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Belmont Stakes Final Thoughts
We like a Todd Pletcher horse in the final leg of racing's Triple Crown
From a gambling perspective, there are a lot of reasons to be excited about today’s Belmont Stakes card. Big fields, competitive races, and lots of opportunities to get paid for a decent opinion. You’re only going to have to be right once or twice to make money today.
And if you're a racing fan, the guy calling the races later on Fox should add to the day.
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For the first time since Condo Commando came “splish-splashing” home in the Spinaway on August 31, 2014, the legendary Tom Durkin will be back in the booth calling races. Durkin was pulled out of retirement by Fox as they broadcast a Triple Crown race for the first time. Great call by Fox.
A quick YouTube search of Durkin tells the story of his deep catalog of celebrated calls.
“Tiznow wins it for America.”
“The incomparable, invincible, unbeatable Cigar!”
“She is indeed…Rachel Alexandra the Great!”
And on and on and on.
Durkin’s calls made the races seem like a big deal. They added… I don’t know some weight to being a degenerate horse player. And you could tell he was a horse player too, because when a horse scored a monster price he was as shocked as you were and it was reflected in his calls.
On the last day Tom Durkin called races in 2014, you can hear me and dozens of others on the Saratoga apron chanting “TOMMMMMMY DURKKIN” as he was about to be celebrated by NYRA. The fans adored Durkin.
When he took the mic to address the crowd, he only personally thanked one person or persons in this case- the racing fan and the horse player. That's it. He understood that without the people betting on the races there really is no sport. It’s too bad many of the executives in the industry don’t seem to grasp that.
But Durkin did. Because it was clear he was one of us.
Hoping we’ll be able to crank up the sound in the Mohegan Sun Fan Duel Sportsbook when Durkin calls the 155th Belmont Stakes just after 7 PM EST tonight.
And hopefully, he’s calling out our horse as the winner in deep stretch.
Our horse, well my horse for this Belmont Stakes, is Tapit Trice (2). One of two in here for Todd Pletcher, we have been writing about Tapit Trice as a Belmont horse for months. His late-running style, breeding, and physical makeup all point to a horse that will love the distance and configuration at Belmont Park.
I don’t have a good excuse for the lackluster showing in the Derby. He should have been able to make a run given the supersonic pace. He didn’t. And if it was anyone other than Todd Pletcher training I might be concerned. But he’s won this thing four times and seems very confident about his chances today.
Add in positive workout reports from people on track and I just don’t know why I’m supposed to be against. Well besides the price. He’s going to be close to 3-1 which isn’t great. But he’s my pick on top.
Forte (6) is going to attract attention as the 2-year-old champ. And the horse favored in the Derby before scratching. But trying to go a mile and a half off a 70-day layoff. And at a short price? He’ll win without my money.
I picked Angel of Empire (8) in the Derby and he ran fine. But like Tapit Trice, he had an awesome setup and could not punch home. Was wide I guess. Now he adds blinkers and should have some pace. He could win but I liked him better in the Derby. One of three in here for trainer Brad Cox.
Tapit Shoes (1) is also trained by Cox and feels like is in here to ensure an honest pace. That means no easy lead for National Treasure (4), who had a soft pace and subpar field working for him in Baltimore. Training well but with other speed I don’t see him wiring in here.
Il Miracolo (5) should also be a pace factor. He appears hopeless on paper but his two wins have been gate-to-wire. He has to go right?
One horse that ran well in the Derby considering the pace was Hit Show (7). Beat up on mid horses in his NY preps for the Derby. Can see him in the money but not as a win candidate for me.
Red Route One (9) is bred to run all day but is too slow. Maybe the distance unlocks him. Our friend Jessica Paquette likes him a little today. Pass for me.
I thought I was being sharp giving out Arcangelo (3) has a longshot on DraftKings this week. I loved his Peter Pan effort. His speed figures are right with Forte. Has breeding that ties directly to Belmont Stakes winners Rags to Riches and Jazil. Training well. All that and connections (trainer Jena Antonucci) people don’t run to the windows to bet on. A lot to like.
This is only his fifth career start, but there is real talent here. I think he’s a win contender today and close to 10-1.
Tapit Trice (2)
Angel of Empire (8)
Hit Show (7)
Will use the top two as ‘As’ in the multis. The bottom two as backups. Maybe, MAYBE one ticket that includes National Treasure. In case Baffert … well pulls a Baffert.
One of the TEN races we’ll have on the big screens today in the Mohegan Sun FanDuel sportsbook. With the man who gives us his longshots every week Brad ‘Bomba’ Bryant!
From the Desk of Bomba Brad
#7 Hit Show 10/1
Ran a tremendous race in the Derby coming out of the 1 hole. Has improved in each start. Will be a fair price!
The Woody Stephens Presented by Mohegan Sun
#9 Fort Warren 30/1
Love the stretch-out after changing running styles. Will be flying late!
#1 New York Thunder 12/1 Original pick scratched Done nothing wrong in all 3 starts with 2 being on poly. Workout @ Monmouth shows this horse will love the dirt. Catch me if you can!
Picks from the Belmont Podcast above.
You can listen here as you finalize your plays for Saturday. It’s a quick listen.
Biggest opinions today: Against Caravel in the 9th. Only using Todd and the two Charlie Appleby horses in the Manhattan. Gilmore in the money in the 8th. Charge It to run big in the Met. 1-2 exacta box in Race 13 save some bucks.
Safe trips for everyone. Good luck if you’re playing!