The Set Up

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 8, 2011 in Free Picks and Tips, General Discussion, Handicapping | No Comments >>

Naaa… No illegal game, or a cards up your sleeve. I am just starting to put together a possible scenario for the Belmont, and how it will shake out from the gate. The real drawing begins on Wednesday, and we can start planning now as there is value to be had and a $1 million dollar pick-six and pick-four in the balance.

“Big Sandy” will test these runners with a 1 1/2m of pure ugly. If you haven’t been riding there in the past, you better show up early and get a few mounts under your belt. Stewart Elliot was a fine rider, and didn’t have much action over the strip, but when Smarty was five to the good and clear, he should have been home at 98% of the tracks. But, Belmont’s turns go on forever. You make the turn right against the rail and are on top by two, and when you straighten away, you are leading by a half and are in the three path. They are wide and sweeping, and this is the test we have been waiting to watch.

Shackleford: Jesus Castanon is going up for some mounts this week. His agent will like to see to that, and you can bet he will have an idea of what things look like. Dale Romans said he looked “super,” and you can take that to the bank. He will send him, and look for this son of Forestry to slow things down a bit. If he does, and the field allows this, we may see the Preakness all over again. He is a half-sister to Lady Joanne who won the 1 1/4 G-1 Alabama. He can get the distance if the pace is his way.

Animal Kingdom: This player got caught napping in the Preakness. They were so busy watching Dialed In that they went to sleep. Once he broke free and rolled, he finished up a  1/2 behind the winner. He had a bullet work on Monday, and his time was the fastest of 32. Graham Motion is finally being appreciated as the trainer we all cashed in on for years. He sent Animal to New York, and did not dilly-dally as he did in Baltimore by waiting til the day of the race. He will be settled and used to the sights and sounds. I think he may relish this, and appreciate already being there. John Velasquez is so dangerous, he can move at any time with this hot-shot runner. I see him moving around the turn, and by the time they hit the quarter, he will be three on top. Catch him if you can. He will make us talk about what might have been, and Team Valor will be waiting for the next good looking fella’ to get the job done. Barry Irwin, you win the award for being cool. He let the stink of the Derby pass, and now he is back to business. I like it more this way, and let the horses do the talking. Right now, he is my top pick.

Nehro: Talk about some payback.  How did he look at the quarter pole in Louisville?  He is doing well in the morning, and Asmussen is happy. Nehro has given us some thrills in the Louisiana Derby and the Arkansas Derby by running into the game right near the wire. He is ready, and the distance shouldn’t bother him. I like his style, and if Animal is not 100%, this guy takes them down a few notches. He is a good horse to have few bucks on, and will give you a lot of action.

Mucho Macho Man– He has had some shoe problems. I am certain that Nike or New Balance will get in the horse shoe business soon!  They have some glue on jobs, and things are working well. Ramon Dominguez is in the saddle, he rode six winners on Sunday. He knows the oval and if the horse is ready, he will give us something to think about. Kathy Ritvo is doing well with him, and brings a solid effort no matter.

More to come this week, and keep your eyes peeled. Winning Ponies has a sweet deal out there for you, and as always there will be plenty of action on the “EZ – Win” forms. Be sure to tune in this Thursday for a complete breakdown of the stakes card and Belmont 143.

Best of luck !