As disappointed as I was to see I’ll Have Another scratched from the race, it did remove my biasness in handicapping the race as I no longer have the rooting interest of the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years in my mind.
With that said, here’s my adjusted game plan for the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes:
#5 Dullahan (9/5) – The distance has never been the question with Dullahan. I liked him before the scratch to win the race and I like him even more now. He should be able to save ground in this race by keeping closer to the front and cost him to rally from 11th in the Kentucky Derby. The time off since then will only help his chances. He comes in with fresh legs and a proven track record. Most of his success has come on the synthetics, but there’s enough support for his performance on dirt to overlook it.
#3 Union Rags (5/2) – The horse had all the hype coming into the Triple Crown season and his success cannot be ignored. He didn’t fire on Derby day and took five weeks off here. However, his bloodlines don’t suggest he’s bred to go the distance. With such high odds surrounding him it’s hard for me to get too excited.
#9 Paynter (4/1) – He lacks the experience, but he is the only horse in the race with a Beyer Speed of 100, which he did twice. The colt is much better than when he ran in the Santa Anita Derby a couple of months ago.
#1 Street Life (6/1) - Has the closing ability to be a factor in such a long race and has had success at Belmont
#12 My Adonis (15/1) – He definitely warrants consideration on the back end of exotics.
#4 Atigun (15/1) – He’s easily my favorite longshot of the race. He finished second in the Arkansas Derby and could figure into some exotics.
#10 Optimizer (20/1) – The horse is going in the opposite direction seemingly, but it would not surprise me to see him pull something out of his hat.
It’s hard to find great value in the race with it being so top heavy, but I will try to make the best use of each dollar budgeted (total wagered - $56)
$20 EX Box: 5-9
$2 TRI wheel : 5/3,9/1,3,4,9,10