Early Belmont race prediction.

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Big Ten
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:55 pm

If I was betting and was totally against Justify, I wouldn't make it complicated with the exotics and just bet for the win.

$80 Win - Vino Rosso ($80 x 8 = $640)
$20 Win - Noble Indy ($20 x 30 = $600)

I'd play against Hofburg (overbet from sire) and the 2nd and 3rd finishers of the Preakness. Again, I think Bravazo who finished ahead of Hofburg in the Derby offers better value.

I generally don't like Pletcher but for this one with Velazquez and Castellano, I like his chances. It was a fresher Pletcher filly who defeated Curlin in the Belmont 11 years ago. Pletcher might make it up to Curlin with Vino like he did with Palace Malice in '13.

Vino Rosso's Late Pace was in the triple figs prior to the Wood.

Justify
Sire's AWD - 7.2
Damsire's AWD - 7.2

Vino Rosso
Sire's AWD - 7.6
Damsire's AWD - 8.0

Vino Rosso is the spoiler pick for me. His damsire AWD is highest over every horse in the field except Free Drop Billy (8.1). Vino Rosso fits the profile of the Belmont winner with the right connections. Curlin's revenge 11 years later with Velazquez and Pletcher this time. Curlin sires his second Belmont winner.

I'll never forget Tapwrit (Tapit) beating Irish War Cry (Curlin) easily last year. Payback time again for Curlin.

Off-topic, I really enjoyed hearing that Bob Baffert say Justify isn't a friendly horse. Like in Jurassic World, "WE NEED MORE TEETH." We need that fire under his belly. The fight in him. Makes me believe Justify could end up a good sire. I don't mind them headstrong. At least off the track and not a frontrunner on it.
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stark
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:57 pm

Big Ten wrote:If I was betting and was totally against Justify,
But you're not, so......
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Little Watermelon
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:49 pm

peeptoad wrote:This is very early, so my opinion may change before Sat, but on first glance at the pps this is Justify's race to lose. Barring something unforeseen If he runs back to the SA Derby he likely wins IMHO, but it's a little questionable whether or not that will happen. Baffert says he on the muscle and doing well, so I'm inclined to think he'll at least run his race on Saturday, whether or not he wins.
If he's beaten my guess is Vino Rosso, Tenfold, or Hofburg beats him. I give Bravazo an outside chance if he can get the type of trip that he got last time (sitting around third a bit off the pace but not too far back) albeit under different pace circumstances. Hofburg is for sure the wise guy this year and I really don't want 4-1 on a horse who is eligible for a NW1X. Vino Rosso might get enough pace to run at, or at least he'll be on the outside and will get a cleaner trip this time. His pedigree is nearly tops in the field for 12 panels and the price will be better than Hofburg's.

The horse I am not sure what to do with is Noble Indy. I want to toss him because I don't even think he's the LA Derby winner if My Boy Jack had gotten a better ride that day, but he does have stamina in his ped and he's got a forward style. Anyone have an opinion on him?
I kind of like him. He should sit behind Justify, who will probably go to the lead. If Smith slows the fractions down, the better for Indy; he survived a 46.4 half in the LA Derby, with a slower pace and blinkers off he should still have a solid position behind Justify when they come to the turn and get first run at him. I think he will stay in long enough to play in a tri or super.
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Big Ten
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:40 pm

Every time I do my Kentucky Derby lists annually, I try to rank all 20 horses in the field.

The only outliers for me was Mendelssohn running poorly and Bravazo finishing better than expected at 6th as I ranked him in the bottom 3. The other horses like Justify, Audible, Bolt d'Oro, and even Vino Rosso (10th) all finished where I expected of them. Good Magic surprised me a little for 2nd.

I was reading that CBS clickbait about Hank Goldberg liking Birdstone for the 2004 Belmont because Nick Zito was telling him Birdstone was training beautifully leading up to it. Last year, I remember Cloud Computing training great before the Preakness.

That's my take on Noble Indy with Javier Castellano on board. He could be our very own Birdstone/Cloud Computing.

Vino Rosso
Noble Indy
Bravazo
Hofburg
Tenfold

I wouldn't be a surprised if one of those five win it especially the Pletcher duo and the Lukas. Been there, done that multiple times winning Belmont. I just saw Deadpool 2 today, so my mind will shift to watching Ocean's 8 soon after the Belmont.

I will be mildly surprised if Blended Citizen and Free Drop Billy wins it. I would be stunned if Gronkowski or Restoring Hope wins it. The latter is just a decoy for Justify to chase after. But hopefully, not too fast early like what Life's Hope was to Affirmed.

I don't have money to bet anyway but my imaginary bets if I was totally against Justify would be...

$80 Win - Vino Rosso
$20 Win - Noble Indy

Or...

$40 Win - Vino Rosso/Bravazo ($320 payout)
$20 Win - Noble Indy

Hope you can get 8-1 or higher on Vino and Bravazo. I'll take my stand on Hofburg and Tenfold. Could be far, far back. Mott and Asmussen just aren't really known winning TC races like Lukas, Pletcher, and Baffert. Shocking that Baffert has never been TC upset by a Zito, Lukas, or Pletcher horse.

Aww, the 1990's when these trainers dominated the TC races....

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peeptoad
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:22 am

MySaladDays wrote:
peeptoad wrote:The horse I am not sure what to do with is Noble Indy. I want to toss him because I don't even think he's the LA Derby winner if My Boy Jack had gotten a better ride that day, but he does have stamina in his ped and he's got a forward style. Anyone have an opinion on him?
I wouldn't talk anyone off a horse, but I myself am not using Noble Indy. It a pace scenario thing. Either he goes w/Justify in which case he is used early and loses in the stretch (because he is already somewhat distance challenged); If he doesn't run fast at beginning to gain position, and waits til later, he will be beseiged by Justify or one of the other stretch runners who will be on him like flies on rice. I just don't see a pace scenario that would work for NI, w/out blinkers, and from post #9. If he was a galloper/high stamina horse, I could see it....he could be out there galloping in his own world and let everyone else mess around with each other. But that is not his running style.

OTOH, he is an improving sort who doesn't lose a lot of ground, but he's still a toss from my ticket......I like him, I think he is an Elite 9F horse.

As for Vino Rosso fans, there has never been a horse who won Belmont with Dosage between 3.54 and 4.00. That is never. Maybe he will break new ground like the Apollo curse being broken. :)

OTOH, James Scully's little blog over on twinspires says 7 of the last 15 Belmont Stakes winners earned a declining Speed rating in the previous start.
Noble Indy and Vino Rosso are 2 of the horses who fulfill those parameters, so what do I know.
Little Watermelon wrote:
peeptoad wrote:This is very early, so my opinion may change before Sat, but on first glance at the pps this is Justify's race to lose. Barring something unforeseen If he runs back to the SA Derby he likely wins IMHO, but it's a little questionable whether or not that will happen. Baffert says he on the muscle and doing well, so I'm inclined to think he'll at least run his race on Saturday, whether or not he wins.
If he's beaten my guess is Vino Rosso, Tenfold, or Hofburg beats him. I give Bravazo an outside chance if he can get the type of trip that he got last time (sitting around third a bit off the pace but not too far back) albeit under different pace circumstances. Hofburg is for sure the wise guy this year and I really don't want 4-1 on a horse who is eligible for a NW1X. Vino Rosso might get enough pace to run at, or at least he'll be on the outside and will get a cleaner trip this time. His pedigree is nearly tops in the field for 12 panels and the price will be better than Hofburg's.

The horse I am not sure what to do with is Noble Indy. I want to toss him because I don't even think he's the LA Derby winner if My Boy Jack had gotten a better ride that day, but he does have stamina in his ped and he's got a forward style. Anyone have an opinion on him?
I kind of like him. He should sit behind Justify, who will probably go to the lead. If Smith slows the fractions down, the better for Indy; he survived a 46.4 half in the LA Derby, with a slower pace and blinkers off he should still have a solid position behind Justify when they come to the turn and get first run at him. I think he will stay in long enough to play in a tri or super.
Thanks for the feedback, both of you. Obviously still looking at the race, but the fact that the blinks come off might be significant for NI. To me that indicates he will not be used as the pace for Vino since that's what I've been reading on some other sites and blogs. The common ownership muddies things a bit, but I can't see NI being used as a rabbit, per se. I do think the other Baffert will also be forwardly placed... still trying to gauge what the pace might be like. No die-hard speed, but several who have good early foot and would like to be up front or close. If you remove Justify from the win spot this race becomes really wide open. About the only 2 I feel comfortable tossing from the win are Gronk and Restoring Hope. I'm finding it hard to make a case for Free Drop Billy as well.
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Treve
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:58 am

Not that anyone asked but...
Gronkowski is an auto-toss for me. I'm also 100% comfortable passing on Restoring Hope and Blended Citizen.
Noble Indy is a wild card I really don't know what to do with him because I'm not really sure what they're planning to do with him. Blinkers off seems to suggest they want him to be a little less sharp early (could make sense given the distance) and/or be capable of relaxing just off the pace rather than pressing or leading. Pletcher does really well with long shots at Belmont (and in general does well at Belmont) he's been (fwiw) apparently training better than Vino Rosso and looking good. For me he's the kind of horse I look at and think he's either gonna do really well or bomb really hard.

Free Drop Billy is, I think out of his depth but if he fires his best shot he could get up for the Super or the Tri depending on the scenario. I think he is going to want to drop back in here and hope someone keeps the pace honest. If you believe in Karma, the fact Dale may have saved a perfect stranger's life this week could bode well. Also if I'm not mistaken, Dale has hit the tri three times in the Belmont.

I think my brain is starting to fry from sleep-deprivation but I actually really like Bravazo in here. He's been on an improving pattern, he has the co-third best pedigree in the race for the stakes/distance/track. He's versatile and I think his Preakness is actually slightly underrated. Hard to establish anything certain with all that fog but it seems to me he is a very handy horse who can leave the gate with early speed, then take back and relax before kicking into the next gear again, and that could prove incredibly useful here at Belmont. On the other hand it's also possible he'll be the one going after Justify early. I know we all like making fun of Wayne here, but he does have the most win in this race out of any trainer entering... and I don't think he's very likely to instruct his Jockey to allow Smith to walk the dog on the front end. If someone doesn't go he might. Also... that mile breeze intrigues me.

I want to like Vino Rosso and I should like him. On paper he's ideal, co-third pedigree in the race, by Curlin out of a Street Cry mare, 2nd dam by Touch Gold, trained by Pletcher coming off his past successful pattern (5 week turnaround)... I also think his Derby should have a line drawn through it for multiple reasons and I consider he did ok under the circumstances... But I'm very ambivalent about him because my gut doesn't seem on board, and I've not heard any buzz from him. The people who've seen him say his stablemate has been training better. Additionally I find him too inconsistent to be reliable. Also I think he might be a little too pace dependent.

Tenfold is a horse worth looking at too, arguably the second-best pedigree in the race. I'm a bit more lukewarm about him than I am about Bravazo, although he has a similar pattern that suggests he is on the improve, and he has apparently been training well. My main reservations come from the fact that although he had a bit of trouble in the stretch which likely slowed him down and lost his momentum, he otherwise got a pretty good trip but wasn't able to outkick Bravazo. Then again I suppose those two are the only ones who have come within sniffing distance of our reigning Dual-Classic champ near the wire.

That leaves us with Hofburg to look at. From a betting perspective there's not a lot of value, but from a purely handicapping perspective there is a lot to like... but also possibly some big questions. He ran a sneaky good Derby I think, but even if you want to draw a line through it, you have to give pause to the best pedigree for Belmont in the race by far, his illustrious connections to Juddmonte as a homebred no less, and his notoriously reserved and measured, conservative trainer's enthusiasm. There's a bit of a shades of Frankel and his quest to redeem Empire Maker thing going on here. On the other hand we know so little about him, I have a hard time gauging his potential performance here. He has been apparently looking good, and training very well and some handicappers suggest he may actually be the one to beat. I don't know how versatile he is, but if possible I think they should be a little closer with him because I'm not sure how fast he actually is and I don't think it's one of those years where you can get away for the win with a slower grinding style.

I don't really have anything insightful to say about Justify that the people on this here forum don't already know/think. I think if he gets an uncontested lead he'll have his crown, and I think him trying to do anything else but lead would be foolish. He might not win by much if he staggers through that last quarter but does it matter if he wins by a nostril so long as he wins? In my book no! In fact the shorter the margin, the more courageous the win might be.
From a betting perspective, I am going against him but only because if I'm right, it's a win because money, but if I am wrong, we get another Triple Crown Champion so... regardless I will be happy. Especially since I know how much he means to some of the members here I'd like to think of as friends, how could I feel anything but shared joy if the champion of their hearts becomes an immortal? (And since I don't bet large sums of money, it's not like my wallet would have anything to be sour about.)

Most importantly, I hope all the colts and their jockeys come home safe and sound. And if the weather could cooperate and give the Belmont crowd a reprieve that would be awesome!

Side note, here's a fun fact: this Belmont is the first renewal in history where every trainer with an entry in this race has won at least one Triple Crown race. Good luck everyone.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:59 am

big ten.... thanks for posting that pic of zito, d wayne and baff - its funny, but I was just thinking about that photo recently - I remember it and how all the talk back then was about those 3 trainers - those 3 guys winning so many TC races.


I feel fairly certain that justify wins tomorrow - my husband always loves betting the 'other' baffert horses in races though - its worked for him at times here at santa anita - so he is putting something down on Restoring Hope - frankly, I am just not with him on this one - I don't see it at all - so I am with you on this horse, Treve -- in truth, I would be happy to see vino or billy win the thing - but they won't be getting any of my money.


best of luck to those wagering on the races this weekend!!!
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Squeaky
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:04 pm

I am really rooting for Justy but after Dale saved that girl’s life if another horse has to win I hope it is Billy.
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:17 pm

peeptoad wrote: Thanks for the feedback, both of you. Obviously still looking at the race, but the fact that the blinks come off might be significant for NI. To me that indicates he will not be used as the pace for Vino since that's what I've been reading on some other sites and blogs. The common ownership muddies things a bit, but I can't see NI being used as a rabbit, per se. I do think the other Baffert will also be forwardly placed... still trying to gauge what the pace might be like. No die-hard speed, but several who have good early foot and would like to be up front or close. If you remove Justify from the win spot this race becomes really wide open. About the only 2 I feel comfortable tossing from the win are Gronk and Restoring Hope. I'm finding it hard to make a case for Free Drop Billy as well.
The speculation that Noble Indy will push Justify early on comes from a couple of interviews with Repole (link: https://twitter.com/WatchXBTV/status/10 ... 4314283008), in which he states that Noble Indy "will be on the lead." But as you said, blinkers off makes it sound like Pletcher doesn't want him up there and we have no idea who's calling the shots here. At this point, it's honestly discouraging me from betting on the race.

I'll probably just do a bit with Hofburg and Vino Rosso. Hofburg I've gone on about at length here, I hate the odds but I'm not going to jump off a horse I've been high about for months in a race that might suit him better than anyone else. I love Mott's confidence, I love how he's been watching replays of dirt marathons to figure out the best positioning for his horse, and I love how he has a jockey who is deeply familiar with the track. I think Hofburg will be much closer up than he was in his last two races, and he should be poised to strike midway through that turn. If you're at the track and Hofburg wins, you'll probably hear me...

Vino Rosso was my pick for the Belmont before the Derby, and he was practically built in a lab to win this race. We all know how good Pletcher is at the Derby/Belmont double, his pedigree is magnificent and he has that grinding-yet-tactical style that succeeds so often in this race. He could get a perfect setup from his stablemate, but either way he's bound to be in a good position early because he is fairly versatile. My only hesitation is, as Treve mentioned, he hasn't looked great in the mornings and he's supposedly a morning glory. Who knows, but this is one race where cold Pletchers actually perform really well.

As for the rest... I like Free Drop Billy a lot and would be thrilled if he somehow won, but I think this is completely the wrong distance for him. Bravazo ruined me in the Preakness and I had him completely wrong in his last two races, but I'm going to let him beat me again because I really think he's a true mudlark. Gronkowski is of course utterly inscrutable, but he has no pedigree for this race and it's asking way too much, even from a Chad horse who is working pretty nicely. I see nothing to like about Restoring Hope, and Blended Citizen just has too many question marks, including the inexperienced jockey and the strange previous workout.

Which leaves us with Tenfold, Justify, and Noble Indy. Tenfold is a horse I really like to be up there on the board, because he has a great pedigree and he's looked spectacular in the mornings lately. Sure he was outrun a bit at the end of the Preakness, but the Preakness was a major challenge for him and I think he'll improve off of it the way many horses improve from the Derby to the Preakness. He's another one with some early foot and I think he'll stick around late.

Noble Indy I've complained about at length and people are probably sick of hearing it, so to keep things short: he's a really nice horse and I think there's definitely a situation in which he gets the chance to hit the board. If he goes for the lead and Mike lets him clear, he could potentially take them all the way. If he lays off a few lengths and relaxes he could get a piece, though I think it's less likely he wins in that situation. If he plays the Rock Hard Ten to Justify's Smarty Jones, he'll finish nowhere. Without enough information to judge which tactic is most likely, I'll probably avoid betting on him for the most part, but I wouldn't discourage anyone else from doing so and I'd be very happy to hear what other people think he'll do in this race.

Finally, there's Justify. I genuinely believe that, no matter how well he's held up throughout this campaign, 12f is far beyond his best distance. There are scenarios in which he wins, but those largely involve the other jockeys deciding they don't want to win the race, and from what I'm reading none of these connections are going to go easy on him. The big question for me is whether he hangs on to hit the board or runs out of steam too far from home to stay in the money, and this probably depends on how much pressure he faces early. Out of respect for his talent, I'll probably use him for third and fourth if I decide to do any tris or supers.

Three years ago, I finally saw the horse everyone else seemed to see when American Pharoah turned for home in the Belmont. Now Justify gets that chance. If he does it, he'll certainly have earned it.
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:21 pm

I think I'll play this race in a sequence. I don't really like anyone beyond Justify, Tenfold and Hofburg.

My excitement and anxiety over tomorrow is getting more by the hour.
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:23 pm

I told myself that having American Pharoah win it all makes this less nerve-wracking but that is turning out to be a total lie.
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Big Ten
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:43 pm

Lucien Laurin. Ron Turcotte. Billy Turner. Jean Cruguet. Steve Cauthen.

^ None of these guys were ever elite in their position that you can rank among the greatest trainers or jockeys and their horses still won the Triple Crown.

Ronnie Franklin. Buddy Delp. John P. Campo. Barclay Tagg. John Servis. Stewart Elliott. Rick Dutrow. Art Sherman.

Bob Baffert is elite and arguably the GOAT horse trainer that I've seen. Mike Smith is elite and would take him over Kent Desormeaux any day. Baffert lost three times but he wasn't a HoFer yet and still making a name for himself from 1996-2002.

That's the advantage Justify has. Unlike the TC winners in the 1970's, he's got a current HoFer trainer and jockey on his side. Before Justify won the Kentucky Derby, I kept saying you don't have to like Bob Baffert as a person. Call him the Belichick of horse trainers. But he gets the job done.

It's about results. Not congeniality.
Hall of Fame jockey, two-time Belmont Stakes winner and NBC Sports analyst Jerry Bailey talks with The Post’s Zach Braziller about Justify’s chances to win the Triple Crown on Saturday.

Q: What stands out about Justify?

A: He has no discernible weakness. He’s got speed and he’s got more speed, and he’s got a lot of talent. That makes a horse dangerous. Now we’ll find out if he has enough stamina. That’s the biggest question for the Belmont. That’s taken down many big horses. He has all the tools necessary for it. The biggest question with him is how much have these races taken out of him. It appeared in the Preakness the races had started to take their toll on him. Saying that, he has an extra week of rest than he did between the (Kentucky) Derby and Preakness. So he should be able to bounce back better.

Q: What are the challenges for Justify’s jockey, Mike Smith?

A: For a jockey, it’s difficult because we just don’t run a mile and a half on dirt hardly at all. You do this one day a year, and if you did anything one day aa year, how good do you think you would be at it? Not very. It’s a challenge greater than others for riders.

Q: Which other horse would you keep an eye on at the Belmont?

A: Probably Hofburg. He ran a sneaky good race in the Derby. He finished seventh, but he got in some traffic trouble at key points in the last 5/16’s of a mile. He could’ve easily been closer. He’s another horse that’s very lightly raced and has potential. He’s got a license to run really well.

Q: What’s the challenge of Belmont for a horse that has won the Derby and Preakness?

A: It’s a challenge of all three of these races in five weeks. In (Justify’s) particular case, throwing in the three races before the Derby [he ran] in a short amount of time just to be there. His schedule has been compressed unlike that of any horse in the past. He’s being asked to do something the other horses in there are not asked to do.

Q: What are your expectations for Justify?

A: Unless there’s a bad break, he’ll be in first or second place going into the first turn, and then it depends how well his jockey can get him to relax, because that is the key to winning at Belmont. It’s how relaxed you can stay, how you’re positioned, how fast or slow you’re going. You need to be relaxed for the first half of the race. It’s like any long-distance race for any athlete. You have to get into a rhythm, get that long nice stride going and stay relaxed.


Funny Jerry said that (in bold) after what we saw him do with Eddington. I actually never hated him for that though or Alex Solis when he rode my avatar. Still two of my favorite jockeys ever. I never liked Smarty Jones anyway. I never cared for the Chapmans either. You could tell they were only in it for the money once Smarty retired after.

Full ABC broadcast of the 2004 TC races
https://youtu.be/ozmK4de0URA
https://youtu.be/bLbgURr7oZ0
https://youtu.be/6_NUBO16OU8

My prediction
1. Vino Rosso
2. Hofburg
3. Justify

My preferred prediction
1. Justify

Who cares who comes 2nd?
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:08 pm

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peeptoad
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:38 pm

Tessablue wrote:
peeptoad wrote: Thanks for the feedback, both of you. Obviously still looking at the race, but the fact that the blinks come off might be significant for NI. To me that indicates he will not be used as the pace for Vino since that's what I've been reading on some other sites and blogs. The common ownership muddies things a bit, but I can't see NI being used as a rabbit, per se. I do think the other Baffert will also be forwardly placed... still trying to gauge what the pace might be like. No die-hard speed, but several who have good early foot and would like to be up front or close. If you remove Justify from the win spot this race becomes really wide open. About the only 2 I feel comfortable tossing from the win are Gronk and Restoring Hope. I'm finding it hard to make a case for Free Drop Billy as well.
The speculation that Noble Indy will push Justify early on comes from a couple of interviews with Repole (link: https://twitter.com/WatchXBTV/status/10 ... 4314283008), in which he states that Noble Indy "will be on the lead." But as you said, blinkers off makes it sound like Pletcher doesn't want him up there and we have no idea who's calling the shots here. At this point, it's honestly discouraging me from betting on the race.
Ah, thanks for the link. I think I read something that Repole said along those lines. This type of stuff does add the complication of also having to include owner psyche into the analysis mix, which I can understand would make one less inclined to bet the race.
I think NI's got a chance if they don't absolutely send him (which is what blinkers off makes me think ) but he still probably has to hope justify doesn't run his A race and no one else steps it up either. Problem if he sends to confound J then he'll likely also ruin his own chances.
I may use him underneath somehow... not sure.
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Big Ten
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:10 pm

2018 Belmont Stakes Odds

Justify, 10-11
Hofburg, 9-2
Vino Rosso, 6-1
Bravazo, 7-1
Tenfold, 10-1
Blended Citizen, 15-1
Gronkowski, 30-1
Noble Indy, 35-1
Restoring Hope, 35-1
Free Drop Billy, 50-1

Interesting odds but I just think it's a trap race to bet on. Justify's odds are too low. I wouldn't even take him at 3-1. Then let's say you want to beat Justify and Hofburg? I can easily pick Vino Rosso or Bravazo and then watch Tenfold or Blended Citizen win it. At least half the field is fairly close in talent. That's from Hofburg to Blended Citizen.

Then if you decide to pick several of them, no profits. You thinned out your bet. If you pick one or two, the other one pulls it off. Too risky to bet on. The only real winners tomorrow is Belmont Park with attendance. Justify is playing with their house money tomorrow.

American Pharoah already did it three years ago, the TC hunger has waned, and Justify will have his excuses of being tired from a compressed schedule, a possible bad trip like he stumbled, blaming Mike Smith for the bad ride because he went too fast, or simply being not worthy enough.

I would do that bet on the Pletcher duo but why bother? Might end up with the wrong spoiler or Justify actually pulls it off. Don't want to bet against a horse who has won money for me. For every Belmont, that's the plan. Just watch. Don't bet. It's the most lucrative TC race to win but the easiest way to lose money. Like betting on the Knicks.
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Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:34 pm

Ballerina wrote:Image
Those posts of Big Ten’s are like reading the transcript of a filibuster.
Kennedy
Posts: 1056
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:58 pm

Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:05 pm

I think I'm mostly in agreement with the majority of the opinions I see here in that I do think that Justify is the best horse but I also think that there would be value in opposing him if you were inclined to have a tilt at this race. The option I've settled on is Noble Indy. He definitely has some holes in the resume but far fewer than you'd expect for a 30-1 shot. If you toss his Derby performance, which is what I'm doing, he's a improving tactical horse who is still figuring out the game. He's got some grit and I think he could be liable for a big improvement. He's been working well and I think he could grind it out effectively. Realistically he probably needs Justify to disappoint though rather than being one who can improve enough to win on his won merit. I do like Vino Rosso but I'm shading for his stablemate based on their recent works and price differential. Blended Citizen interests me as one who could hit the frame and really inflate the prices. If Justify falters completely I'd definitely want him on my tickets. Hofburg as well is one who should find himself near the super. In my mind there really isn't any point in using Justify you either enjoy watching him succeed or play against him. Overall I think he's a bad risk despite being the best in the race.

Pick to win
Noble Indy

Exacta box
Noble Indy/Vino Rosso/Hofburg/Blended Citizen
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Big Ten
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:35 am

Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:39 pm

Hofburg is such bad value as the 2nd betting choice. He has never won a stakes race! Even longshots Noble Indy and Free Drop Billy have won a stakes race. The 50-1, Free Drop Billy, is actually a Grade 1 winner capturing the Breeders' Futurity last year.

Prior to the 2017 Kentucky Derby, Tapwrit had the highest AWD in the field. Then Irish War Cry goes Bayern'd (thanks, Raj) and rattles horses inside of them. Karma on Rajiv as Tapwrit gets his revenge in the 3rd leg.

I believe Vino Rosso is "nearly" the tops in stamina from top and bottom. I don't think Hofburg wins but I do think we will have another Tapit/Curlin exacta like last year with the Curlin son being on top this time whether that's Vino Rosso or Tenfold.

If Hofburg does win, that's not only another Tapit winning Belmont but Touch Gold haunts Bob Baffert once again. Hofburg, Tenfold, and Restoring Hope are the only three horses in the field who have never won a stakes race. Bad value all-around.

Going to toss Gronkowski from this list.

Grade 1 winners -
Justify - SA Derby, KY Derby, Preakness
Free Drop Billy - Breeders' Futurity

Grade 2 winners -
Vino Rosso - Wood Memorial
Bravazo - Risen Star
Noble Indy - LA Derby

Grade 3 winner -
Blended Citizen - Jeff Ruby Steaks, Peter Pan

Remember, Birdstone won the G1 Champagne as a 2YO. There's some quality in Free Drop Billy with his damsire's 8.1 AWD and G1 win and in Noble Indy having a G2 win and his bullet works. Hofburg will be overbet no matter what thanks to Tapit and I'd rather trust Bravazo over Tenfold.

My last Belmont winning ticket? Afleet Alex, 2005. I knew the 1973 Belmont is the most famous horse race of all-time, but I despise betting the Belmont. After Tapwrit won it last year, I swore never again to bet on it whether a TC is on the line or not. It's a sucker's race. I will always prefer betting on the KY Derby.

I like Pletcher or Lukas for this race but I don't like either guys enough to defeat a horse I love in Justify. Pletcher has disappointed me enough anyway when I do bet on him, so why bother? If it comes to just pure feelings and Justify does lose, I'd rather watch Hofburg (for Mott) or Baffert's good friend, D. Wayne Lukas, to beat him.

DWL hasn't won a TC race since 2000 with Commendable. Would be kinda nice to see an 82-year-old Lukas become relevant again for nostalgia's sake.

Your spoilers -
Vino Rosso. Noble Indy. Bravazo.

The real winner in my heart -
Justify

2017 Belmont Stakes - Tapwrit

Tapit/Curlin exacta. Pletcher & Ortiz. Could repeat again this year but perhaps reversed.

Less chances of rain tomorrow. I prefer a fast track. I want to see Justify finally get one so his big body can glide right over it instead of running over sticky mud.

Watch last year's Belmont and we saw a big, beautiful chestnut in Irish War Cry get splits like 1:14-1:38 and still lose. Those horses behind him were closer. So it's no guarantee if Justify slows it down, he'll be the winner. It could be déjà vu from last year's results.
Rock Hard Ten. Free House. Soul Of The Matter. Lit de Justice. Zenyatta. Justify. Cigar. Ghostzapper. Lava Man. Silver Charm.
Spahny
Posts: 1037
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:02 pm

Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:32 pm

I like Tenfold for the win. Noble Indy and Justify hanging in there but getting nosed out for 2nd by Hofburg. Maybe about 3 lengths between 1st to 4th. Final time in 2:29.16. Probably sprinkling slightly as the winner comes back to the grandstand.

No Ands, buts, or... ifs about it.
Somnambulist

Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:15 pm

Spahny wrote:I like Tenfold for the win. Noble Indy and Justify hanging in there but getting nosed out for 2nd by Hofburg. Maybe about 3 lengths between 1st to 4th. Final time in 2:29.16. Probably sprinkling slightly as the winner comes back to the grandstand.

No Ands, buts, or... ifs about it.
IF you don't want to include IF, why did you include it? Maybe you're IFfy on your selections?
:D
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