#5 American Pharoah (KY) – What a wild ride this horse has taken us on! Seemingly every race he’s ran (even in Arkansas) we’ve found ourselves in a position of defending him, and every time he’s made us look very good. One race away from racing immortality and there is no reason we won’t roll with him one more time. His energy level looks great plus there is no doubting he’s better than everyone else in this field. The distance of the Belmont is the only lingering question mark left as his breeding doesn’t suggest he’ll go this far. Win or lose he’s proven his greatness…but now it’s time to put greatness in his rearview mirror and carry all the broken dreams of the last 37 years on his back and END THIS STREAK of Triple Crown losers. History will be made on Saturday!
#6 Frosted (KY) – This one scares me and most likely every other American Pharoah fan out there. The fact is Frosted ran a very solid fourth in the Kentucky Derby despite the widest trip of all as well as having to overcome an extremely slow pace for him to close into. He’ll most likely be closer to the pace this time, and his breeding says the mile and a half won’t be a problem. He’s rested and coming out of his own barn at his home track…he keeps getting scarier the more I type. Others winning would be a shock to me, but Frosted certainly would not be.
#8 Materiality (KY) – He seems to be a bit of mystery no matter who you ask. Some believe he ran an unbelievable race in the Kentucky Derby, while others say he passed tired horses and didn’t do much. I fall somewhere in between. I do believe his troubled trip cost him from being competitive, but I am skeptical he could have hit the board. The distance of todays race should be ok for him, plus he’s now drawn outside of horses so he will get a clean trip this time. Not sure he’s quite good enough to upset, but he looms dangerous.
#1 Mubtaahij (IRE) – Speaking of mystery…who knows with this one either. Didn’t run terrible in the Kentucky Derby while being pinned down on the rail for most of the race. Will he improve here, and will the distance be to his liking? How about with a race now under his belt in the United States? Hard questions to answer, but he’s been training at Belmont Park so he should be used to the surface. The question is whether he’s good enough even if he fires his best race…and to me the answer is no he can’t win, but he can hit the board.
#7 Keen Ice (KY) – When you talk about being bred for the Belmont this is the horse that comes to mind. Distance isn’t going to be any problem for him it will just be a matter of if he’s fast enough. If all the other horses in the race “hate” the mile and a half I do think he will be able to pass them. Expect him to keep grinding until the end and have a decent shot to pick off a few horses late.
#2 Tale of Verve (KY) – Forgive me for not buying into a Dallas Stewart horse coming off a mammoth 2nd place effort in a Triple Crown race. We’ve seen this twice before and it didn’t turn out well. Will most likely be over bet as well off that Preakness effort. Will have to prove it to me one more time.
#4 Frammento (KY) – Nope…still don’t believe he’s much. His running style is far from ideal in a race like this as well. Nick Zito has pulled some upsets in this race, but not this time.
#3 Madefromlucky (KY) – Nice win last time out in the Peter Pan, but we’ve seen him get smoked by American Pharoah on two occasions. I don’t think he’ll stay the distance, and he’s probably a small cut below the rest in this field.