Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Belmont

Seems like a very long time since Orb wore the garland. I guess that's a good thing. Spring should feel like it lasts forever. Just as the mint in the julep opens the season, the Belmont lets us know that summer is soon upon us.

I'm having a hard time settling on anything but the two expecteds in this one -- Orb and Revolutionary. Overanalyze is getting a lot of looks, but I can't help to think people are looking at this pattern of clunker, hit, clunker, hit and thinking he's due. I don't really trust that pattern. He did win one of the slowest Arkansas Derbies decisively and he gets Johnny V. I don't think his odds are going to be what they should, and that's something like 15-1. Freedom Child could take a lot of money. There's the tangle at the start that everyone now sees in dramatic photographic splendor. Do you want to go with a horse that popped in the slop on a speed-favoring day? I can hear the sound of mutuel slips blowing in the wind. I've never liked the cement-colored Oxbow and maybe I need to get over that, but I'm gonna need one more race opposing him. He will have contention on the front. Golden Soul was second in the Derby thanks to an astute ride by Albarado, but that may be all the gold this guy can pour this spring.

Pace has been the critical factor in handicapping the Triple Crown so far, and the pace has been opposite what the forms have suggested. So that leaves you little. It's very tough to win this type of race from far off the pace, but if there's a jock that understands Big Sandy it's Castellano. I think he'll make amends for moving too soon on Normandy, and maybe he needs to not be criticized for that ride. Most scenarios he wins that, but for some reason that's what I don't like about Casteallano and this might not be fair. But he never seems to have specific knowledge of the horse he's on. He knows the tricks that pan out and he's not afraid. He knows to bring his charge to the heat of the battle, but still. I feel the same way about Pletcher. That he understands it's a numbers game and he isn't going to get more specific in his understanding and tactics. But Pletcher seems to do well in the Belmont. And I think he's probably got a winner in Revolutionary.


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