Belmont Stakes

Last of the Triple Crown Races -

Here are the PPs


This race is manageable as far as handicapping, as we have been gifted with 8 returning starters from the Kentucky Derby with 4 newcomers who have little to offer, and it's now a matter of finding the right outcome, as it is certainly staring us in the face.

As you know, Nehro was my horse in the Derby and I have been talking up Nehro the past 2 weeks getting ready for the Belmont. As I try to handicap this race accurately before using hindsight after the race and saying "Wow, that was obvious", I begin to wonder why I am getting sucked in by Nehro. As Steven Christ points out this week, Nehro finished 2nd in 3 consecutive Derbies - LA, AK & KY - and horseplayers always overbet chronic bridesmaids. This time, the thinking goes, he’s due to get there. He’ll be in the mix, but it’s not as if he was unfairly deprived of victory in any of those races. He fell short without excuse in the first two, and failed at two crucial points in Kentucky despite a perfect trip: Shackleford repulsed his bid at the top of the stretch, and then Animal Kingdom ran by him like he was standing still. He was a step away from being caught for second by Mucho Macho Man, who did not have as clean a journey.

I have been in the chronic bridesmaid trap before - The big concern here is that Nehro skipped the Preakness and is bred for the longer distance - The question is: Will the 5 week layoff and prepping for the Belmont help?

Animal Kingdom deserves to be the favorite - no question about it.

Unfortunately, Shackleford is the lone speed horse of the race and can dictate the pace which screws up easy handicapping of the race. He could really slow things down. None of the other colts in the race have ever lead at the opening 1/4 or 1/2. Even coming from the #12 post position, he should have no problem getting up front and the pace will be up to him. An honest pace would make seeing the outcome easier.

The 2 big value plays are Mucho Macho Man and Master of Hounds at 10-1 odds.

Mucho Macho Man has never had the "perfect trip" and after a very disappointing Preakness to go along with much disappointment on the Derby Trail - This could be a play. Remember, he was just ready to pass Nehro in the Kentucky Derby and had a much more difficut trip than Nehro's easy gallop.

Master of Hounds is a crazy entry and play, but there is reason to believe. This colt could stay in Ireland and win, win, win. In the last 7 months, this colt has traveled from Ireland to Kentucky, Kentucky to Ireland, Ireland to Dubai, Dubai to Ireland, Ireland to Kentucky, Kentucky to Ireland, and Ireland to New York. After his powerful and strong finish in the Kentucky Derby, his jockey, Garrett Gomez, said, "I want to ride this horse back in the Belmont." Okay Garrett, you got your wish.


Well there it is - my 72 cents worth.

You Have your five colts -

  1. Animal Kingdom

  2. Nehro

  3. Shackleford

  4. Mucho Macho Man

  5. Master of Hounds

I really do not see another coming into play - If so, maybe Santiva, but let's not get crazy.

I will throw out Shackleford - Simple reason - The distance.

That leaves four to play, with two colts at 10-1. 

I will throw Nehro out of one - Master of Hounds out of one - Mucho Macho out of one.

Leaving 3 TRI Plays (with partial boxing/wheeling) -

  1. Animal Kingdom

  2. Nehro

  3. Mucho Macho Man


  1. Animal Kingdom

  2. Mucho Macho Man

  3. Master of Hounds


  1. Animal Kingdom

  2. Nehro

  3. Master of Hounds

Good Luck to all

- JPMc (drt)


posted by drtnapper07

June 10 2011 10:05am

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