2017 Belmont Stakes analysis

Here’s my horse-by-horse analysis for Saturday’s Belmont
Stakes. I’ll be at Emerald Downs that day, with DJ
Flowerdove, enjoying the 8-race card, plus day 2 of the
Indian Relays.

TWISTED TOM: Winner of 4 of 6 lifetime, including
Laurel’s top 3YOs races in the Federico Tesio and Private
Terms. Won an OC statebred 75k race and the Private Terms
first off layoff. One of several horses who is under
influence of a small new top, 93, set in the Tesio. He
does carry a slight bounce risk, as his last 3 races are
sharply ahead of the one before it. Besides that, he did
well in the Tesio, gaining the lead by the 2nd call in
that 9 furlong affair. Most impressive of all, he has 5
works, 2 at Belmont, 3 of the works very fast, one a
bullet.
Projection: Winner.
Suggested odds: 2-1. Big time overlay.
Pace: Very fast all throughout.
TAPWRIT won the Tampa Bay Derby, and finished somewhat
competitively in the Blue Grass Stakes and KY Derby
afterward. Gained a lot against the leader last time out.
No evidence to suggest he’ll be competitive today.
Projection: Outside the top 7
Suggested odds: 30-1 or worse.
Pace: This early closer needs a slow pace throughout.
GORMLEY haS 4 wins in 7, including the Sham, the Front
Runner and the Santa Anita Derby. Based on his last 3 2nd
call numbers, this backstretch horse might have the best
tactical speed of the field. Was somewhat competitive
last out in the KY Derby.
Projection: 6th.
Suggested odds: 29-1.
Pace: Fast throughout.
J BOYS ECHO won the Gotham, finished a respectable 4th in
the Blue Grass, was never a factor in the KY Derby
despite 2nd call gain. No chance here today.
Projection: Worse than 7th
Suggested odds: Worse than 29-1
Pace: Fast, then slowing to average for this closer.
HOLLYWOOD HANDSOME comes out of an allowance win at CD,
only other win besides his maiden win in January. Best
races lifetime were 94 in the Illinois Derby, and 96 in
the LA Derby, then a small bounce to 89 last out. I feel
he can bounce back from this. Best turn time (1 second)
of the field, plus is only horse with such gain despite
lower speed figure. He must have more in the tank.
Projection: 2nd.
Suggested odds: 4-1. Overlay.
Pace: Average all throughout.
LOOKIN AT LEE wasn’t really fooling the bettors tho he
hasn’t been a throwout in most of his races. Only horse
with the ‘exploding’ pace factor, a small gain to set his
first 3YO best effort. Pair of 97s last out to further
his cause. Also gained 1 second in turn time last out,
along with a small 2nd-call gain.
Projection: 5th.
Suggested odds: 29-1.
Pace: Average throughout for this deep closer.
IRISH WAR CRY is a weak 7-2 choice by the morning-line.
4 of 6 wins lifetime including the Holy Bull and Wood
Memorial. Great pattern of alternating triple and
double-digit BRIS scores, and he’s on the uptick.
Prediction: 3rd
Suggested odds: 9-1
Pace: Average throughout.
SENIOR INVESTMENT is 9-3-0-2 lifetime, with 4 1sts coming in his last 6, losing one to DQ. Stock is rather low despite recent success, including his 3rd in the Preakness with new top of 98. Might bounce from that number.
Prediction: Outside the top 7
Odds: worse than 29-1
Pace: Average throughout.
MEANTIME is arguably the wise-guy horse. 4-1-2-1 lifetime, 2nd in the Peter Pan with a strong 105, best Belmont speed of the field. Should we have an off-track, that number becomes an even bigger threat. Seems ripe for a bounce, advancing from 92 while winning his maiden race. Only pure sprinter of the field, suggesting he’s a pure pacesetter for this 12-furlong affair.
Prediction: Worse than 7th.
Odds: 7-1. Overlay.
Pace: Fast to very fast throughout.
MULTIPLIER won the Illinois Derby with a 104 BRIS, then bounced to a 97, finishing 6th in the KY Derby. Could bounce back from that number.
Prediction: 7th
Odds: 29-1
Pace: Average throughout.
EPICHARIS is the mystery horse from Japan, who finished a strong 2nd to Thunder Snow in the UAE Derby in Meydan.
Early on, I figured this horse to win…now I figure he’ll hang in there for 4th. Best AWD numbers of the field (Gold Allure/Stapes Mitsuko, out of Carnegie). 2 of his 4 wins have come straight off layoff. Waiting since the UAE Derby to stretch out, nearly 3 months.
Projection: 4th
Odds: 14-1
Pace: Unknown.
PATCH was 2nd in the LA Derby, but not much of a factor in the KY Derby. Does not rank in any of my variables to be a contender.
Prediction: Outside the top 7
Odds: Worse than 29-1
Pace: Fast throughout.

My top contenders:
Twisted Tom, Hollywood Handsome, Irish War Cry, Epicharis, Lookin At Lee, Multiplier.
Overlays: Twisted Tom, Hollywood Handsome, Meantime.

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