#9 Revolutionary (KY) – Revolutionary has been the three-year old I have liked since March, so I’m definitely willing to give him another try at Triple Crown glory in this one. His Kentucky Derby race was very solid, and I like that he comes into this one well rested while his main challengers have run in both legs of the Triple Crown. He’ll come out of his own stall which will also help, and he gets his regular rider back as well. Hopefully he’ll get a clean outside trip this time, and be clear to do his best running in the stretch. All systems seem to be set on go for him, and I will be expecting a big race.
#5 Orb (KY) – While Revolutionary was the three-year old I’ve liked for a while, Orb has always been second. We all know his story, so I don’t need to waste your time retelling it. Bottom line on Orb: If he returns to his Kentucky Derby form, the rest of these horses are running for second. With the weather looking like rain it will only help his chances even more. He could be sitting on his best race yet if the Triple Crown trail hasn’t knocked the wind out of him. His Preakness race has me a bit scared that it may have…
#2 Freedom Child (KY) – I can keep this one short and sweet for everyone. The horse won nicely over the track in the Peter Pan which was over a sloppy track. The forecast for Belmont day looks like heavy rains. Put two and two together…can’t toss this horse off of any of your tickets.
#3 Overanalyze (KY) – Not sure this horse has the talent to win the whole thing, but how can you not love his “grind it out style” when it comes to a race like the Belmont? It’s looks as though the horse will improve with the added distance, and will be running all the way to the wire when most have stopped. Talent is the only question mark.
#7 Oxbow (KY) – Oh how it PAINS me to put him as an “exotic play.” One of my favorite horses in training, and perhaps of all time, Oxbow will definitely be the horse I’m rooting for on Saturday. But, rooting interest and betting interest are two entirely different things, and for me I think hitting the board could be the ceiling for him in the Belmont. Considering the incredible campaign he’s already been on, the mile and one half distance might be a stretch for a horse that has every right to be a little tired.
#10 Will Take Charge (KY) – Those of us that know this horse well were not surprised with his dull Preakness effort. Will Take Charge has struggled from day one with putting together back to back solid races. He’ll most likely be ignored at the betting windows this time which is even better for us that still believe in him. The horse should be ok with the distance, and with a clear trip could easily hit the board at a nice price.
#12 Palace Malice (KY) – It’s has been the same story with this horse since day one. Tons of hype, huge workouts, but just average races from him. Last week he put in another one of those breath-taking workouts which lead to a huge buzz around the horse racing world. Pletcher commented that he had only had a hand full of horses EVER gallop out as well as Palace Malice. So…the question remains…can Palace Malice finally live up to the hype and bring his “A” game on race day? I wouldn’t put all my eggs in his basket, but he’s worth some sort of play.
#13 Unlimited Budget (FL) – “A filly in the Belmont!” Those were the famous words of Tom Durkin as Rags to Riches narrowly defeated Curlin in the 2007 Belmont. While I’m not expecting a repeat of that on Saturday, I do think Unlimited Budget has an outside chance to make some noise. Her pedigree is kind of hit and miss when it comes to getting the distance, but I do like that she’s ran similar numbers to the boys coming into this one. The only down side could be the “sentimental bets” that will come in on her as she is a filly against boy, and will also be ridden by a female jockey. That could hurt your price if you like her.
#14 Golden Soul (KY) – I’m still not totally sold on this guy, but any time you finish second in the Kentucky you have to take notice. He obviously liked the rain at Churchill last time out, and the forecast for Saturday looks like he’ll catch a sloppy track yet again. The Belmont distance looks to be in his favor, but can the horse return to his Kentucky Derby form?
#1 Frac Daddy (KY) – This one was an easy toss for me as I’ve never liked him in any of his races leading up to this one. Other than his second in the strangely ran Arkansas Derby, what has this horse done to make you think he has a shot?
#4 Giant Finish (NY) – His resume was definitely light going into the Kentucky Derby, but he didn’t totally embarrass himself in that one. He probably will have another race like that one on Saturday. Maybe not quite good enough.
#6 Incognito (KY) – He already faltered over this track finishing fifth in the Peter Pan so I don’t think the Belmont will be any different. Has been said to be working out great, but he might just not be good enough.
#8 Midnight Taboo (KY) – It’s hard to totally throw out a Todd Pletcher trained horse, but the lightly race colt doesn’t look to be ready for this kind of test. Probably one to look for down the line somewhere.
#11 Vyjack (KY) – He was my first toss. The horse just doesn’t look like he’s doing well right now, and the demanding distance is probably not going to be something he likes. The Woody Stephens might have been a better fit.