above. However, in all three of CC2's 3YO starts he has passed horses late. What reason would you attribute to this trend?

He finished ahead of all the horses that defeated him in the Risen Start and LA Derby. If not for a troubled trip in the LA Derby he would have been the winner. He was unable to catch Intense Holiday and Vicar’s In Trouble because of a troubled trip.  He was unable to catch CC1 because of a bad trip.  

With only a MSW victory in the win column, he finished ahead of the winners of the Wood, Spiral, LA Derby, Sunland Derby, Bluegrass, AK Derby and runners up in the FL and Tampa Bay Derby. Why did aforementioned Derby winners and runner up get tired and the winner of a MSW race was full of run at the end? He has more class and stamina. I am confident CC2 will finish ahead of CC1.

Victory Gallop was unable to catch Real Quite in the Derby and Preakness but he caught him in the Belmont. Easy Goer was unable to catch Sunday Silence in the Derby and Preakness but he caught him in the Belmont. Bet Twice was unable to catch Alysheba in the Derby and Preakness but he defeated him in the Belmont.

“In my opinion CC2 could be another Golden Soul one race wonder.”

Golden Soul was sired by a turf horse. His best performances were at turf friendly CD. CC2 has shown far more class than Golden Soul. In both the LA and Kentucky Derby he overcame adversities and closed willingly at the end. Golden Soul closed from last in the LA Derby but had not chance of winning. CC2 could have if not being hindered twice.

03 Jun 2014 11:11 AM


“Palice Malice got 2nd in the Bluegrass which you did not recite because you want to try to convince others that you are correct.”

I did not cite PM’s 2n place finish in the Bluegrass because I was comparing the races both CC2 and PM contested. If you wanted to be critical you should have cited that I failed to mention that they both contested the Risen Star as well.

PM finished 3rd and CC2 finished a troubled 6th. There was nothing sinister in my comparison.

The fact still remain that their two start prior to the Belmont, CC2 has the better record. I need not convince anyone that I am correct as the cold facts speak for themselves.

“CC2 is a sucker bet in the Belmont”

Summer Bird 12-1

Drosselmeyer 13-1

Sarava 70-1

Da’ Tara 38-1

Commandable 19-1

Were the above Belmont winners’sucker bets? Below is a piece on Commendable extracted  from the Daily News that might expand your horizon:

“Stranger things have happened. Then again, maybe not. A horse who was 17th and beaten 26 lengths in the Kentucky Derby, a horse who had not even run in the money since he broke his maiden seven starts ago, a horse who was, well, hopelessly slow, ran away with the 132nd running of the Belmont Stakes yesterday before a stunned crowd of 67,810. Repeat after us: Go figure. Pigs can fly, the sun rises in the West and a horse named Commendable won the Belmont Stakes.”

Based on the above CC2 is certainly a better bet than Commandable.

03 Jun 2014 11:40 AM

Rusty Weisner,

I specified PM would not win the Derby and he finished 12th. Well that's bad handicapping. My selection in the 2013 Belmont was Revolutionary.

Mr. Haskin classified PM as tough and consistent. I disagree as Orb and WCT were the leaders in those categories.

Palace Malice made 10 starts as a 3YO and won twice. He finished off the board 3 times. he was 2nd 3 times.

He was a win machine that I knocked.


03 Jun 2014 11:51 AM
Rusty Weisner


My mistake. I didn't remember that you liked Revolutionary.

03 Jun 2014 12:01 PM

Rusty Weisner,

Thanks for the heads-up on Haskin's article.

It reinforces my thinking.

I like your strategy very much.

The P3 and P 4 will be lucrative

I will also do those bets with the largest denomination using CC followed by Wicked Strong followed by Medal Count. As to the TRI yes it may not pay much. I enhance my payoff by having it multiple times. Waiting for final entries and post positions to finalize my picks. Should know tomorrow.

03 Jun 2014 12:07 PM

Coldfacts your last line:Based on the above CC2 is certainly a better bet than Commandable.

My last line and the bottom line for my bets:I would take Medal Count over CC2,I think CC2 will be and underlay and Medal Count an overlay.

03 Jun 2014 12:26 PM

Coldfacts here is a coldfact from your post a horse who had not even run in the money since he broke his maiden seven starts ago, a horse who

Commenable had at least seven starts how many does CC2 have 4 the PPS and its historic stats will cause CC2 to be bet down

Here are more of your stats:

Summer Bird 12-1

Drosselmeyer 13-1

Sarava 70-1

Da’ Tara 38-1

Commandable 19-1

CC2 WILL BE AN UNDERLAY and you wont get even 12-1 on him GOOD LUCK on sticking with CC2.

03 Jun 2014 12:33 PM
Plod Boy Phil

'Value', like beauty,  is in the eye of the beholder.  One man's underlay may be another's overlay.

03 Jun 2014 12:45 PM
Rusty Weisner


Of course, the tri pays well if you pick the winner and can narrow the bottom of the ticket down to two or three horses.  My point is that I find it hard to narrow down, so for me it's probably not a good bet.  Besides CC & WS I like ARod, ROC, CC2 and Medal Count.  I think CC2 are ROC are my underlays, while ARod and Medal Count are overlays for being behind the others because of bad trips.  I'm willing to take a stab against Medal Count nevertheless, so I guess that means I should try to do something with ARod; let's see what the odds are.  Maybe he'll run his lifetime race; I think ROC may already have run his for a while.  Regardless, it's nice to see two horses besides CC contending all three legs despite not winning.  

03 Jun 2014 12:45 PM
JJs Rocket

If SI defects out of the Belmont as expected, I do wonder if CC will be on the lead. Tonalist is a nice horse but one has to wonder about the sealed wet track and his big number. If it wasn't for his last race you wouldn't think he would be on the lead. Samraat could go but it will probably be by default if he does.

If CC doesn't win the Belmont then the winner will probably come from one of the derby horses that skipped the Preakness. I will be using WS for that horse for me. His 1 mile work with that really long gallop out is what convinced me.

On a side note I would give SI a chance in the WS if he is in there. He has a better chance for two reasons. One is that it is a shorter race and the second is that the starting gate will be on the backside away from all the crazy people. He will still foam at the mouth a little but he should be a lot calmer than being on the front side starting gate.

I like everyone else am still trying to finalize my tri and super bets. I will post them before the race. Im looking to find a longshot but it is going to be tough to do. Good luck to everyone.  

03 Jun 2014 12:52 PM

Great thoughts, everyone! Sorry for my lack of comments yesterday, but I'm back now and ready to start seriously handicapping the Belmont Day stakes races!

First off, I agree with Brontexx that Medal Count is going to offer better value than Commanding Curve -- perhaps substantially better value -- and as a result, I'm leaning toward using Medal Count in some way (possibly for the bottom two slots of a superfecta?), while possibly taking a stand against Commanding Curve. For the last two weeks, I've been trying to convince myself to toss Commanding Curve from consideration entirely, but thus far, I haven't succeeded. The fact that he closed into a moderate early pace in the Derby has me worried, especially since fellow Derby closer Ride On Curlin came back with a much-improved effort in the Preakness.

For those who like Medal Count, it's encouraging to note that Brilliant Speed -- a very talented turf/synthetic horse that won the Blue Grass Stakes in 2011 -- managed to finish third in the 2011 Belmont Stakes despite so-so form on dirt. It's also worth noting that both Brilliant Speed and Medal Count were sired by Dynaformer, so perhaps Medal Count's strong distance pedigree will help balance out any possible dislike for dirt.

But no matter which horses I end up using in the underneath slots of the superfecta, I honestly believe that if the Belmont Stakes were to be run ten times, California Chrome would win at least five of them, and with this in mind, I'm leaning toward playing him on top and trying to get some nice prices underneath him in the superfecta and in the other legs of the pick four. Like Monarchos Matt, I'm hoping that the main pick four will be comprised of the Ogden Phipps, Met Mile, Manhattan, and Belmont Stakes. Without seeing the full entries, I feel pretty good about singling Beholder in the Ogden Phipps and Palace Malice in the Met Mile, which would leave the door open to go deep in the Manhattan, or even the Belmont. I might try two pick four tickets, one singling Beholder and Palace Malice while going six or seven deep in the Belmont (California Chrome, General a Rod, Matuszak, Medal Count, Ride On Curlin, Wicked Strong, and possibly Commissioner), and another ticket going deeper in the Ogden Phipps and Met Mile, but singling California Chrome in the Belmont. It's all just speculation at this point -- I'll have to wait until the entries come out before making any definite decisions -- but those are my thoughts at the moment.

On a side note, Kid Cruz is officially out of the Belmont Stakes, so with one day remaining before entries are drawn, it looks like we'll have a field of twelve.

03 Jun 2014 1:02 PM
Pedigree Ann

However, Steve Haskin also wrote in the article about Medal Count, "Dynaformers as a whole are dirt horses," which can be easily disproved and I don't know why he wrote such a tarradiddle. I count 4 G1 dirt horses and 10 G1 winners on turf. Plus a couple of G1 chasers. Even if it were even-steven, his statement would be incorrect.

03 Jun 2014 1:02 PM

Rusty Weisner looks like a good bet.You know that one of the longest shots will make the super pay without even mentioning the tri.CC2 was that colt in the KD at over 30-1,but he will be less than half that in the Belmont.I think Im pretty sure Matusak and Matterhorn will be two of the ones that will make this pay,but maybe Im forgetting one of the entries,who do you think will go off at more than 25-1?

03 Jun 2014 1:13 PM
Pedigree Ann

JJ's Rocket - I have to agree with you about horses who have on occasion gone to the lead but aren't there most of the time. Tonalist went out on the lead in the Peter Pan, but he had never done so before; in his first two starts, he was rather far back early. Heck, Ride On Curlin went to the lead at Oaklawn when it was wet, but that isn't his normal style, either. Samraat hasn't hit the lead early since he left the inner track behind, sitting a couple lengths behind the leaders. And Chrome's only wire-to-wire victory was when he out-broke his field. That leaves General A Rod, but even he has only a single race (around one turn) where he was ahead at the ST call. So we actually have no dedicated, "gotta get to the front end NOW" sort of horse in the field, like War Emblem was. Sounds like an interesting tactical problem for the jockeys to sort out.

03 Jun 2014 1:31 PM
Monarchos Matt


For what it's worth, the NYRA released a "tentative" race schedule that lists the Just A Game as the lead leg of the Pick 4 in place of the Phipps...which would be a bit disappointing, but it appears they will stagger the turf and dirt races? Without seeing the final entries, based on the probables, it appears a race loaded with late runners. The consistent Discreet Marq, winner of 3 of her last 4 at BEL, could get a fairly easy lead and looks very tough to me.

03 Jun 2014 1:43 PM
Monarchos Matt


I agree with you that CC is not a good bet, although don't necessarily agree that he cannot win with certainty. His Preakness certainly left much to be desired against a very weak field. I'll try to beat him on top of exotics, but feel he has to be used defensively in multi-race wagers. The $2 win bet would be for nostalgic purposes only, as I wouldn't cash the ticket anyway should he either way it would be a donation.

I'm not understanding the knocks on ROC based on him being too tired. This horse has improved with each race this year, save the Derby which was more like a glorified jog for him anyway. I remember similar arguments against the Lukas trained Oxbow and WTC last year,and while the former suffered injury that may or may not have been related to his campaign, the latter was certainly no worse for wear come fall.

Palace Malice, another Curlin, displayed a similar trajectory last year, improving with each race, winning the Belmont and reaching peak form in the fall despite consistent racing. He is now arguably the best horse in training. Point being, sometimes a horse isn't "tired" following a career effort. Sometimes he's just getting better.

03 Jun 2014 1:55 PM
Rusty Weisner


Thanks.  I think I've talked myself into putting ARod into tris with my top two.  If I did supers they would just be chalky ones using the remainder of the horses I mentioned.  I don't know how to distinguish among the newcomers and longshots and for me there's just too much random luck in filling out the super.

I think, odds-wise, a good point of comparison will be looking at the chart from the Smarty Jones Belmont, a nine-horse field (I think we have ten this year?) with a very chalky favorite.  The War Emblem Belmont, with a field of 12, might also be comparable because it had a tougher bunch of customers from the other TC races, like this year; same goes for the Point Given Belmont.

I've got enough time to kill.  Maybe I'll try a ML.  

03 Jun 2014 2:00 PM
Rusty Weisner


I like Palace Malice less at a mile.  What do you think, and why this race -- is it just the most prestigious race that fits his calendar?

03 Jun 2014 2:04 PM
Rusty Weisner

Monarchos Matt,

Palace Malice improved with bigger breaks between races:  Derby/Belmont/Jim Dandy-Travers.

Oxbow is the better comparison to ROC, but I think Oxbow was a cut above, judged by his Derby & Preakness, and I'm willing to gamble on a bounce given more enticing odds on ARod. I've got two horses I find hard to distinguish in terms of ability: I'll go with the better odds here and invent another justification to boost my confidence;-)

For me CC is not a "good bet" at less than 4-5, but I really picture him leading entering the last furlong with a two horse race, like Smarty Jones.  Maybe someone with more guts will try to beat him in the exacta.

This is all moot, though.  We're going to win a bunch on Wicked Strong. I'll have multiple P4 tickets: one where I try to "buy" the P4, one where I try to handicap it, maybe another where I have a second single.  Without a live ticket going into the Belmont it'll be WS on top of all exotics tickets.  

03 Jun 2014 2:17 PM
KY VET do you even call what you do handicapping? You go on these weird things....youre all over the consistancy..........and i give my choices this year in the derby, and preakness an "a"........danza got 3rd at good odds with a bad the preakness i bet against the huge fav, and had 2 horses the 2nd and third best horses...curlin ran the race of his life at 10-1, a-rod had about 8 lengths of trouble at having one of my best years so really dont wanna know............

03 Jun 2014 3:11 PM

Yes....i'm betting against cali chrome......why? I'm a pro......i'm actually betting like rusty......many tri combos......this is the perfect storm........time to get richer!!!!!!!!!!!1

03 Jun 2014 3:13 PM


Do not get overconfident on Wicked Strong.Jerkens's biggest worry in the derby was him loosing his race in the paddock. I,ve heard comments from those in the know that he could be worse than S I in the paddock. With the gate right in front of 100,000 people some horses do not react well and there will also be large crowds in the infield that will be screaming with 1/16 of a mile before the wire.

Remember Quality Rd in the B/C and Real Quiet. Baffert is convinced that the infield crowd spooked R Q for a split second allowing Victory Gallop to nose him at the wire. We cannot handicap for this stuff so have a backup just in case.

Palace Malace is a lock at a mile . Horses cutting back in distance do very very well and the Met Mile winners are worth millions in the breeding shed!

03 Jun 2014 3:16 PM


Animal Kingdom not in the super, as he finished 6th in the 2011 Belmont Stakes as the favorite.

03 Jun 2014 3:46 PM

I see CC1 in the exotics(state the obvious)but as a vertical exotic player if he gets 2nd,it could pay more than you think, depending on the others, at least in the super.If he finishes 3rd the tri will pay a LOT relatively speaking, because you will have 12 times 11 (132) possible outcomes keying him in 3rd.Since he is going for the TC if he gets 3rd and the 2nd and 3rd betting choices dont come in any order in 1st and 2nd  in a 12 horse field, believe it or not it could be a 500 dollar plus tri for the one dollar bet.Dont let the 132 possible outcomes fool you on this one, CC1 will be keyed on top in so many more tris and supers than the next 5 colts combined or more.

I use odds and number patterns to help me come up with illogical combinations otherwise you could end up betting favorites.Look at the results in the KD and the Preakness,the Preakness was chalk in the tri the KD was chalk 1st and 3rd.I think I will look for prices in 2 of the three tri spots and cover with Chrome exactas.

03 Jun 2014 4:23 PM
Rusty Weisner


"in the preakness i bet against the huge fav, and had 2 horses the 2nd and third best horses...curlin ran the race of his life at 10-1, a-rod had about 8 lengths of trouble at 17-1"

The huge fav won, the "third best horse" was off the board.  It was mighty nice of the teller to pay you anyway.

How hard is it to say who you like in the Belmont and why?

03 Jun 2014 4:28 PM

In the KD here is the notation I would make if I was keeping score * -II-3rd,which translates into favorite asterick- a double figure longshot not top 3 betting choice-and 3rd choice  Here is the Preakness notation *-3rd-2nd which you should have guessed means favorite-3rd choice-2nd choice.Thats why if I would have played tris and supers I was putting A-rod in 2nd he was a double figure long shot not in the top three betting choices. Be aware ROC was 3rd choice at more than 10-1.Believe me Im NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT KNOWS THIS, a computer that runs software betting exotics definitely knows this.I am pretty sure at least one of you on this blog knows this because I see the structure he uses to play exactas in particular, in more than one of his picks on this blog.You know who you are and so do I.I have been studying this game from many different angles for more than 20 years.

03 Jun 2014 5:16 PM
Little Bill

Not the first time I've seen the Vet pat himself on the back for running up the track, what the............

By the way he will pick Tonalist. I also think Tonalist will run big.

03 Jun 2014 5:37 PM

From Belmont Notes 6-3.

Billy Turner, who trained Seattle Slew through a sweep of the 1977 Triple Crown, briefly handicapped this year's Belmont Stakes this morning outside his barn.

"I think it's going to be a great race, I really do," said Turner, currently the only living trainer who has won the Triple Crown. "California Chrome is the outstanding horse of the crop. The only question you have is, will he get the mile and a half? He certainly appears to be the best of the 3-year-old crop, no question, but a mile and a half can be a little bit strange and we have a few horses in there who will get the mile and a half. Tonalist was very impressive in the Peter Pan and Wicked Strong has been training like a monster of a horse, and [Wicked Strong] is bred to run that far."

03 Jun 2014 5:40 PM

Rusty Weisner;

The connections of Palace Malice have been targeting the Metropolitan Handicap for a while now, and as Secreteriat mentioned, the possibility of raising Palace Malice's value is a stallion may be one of the main reasons why. But while Palace Malice may be best at longer distances, I believe he is versatile enough to win a one-mile race against top-class company, especially at Belmont Park.

One of the reasons I'm looking forward to the possibility of singling him in the pick four is because I don't particularly care for the chances of Goldencents in the Met Mile, and as a Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner, Goldencents is bound to receive a great deal of support in the wagering. The  vertical wagers could also be intriguing if it looks like Goldencents might run off the board.

Monarchos Matt;

Thanks for the information on the pick four! I can certainly understand why the NYRA would want to alternate between turf and dirt races, but I do hope they change their minds and include the Ogden Phipps in the pick four. Outside of the Belmont Stakes, it could prove to be the most exciting race of the day!

03 Jun 2014 6:48 PM

Four days to go! Here's the link to my latest blog post, analyzing several trends that have arisen in recent editions of the Belmont Stakes:

03 Jun 2014 7:11 PM

Rusty : I think everyone here knows I'm going, no need to remind them.  To be honest, I'm freakin' out as I don't know that area at all, if there's one thing I'm sure of this's that I'll get lost driving to the track.

At this point, I'm more interested in the horses that Coldfacts will use to try and beat Chrome lol.  Moving on to the new blog...

04 Jun 2014 12:17 AM

Recent Posts

More Blogs