The weather should be perfect, the seats filled to capacity, and all that is left to do is break from the gate at 6:40 p.m. ET. I’ll Have Another is a 1 1/2 miles away from immortality. Union Rags has had some well deserved time off since the Derby, and Dullahan is working like a champ. The stage is set, and the runners are ready. If you watch just a few races a year, this is one event you don’t want to miss.
There are 12 runners who will toss their hat into the ring, and only one has the chance to become the 12th Triple Crown in the last 34-years. They are calling for very nice weather, and the 1 1/2 oval known as ” Big Sandy” can be a heart breaker. I really don’t see a $100 horse winning, and the prognosticators from around the world are all going to be close with predictions. So without further delay, let’s jump right into the action.
#3 – Union Rags (6-1) = John Velasquez is in the saddle to replace Julien Leparoux. Micahel Matz brings his colt in fresh after taking some time to re-group after the Derby. Here is a son of Dixie Union who has had some bad beat stories his last two races. He has been working at Fair Hill in Maryland, and his work has been exceptional. He is 1/1 at Belmont, and if you go back in history, this race will show that it pays to run and win at Belmont. This guy did this in his two-year-old season winning the G-1 Champagne. If he gets a clean trip, this guy can easily play the spoiler. His style should keep him close, and that is very favorable. The price will be every cent of 6-1, as the world will be making a billion wagers on I’ll Have Another to have as a keepsake. I’ll go ahead and have this one……
I began my search with I’ll Have Another. The Derby made me think, the Preakness gave me hope, but the Belmont has me asking questions. After further review, I am leaning in a completely different direction. #9 – Paynter (8-1) runs for the Bob Baffert barn. This son of Awesome Again has the right style to run well in the Belmont. Typically, horses with tactical speed do very well. This colt is a speedy sort who can dictate the pace. Mike Smith is one of the best money riders around, and you can bet Team Baffert would like to play the spoiler as I’ll Have Another beat his Bodemeister twice. He’s lightly raced, and should slow down the race to his liking. If no runner presses his efforts, then it could be over early. I love the connections as they win 30% together, and the price makes the stretch worth while.
#5 – Dullahan (5-1) = J.J. Castellano replaces Kent Desormeaux for Dale Romans. Now, I have heard some confident remarks in my time, but they really think they have the horse to beat. He is a closer who has favored the synthetic surfaces during his career. He is working like a dream, and has a very talented rider aboard. I think the only thing that separates him from winning is his style of chasing them down. If the timer is fast, and the speed begins to labor, this guy can easily fill their shoes. This guy is game…..
Now, I have missed one. That is the talented runner known as I’ll Have Another. I see him being a player for awhile, but the rested horses will get the best of him. The reason the Triple Crown is so rare is the fact it is so demanding. The runners who have completed this feat are part of the Pantheon of Racing. I will play both sides of the fence by claiming there will be tears in my eyes if he pulls off this feat. He should to be proud either way, and this makes the day a winner. Best of luck, and may your winners be many, and your photos be few !