#5 Dullahan (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 5.89
I hate to say it, but I really believe Dullahan is the one to beat heading into this race. I didn’t think the horse could run on dirt, but he put those doubts to rest in the Kentucky Derby. In that race he had to swing out extremely wide, but was still gaining down the stretch. His third place effort could have been a winning one with a little bit better trip. Now he comes into the Belmont off a five-week rest, compared to I’ll Have Another’s three-week rest. There is no question in my mind I’ll Have Another is the better horse, but adding in the short rest and long distance of the Belmont, I think it swings the advantage in Dullahan’s favor. His odds will be solid, and I think he gets the job done.
#11 I’ll Have Another (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 8.86
Don’t worry I’ll Have Another fans, I didn’t pick him to win the Kentucky Derby or Preakness and look how that turned out. Look, I’m pulling for I’ll Have Another to win this race. I’d love to see a Triple Crown in my lifetime, and I do think this horse is one of the better three years we’ve had in quite a while. As I stated earlier in the week, he doesn’t have to win this race to prove anything to me. As a handicapper, it’s hard to go against the recent history of this race though. Longshots have ruled, and Triple Crown attempts have been denied. Three races in five weeks plus the mile and a half distance will likely catch up with I’ll Have Another. I expect him to run a great race, but fall just short.
#3 Union Rags (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 7.14
You can’t blame Matz for changing jockey’s, but now who is to blame if the horse has a poor performance? I do think Union Rags is better than what he’s shown in these last two races, but I have serious questions about him getting the mile and a half distance. He also draws inside once again, so Velazquez must get him out of the gate to avoid another disaster. His talent level makes him a horse you probably should use on exotic tickets, but there are too many question marks surrounding him for me to endorse a win bet.
#1 Street Life (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 4.00
It’s not often you see a deep closer win the Belmont, so I’m not thinking he has much of a shot to beat the top two I have listed. I do like how he’s coming into the race, and I could see a late run for third as a possibility. Chad Brown is a pretty sharp trainer, and he wouldn’t be entering him if he didn’t think the horse could run with class. He’s one that would be dangerous to leave off any trifecta or superfecta ticket.
#10 Optimizer (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 2.91
There is no question Optimizer’s breeding suggests he can go long, but can he run on the dirt? Look at his past performances and you can easily see he’s been more successful on turf, but give him credit for not totally embarrassing himself in the two Triple Crown races leading up to this one. This race fits his running style and pedigree better than the others, so I am giving him a legit shot to hit the board.
#9 Paynter (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 5.25
Wouldn’t it be fitting for Zayat Stables to win this race? After all the 2nd’s they’ve had to endure on the Triple Crown trail, to finally break through with Paynter and spoil a Triple Crown bid would make for quite the show. Paynter is extremely talented, and his last race shows that he’s fast enough to compete with these types of horses. Remember that this horse will only be making his fifth start, so you can see the kind of class he has. The mile and a half is going to be a question mark, but if he can get the distance he could pull the upset. There doesn’t look to be much pace, so Paynter could find himself on the lead right from the start.
#12 My Adonis (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 3.00
Out of all the throw outs this one worries me the most. I don’t vision this horse having any chance to win, but I could see him getting into the top four and ruining some superfecta tickets.
#2 Unstoppable U (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 6.50
Don’t be fooled by his class rating, he’s only ran two races, but he did win them both rather easily. He’s got a little bit of early speed, but having never raced over a mile it’s tough to think he can make much noise in this spot.
#4 Atigun (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 3.22
Pretty decent horse, but has just been out-classed against the tougher competition. I’d think he’d fit a little better in the race like the Easy Goer on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
#6 Ravelo’s Boy (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 1.54
No logical way to see him making an impact. Hasn’t raced since early March, and was a distant fifth in the Tampa Bay Derby.
#7 Five Sixteen (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 2.00
Hard to think this guy will make any impact at all. He broke his maiden at Aqueduct in March, but came back in April to finish forth in an allowance. Now he shows up in the Belmont Stakes? No thanks!
#8 Guyana Star Dweej (KY) – Racing Dudes Class Rating: 2.00
It’s been quite a fall for jockey Kent Desormeaux. He was supposed to ride Dullahan before failing a breathalyzer test, but now he’s on an obvious throw out in Guyana Star Dweej.