Before we dive into the Belmont Stakes, let's look back at the Preakness. This space
He just didn't fire.
Saturday's Belmont field will not have either the winner of the Kentucky Derby or Preakness and has only one entrant, First Dude, running back three weeks after the Preakness. The morning line odds show three clear choices and nine others, and, while long shots are always a favorite in this space, it's hard to get away from the top three here.
Selections (morning line odds in parentheses):
Here's predicting a Zito exacta. Ice Box is coming off a five-week layoff after his troubled runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby, and the Derby-to-Belmont strategy has been successful in recent years with
The Preakness long shot set a respectable pace at Pimlico and was game in finishing second to Lookin At Lucky, considered one of the best, if not the best, 3-year-old in the country. With the lack of pacesetters in the Belmont, he's likely to again be out in front, and if he can get away with fractions of 49 and change, he could be home free. But with four hard races under him since the end of February, First Dude is also a candidate to regress.
Among the long shots, Stay Put is the most attractive. In his two stakes races, both at the Fair Grounds earlier in the year, he rallied late but was compromised by soft fractions. He finished fifth both times but losing by less than three lengths. In his last start, against four overmatched rivals, he won. His running style suggests that he should get the distance, and his trainer,
The highly regarded
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