Belmont Derby Preview: Wide Open Betting Race Awaits

CAMELOT KITTEN - The American Turf Gr II - 25th Running - 05-07-16 - R09 - CD - Coady Photography
Coady Photography

Likely Winners

#7 Long Island Sound – His stablemate Deauville actually comes into this race with a little more hype, but I can’t get Long Island Sound’s last race at Royal Ascot out of my head.  He finished third in the race, but was only beaten four lengths by Hawkbill who has come back already to win another stakes race.  The ground that day at Royal Ascot was soft, and it’s very possible it could have hurt his chances of winning as it looks like he’s better on a firmer course.  He got the class test last time out and passed…I think he’s ready today.

#13 Deauville – He’s the hype horse in this race for Aidan O’Brien as he does have a lot of class, but he also hasn’t been able to win in almost a year.  He’s been close in a couple of tough races, but last time out he finished a well beaten 11th so it’s hard to get too excited about him today.  However, that race was over soft ground that he most likely didn’t like running on.  With these powerful connections its hard to doubt this horse even though the resume has some holes in it.  Still think he’ll be running in the end.

#6 Camelot Kitten – This is the lone American horse that I’ll rank in the “likely winners” category as it’s tough for me to see any of the other ones beating the O’Brien runners.  Camelot Kitten is coming off a Grade 2 and Grade 3 win, and has beaten several of the horses entered in today’s race.  Pair that with the fact he has great connections and you have to think he has a shot, but is he classy enough to beat this type of international field?  I’m skeptical he can, but I would not leave a Brown/Ortiz multiple graded stakes winners off any ticket I play.

Exotic Plays

#10 Humphrey Bogart – He certainly fits in well with this group, but of the three overseas shippers I prefer the O’Brien entries a bit more.  Rain would help his chance a little as he has ran some solid races over soft ground, but hasn’t had as much luck on solid footing.  It’s hard to analyze these Euro shippers with much depth, but he must be respected.

#5 Surgical Strike – Found the winners circle last time out after finishing third in a couple of races where he has winning type efforts.  Three races back in the Spiral Stakes is where he caught everyone’s attention as he made a bold move to finish third while going extremely wide the entire way around.  A trip like that won’t get it done today, but it’s clear that turf is his thing and this distance is going to suit him well.  Should run a solid race.

#4 Highland Sky – Has ran in stakes races his last three starts which have all been at different tracks.  In those races he’s finished first once with two close seconds as well so I like the stakes experience this one possesses.  Last time out at a mile and one eighth he ran his best race yet as he just got nosed by Camelot Kitten so perhaps the added distance today is going to help him.  Certainly not impossible if he gets some pace up front.

#12 Call Provision – I would never pick this horse to win or put him in the top spot on any tickets because of his total lack of experience, but he does have the look of a Chad Brown horse that is rapidly improving.  This will be just his third lifetime start, but last time out he ran third in a Grade 3 stakes off only a state bred maiden win to his credit.  Will have to improve once again in this race, but there are signs that point to him doing that.  Look out…

Party Crashers

#2 Ralis – This was my pick to win the Breeders Cup Juvenile back in November…how dumb was that?  I quickly wrote him off after that performance, however since switching to the turf has woke this horse up quite a bit.  He still hasn’t won…but he has had back to back runner up efforts where he has just barely got nosed out.  Today he gets some added ground which looks to be what he needs.  I definitely could be crazy and wrong on him once again…but I wouldn’t be shocked if he runs well in here.  I’d be scared to leave him off my ticket.

#9 Beach Patrol – In the Penn Mile I had very high hopes for Beach Patrol…and even picked him to beat Catch a Glimpse which I’m still angry at myself about doing.  Obviously things didn’t work out at all as he finished sixth and was never even involved in the race.  I have to think he can’t be as bad as that performance, and expect him to rebound in this one.  The only problem in this field is a little tougher, however I think he’s going to like the added distance.  If the price is right he’s worth a very small play.

Throw Outs

#8 Airoforce – Officially sick of Airoforce and have pretty much given up on him.  Sometimes when you give up on one you’ve always liked they can come back to bite you, but he just hasn’t been good enough this year to compete with a field like this one.

#1 Toughest ‘Ombre – Was still a maiden three races back, and hasn’t hit the board in two tries since winning.  However, he was only a half length away from victory last time out in a Grade 3 event at Belmont Park even though he was over 100-1.  Not looking for him to be that close today though.

#3 Applicator – He’s just 2 for 16 in his career, and it’s not like he’s been facing stiff competition in many of those races.  The good news is he did win his last start, but he’ll be a longshot to make it two in a row.

#11 Aquaphobia – Has been fairly successful in four lifetime starts, but takes a major jump up today which he might not be ready to handle.

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