She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

Thursday, June 5, 2014

California Chrome gets good post position for Belmont

It looks like the Belmont Stakes is setting up nicely for California Chrome. A decent post position draw from the #2 gate, a less than impressive field of 10 competitors and favorable weather predicted for the Saturday final leg of the Triple Crown. 

The Belmont can be a cruel mistress, though. The long stretch to finish the race is a demanding test to win the 1 1/2 mile contest. Someone loves him, though...he has opening odds of 3/5. Bet a Lincoln on him, get it and three Washington's back if he wins. $50 will get you $80.

If he stays there. I've heard tell of a 1/5 potential when they leave the gate at 6:30 p.m.

We'll look at a few of the horses entered that will try to ruin CC's bid to be the first triple crown winner in 35 years.

Tonalist (8-1) It's his first Triple Crown event but he won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in convincing fashion and is bred to go every step of the 1 1/2 mile race. Four career starts could be a hindrance...the track will not...he loves Belmont.

Wicked Strong (6-1) He did win the Wood Memorial in New York earlier this spring and ran fourth in the Derby...six lengths back of CC. He's been rested since, thrilled the clockers with his workouts so far at Belmont and is a closer.
In a perfect race, he'll lay back, move on the final turn and try to catch the front runners in the stretch. 

Commanding Curve (15-1) Runner up to CC in the Derby and was closing late. He skipped the Preakness also, so he has five weeks of rest under his saddle and will be another that will let the pacesetters tire and fire late. He was 1-3/4 lengths back of CC in the Derby. One to watch...with the added distance and rest factor involved.

Ride on Curlin (12-1) Finished second to CC in the Preakness. His trainer seems to think the Belmont distance is ideal for this late runner and he was making up ground at the end of the Preakness. He tried the Derby whether fatigue will be a factor remains to be seen. 

These four and CC will figure into my betting strategy for the Belmont. We'll try to make a profit by placing them strategically in a few exacta and trifecta boxes. How deep I'll use all five in any Pick 3 or 4 wagers will depend on what the other races in the sequence look like.  

Do I have a longshot? Whaddya think the other 10 running against CC are? I will say that I was a big fan of Commissioner early in his career and he has disappointed. Redemption time? Possible...but not very likely. He does get Javier Castellano aboard, of my five favorite jockeys currently. 

Who are the other four? Brian Hernandez. Jr., Rosie Napravnik, Corey Lanerie and Joe Talamo. Only Rosie...out of the four listed riding in the Belmont. Her horse is General A Rod. Love Rosie, I do...but don't think her horse has a chance at all. 

I'll try to update some betting strategies Saturday morning.

The rest of the field is listed below.  

The Belmont Draw

1Medal CountRobbie AlbaradoDale Romans20-1
2California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt Sherman3-5
3MatterhornJoe BravoTodd Pletcher30-1
4Commanding CurveShaun BridgmohanDallas Stewart15-1
5Ride On CurlinJohn VelazquezBilly Gowan12-1
6MatuszakMike SmithBill Mott30-1
7SamraatJose OrtizRick Violette20-1
8CommissionerJavier CastellanoTodd Pletcher20-1
9Wicked StrongRajiv MaraghJimmy Jerkens6-1
10General a RodRosie NapravnikMike Maker20-1
11TonalistJoel RosarioChristophe Clement8-1

Purse $1.5 million
Medal Count
California Chrome
Commanding Curve
Ride On Curlin
Wicked Strong
General a Rod

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