The Belmont 2017--Analysis and Picks FINAL

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Author: [Horse Racing] Topic: The Belmont 2017--Analysis and Picks FINAL
mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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Posted: 6/10/2017 10:58:01 AM

Well, the big day has arrived and from all of the dialogue I’ve read on Covers, it seems like the opinions are most varied and wide-open, as is the race. One late note: EPICHARIS SCRATCHED.

Let’s see if we can sort it out.

 

#1 Twisted Tom….The wise guy horse? After Chad Brown’s training job with Cloud Computing in the Preakness, there is no reason to deny that this son of Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) and a Thunder Gulch mare doesn’t have a chance to compete today despite odds of 20-1. Thunder Gulch won the 1995 Belmont. TT gets Castellano, a huge plus, and comes off three straight wins, including the locally competitive Tesio (Laurel). While his competitors to date can’t pass muster with most of these, Tom appears to be capable of getting the 1-1/2 miles distance via the breeding and style. A career record of 6/4-0-0, his worst finish was 6th, but less than four behind the winner.  An excellent work on June 3 sets him up for this at a track in which he has won a race—albeit on the turf. For those concerned about his traveling to Elmont, Tom has had four races in NY, including his Belmont win, with two races at Aqueduct and one at Saratoga. His speed figures rate with just a few of the entrants, but at 1-1/2 miles, it’s his closing kick, I believe, that can help him capture a top 5 finish. I’ll bet on his improvement, and will put him in my exotics hoping to catch lightening.

#2 Tapwrit…..Oh where, oh where has my Tampa Derby winner gone? Coming off two dismal performances, losing by a combined total of 22-3/4 L, I don’t think any of us expected Taprwrit to be this bad at this time in his development. While I’d love to throw out at least one of his last two races, I just can’t find excuses for doing so despite his being jostled a time or three at Churchill. Smart move by Pletch to keep him away from Pimlico. His work has been OK for this, but nothing that makes a jaw drop. A candidate to improve with Pletcher vying for his third Belmont, call me Doubting Thomas-Mikey for win, but a major slice possible. The gray/roan record a factor?

#3 Gormley….A few lengths shy of being designated with official “Underachiever” status, he did little in the Kentucky Derby to show that he belonged with the elites that day. Another candidate for improving, his connections pray that he makes the same late move as in the SA Derby. Certainly possible, but can that kick hold the added panels? That said, he does have Belmont breeding all over the map: Grandson of ’92 winner Malibu Moon, who is out of Belmont winner A.P. Indy, who is son of Seattle Slew and dam was a daughter of Secretariat. A.P. Indy sired 2007 filly and Belmont champ Rags to Riches. While that is a mouthful, it does give credence to a possible Gormley win, if not decent portion. The other “rationalization” for him is the boy’s win-lose, win-lose, win-lose pattern. In his past six races, Gormley has won-lost, won-lost, and won-lost. He’s on the win cycle this time. Shirreffs and Espinoza combo most credible with Victor a past winner.
mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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Posted: 6/10/2017 10:59:35 AM

#4  J Boys Echo….An ‘X’ factor because he has shown close; he’s trained by sharpster Dale Romans; and his 102 Beyer in The Gotham came when he beat….Cloud Computing. Coming off a dismal 15th place finish more than 23 L behind in the Kentucky Derby, JBE has regressed significantly since his Gotham win. His work for this indicates that the Mineshaft colt is on the rebound with Dale putting Robbie Albarado back in the saddle off his pre-Derby injury. The jock guided the lad to his two career wins, but it will take a big effort in deep close for him to pull off the win. A taste is a possibility, especially if he passes dead ones in the final furlong.

#5 Hollywood Handsome….A grandson of Tapit, out of competent Tapizar, his greatest accomplishment to date is finishing fourth by 3 L in the Louisiana Derby behind Girvin, Patch and Local Hero. It was in his fifth race before he broke his maiden. While he followed up his fifth place, nine length loss in the weak Illinois Derby (G-III) with a win in a $50K ALW at Churchill, the 30-1 ML odds for HH is well-deserved. Trainer Dallas Stewart is capable of pulling the rabbit out of the hat (Commanding Curve’s 2nd place KY Derby finish in 2014 at 37-1), and hot rider Geroux sits on top, but a win today at, my guess, 40-1 or more at post time puts him close to Sarava upset territory.

#6 Lookin At Lee…..I can’t remember too many horses who have won nearly $1 million not even halfway through their 3-year old season, including seven in the money finishes in eleven races, that has been as second-guessed and maligned as this Lookin At Lucky colt. Lee had ten straight Beyer increases before regressing to a 94 in the Preakness (from 98 in the KY Derby), a race that, in my opinion, he should have passed. Lee is the only horse in the field that is taking on all three legs of the Triple Crown and that can be very telling. So was his Beyer regression in the Preakness due to a weaker performance, partly caused by a bad break out of the gate, or was the distance too short for his style? Dismiss him, if you will, but consider a number of positives. This is a road warrior raced at six tracks in his eleven career races entering The Belmont with a solid .48.1 work with local hot shot Irad Ortiz on the strap. Perhaps there is no better proven closer that this guy. Maybe he hasn’t won more races is because he needs the added distance? While The Belmont usually takes a tactical speed effort to win, the widely diverse nature of this field leads me to believe that Lookin At Lee can win the race and, at the least, cash a major check. Don’t dismiss at any cost in your exotics.

#7 Irish War Cry….How does a horse who, in his last race, finished 16 lengths behind the winner become the odds-on ML favorite in The Belmont? Irish War Cry has been up and down more than a Kardashian starting with his 101 Beyer in the Holy Bull, followed by a 63 in the FOY, a 101 in the Wood, then another setback to an abysmal 79 in the Derby, while finishing 10th. The pattern says IWC will be primed for run today. Why not? He has a jock for the course in Maragh and a work regiment that is Belmont ready. However, this race was not on trainer Graham Motion’s agenda until he decided the colt was training so well that that there is a chance to win. I have to think that the field Motion anticipated for the race had something to do with it. Arguably, Irish War Cry faced better in winning the Holy Bull when he beat Gunnevera and Classic Empire (would he have been The Belmont fave?), and in The Wood beating Cloud Computing, Battalion Runner and Mo Town. Will IWC show up? While The Belmont is not, traditionally, a race that favors favorites, I think IWC deserves much consideration.

mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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Posted: 6/10/2017 11:01:51 AM

MY PICKS

OK. Admittedly, I polished of the dart board as any of 7 or 8 can win this……

Picking three on top: #6 Lookin At Lee, #7 Irish War Cry, #10 Multiplier

#6 Lookin At Lee to win..…here I go again with this guy. I am betting on the distance and the jockey and the smarts of the HOF trainer and will hope that the 3 grueling races in 5 weeks doesn’t catch up to him.

$16 exacta box: 6,7,10

$8 exacta wheel: 6,7,10/1,3,8

$3 tri wheel: 6,7,10/1,3,6,7,8,10/1,2,3,4,6,7,8,10,12

jlewin PM jlewin
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Posted: 6/10/2017 1:17:54 PM
Enjoy reading your write ups, good luck to you.  This is a fun race to bet.  Both Looking At Lee and Irish War Cry have very good reasons to bet or throw out, I will throw both out just to try and get a bit of better payout.  I will also throw out both the "Hawthorne" horses" Multiplier and Hollywood Handsome, not a big fan of Illinois racing (but I do really miss Sportmans Park).  That leaves the other seven which I will fool around with in trifecta boxes.  To me, both the Pletcher horses are very dangerous.  Good luck folks.
Conley12 PM Conley12
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Posted: 6/10/2017 1:26:29 PM
Mikey I have the same pick as you! GL to you sir! 
mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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Posted: 6/10/2017 1:41:42 PM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by Conley12:

Mikey I have the same pick as you! GL to you sir! 


mikeyp1 PM mikeyp1
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Posted: 6/10/2017 1:43:01 PM
QUOTE

Originally Posted by jlewin:

Enjoy reading your write ups, good luck to you.  This is a fun race to bet.  Both Looking At Lee and Irish War Cry have very good reasons to bet or throw out, I will throw both out just to try and get a bit of better payout.  I will also throw out both the "Hawthorne" horses" Multiplier and Hollywood Handsome, not a big fan of Illinois racing (but I do really miss Sportmans Park).  That leaves the other seven which I will fool around with in trifecta boxes.  To me, both the Pletcher horses are very dangerous.  Good luck folks.


I like your strategy, J. If you don't like the faves, why not take a shot?

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