There has been much talk about a track bias for yesterday’s Belmont Met Mile card, so I’ve decided to present some facts for you on this issue. Listed below are the five races ran on the Belmont main track yesterday, and where each winning horse was at the calls. Also I’ll list the farthest back the winner was from the leader during the race.
Race 7 – Arlington Matron Stakes (Grade 3) – Solid race for older filly and mares going one and one-eigth on the all-weather track. The morning line favorite is Upperline, but she’ll be challenged by Kathmanblu for that favoritism at post time. I think Hooh Why could also be an interesting play here at 6-1 on the morning line.
Racing Dudes Pick: #6 Kathmanblu
Race 8 – Arlington Classic Stakes – A field of ten three-year olds will line up for this one, with a lot of them trying out the turf for the first time. Silver Max is the favorite, but others also look tempting in this spot. Najjaar is a deep closer who is trying turf for the first time. If he takes to the surface, his running style might fit the turf very well. Also, the Tim Ice trained No Spin is back to surface he prefers which will make him tough. If playing the pick 3’s or 4’s, I suggested going deep in this field to cover yourself.
In a very evenly matched race full of hard knockers, I’m giving a slight edge to It Happened Again. He threw in a couple of clunkers at Oaklawn this year, but his last race for new trainer Chris Richard was one of the most impressive of his career. He dominated a decent field of allowance horses, showing a different dimension coming from well off the pace. The three some of Chris Richard, Terry Thompson, and Maggi Moss are extremely tough to beat at Prairie Meadows so look for It Happened Again to find the winners circle this Saturday night.
When it comes to ungraded stakes, Stachys knows how to win them! He won this race last year with a nice effort, and looks to be in decent position to win it again this year. He had a minor set back and had to be given some time off, but he came back strong winning his first race of the year at Oaklawn in a decent allowance field. He then raced in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and finished a very solid fifth in what may have been the toughest handicap race of the season. This will be his third start off of a layoff, so I expect him to run a big race in this one. If he gets a little pace to run at, he’ll be awfully hard to handle. Very little difference between him and It Happened Again in my eyes.
You can never count out this horse out at Prairie Meadows. Shadowbdancing has hit the board nine of ten times at Prairie Meadows, and has won four of those races including the Grade 2 Cornhusker Handicap in 2010. His recent form has been pretty solid leading up to this, as he’s hit the board in four out of five ungraded stakes. He’s always a tough beat over this track so you better put him on all your tickets. Continue reading →
Even though he has a low-class rating, don’t let that fool you. Outta Tune is at the top of his game at the age of seven. He was claimed by Maggi Moss for $5,000, and has since won four races in a row, including the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn last time out. Since that race, the third place finisher Hamazing Destiny has come back to win a Grade 3 race on the Preakness under card. Outta Tune’s story of rags to riches is incredible, but one has to wonder if that bubble could burst at anytime. How long can a seven-year old former $5,000 claimer keep running like this? With that being said, you still have to believe he’s the top pick until he shows he might be starting to decline. Hard to root against a horse and story like this one.
At 8-1 on the morning line Billy Two Hats looks to be an excellent bet. He’ll be trying to win his first stakes race, but he’s ran two solid races this year. He was a solid second to multiple stakes winner Riley Tucker in his first start in six months, and then won an allowance race at Arlington in his last start. He showed a lot of heart in his last, as he had to long fight down the stretch to prevail be a nose. He’ll have to be at the top of his game to beat this bunch, but signs are pointing to him running a big one. Continue reading →
I’ll Have Another is One Win Away from Racing Immortality
1. I’ll Have Another is for Real – There is no way in the world you can question his talent or heart now! I’ll Have Another is the best horse in the country right now. His Preakness Stakes time was two seconds faster that Alternation’s final time in the Pimlico Special. He’s easily the best three-year old since Big Brown or Curlin.
2. The Horse is Fairly Fresh – Even though this will be his third race in five weeks, his preps leading up to the Triple Crown were spaced out very well. There is no way you can call him extremely fresh, but considering what he’s been through he comes in fresher than most others that have tried it. Plus, if you believe all the reports, this horse is full of energy. Bounces are always hard to predict, but it certainly doesn’t look like that will be an issue.
3. Mario Gutierrez – You’d think having a young jockey would hurt his chances, but he has given the horse two flawless rides so far. The pressure will continue to mount on Gutierrez, but I believe he’ll handle it. The formula has been simple so far. Keep him out of trouble and let him go to work. I expect no changes in the Belmont. Continue reading →