Brad's BIG Race Analysis
The 143rd Belmont
11th @ Belmont...All carry 126
1. Master Of Hounds...Gomez...No doubt he's bred for the distance, but on this surface? He ran much better in the Derby than I thought he would. Can't help but feel that this campaign seems like an afterthought given all of the grass he ran on last year. If they really thought he was going for dirt classics, why ship him over for the BC Juvy Turf?
2. Stay Thirsty...Castellano...Ran big in the Hopeful last year, but really hasn't come close to that effort this year. The Gotham win was nice, but not really fast. He did spend time on that deadly rail at Churchill but there were no excuses in Florida. I'm not impressed.
3. Ruler On Ice...Valdivia...Can't see him hanging around for 12 panels. Has run decently in some lesser stakes, but $47k allowance win at Philly is his legacy for now.
4. Santiva..Bridgmohan....Ran a decent effort in the Derby coming off of that horrid Bluegrass. His pattern coming in to this looks very promising and he could be circling back to a BIG effort which would put him in the mix. The distance won't be an issue, and his running style suits here. Price should be good too. A lot to like.
5. Brilliant Speed..Rosario...Ran an interesting race in the Derby.8 wide on the turn and gaining. Breeding suggests that this is within his reach. Seems better suited to grass or poly, but stranger things have happened. Wouldn't be a shock to see him close up here. Definite exotics threat.
6. Nehro...Nakatani...The wiseguy horse, although his price won't be that great. Has a bad case of seconditis lately. The lack of a serious foundation at two could be a reason, and may hurt him here as well. Breeding is decent distance-wise. Has developed a lot already this year. Connections were wise to skip the Preakness. Has that set him up for a major effort here? A repeat of his Derby effort will get him in the exotics. Can he win the BIG one?
7. Monzon...Lezcano...Lightly raced and well-bred. But he just looks too slow to me. This crop has taken it's shots, but he would be a major surprise.
8. Prime Cut...Prado...Another that looks too slow, and may be distance challenged as well. Bobbled at the start of the Peter Pan, then backed up in the stretch. No thanks.
9. Animal Kingdom...Velasquez...There's no doubt he'll like the distance. Question is, how much is left in the tank? Put in a sizzling 4f work here on the 6th. Maybe he's fine. But at the price he'll likely be, I want to look elsewhere. It would be foolish to dismiss him completely, like I did in the Derby, so I will use him, defensively.
10. Mucho Macho Man...Dominguez....Looks like the Derby took a lot out of him. Didn't look comfortable at all in Baltimore. I didn't think he wanted the distance in his last two, and he certainly won't want it here. He will however eat a lot of cash.
11. Isn't He Perfect...Maragh...Hasn't given any indication that he belongs here.
12. Shackleford...Ran exactly as expected last out, but I didn't expect him to win. I have to wonder again, how much is left in his tank? He's run in three tough races in a row now, and it lookd as if Animal Kingdom was getting to him late last time. 12 furlongs may be beyond his grasp, but he will be on or close to the lead for at least the first mile. What happens then?
As of now there is a 50% chance of rain for this. That will be a major bummer.
I'm going back to my Derby selection of Santiva. He's going to like the distance and the 5 weeks should set him up perfectly.
Animal Kingdom looked to be gaining last out. Crossing my fingers that he's got one more good effort in him.
Nehro should get a piece of this again.
Brilliant Speed will be a price and should be used..
Exacta box: 4-9
Tri Box: 4-5-6-9