2020 Belmont Stakes Preview

June 20, 2020


Typing that date made me realize I have no choice but to take the 2 horse. Or do I take 2-10 cause 2 times 10 is 20 and there are three 20s in the date. Or in that case, because there are three 20s, do I take 2-10-3? What's the guy's name on first base? What is on second. I'm not asking you who's on second. Who's on first. I don't know. Third base!


Onto the preview...


The Horses:


1 - Tap It To Win (8-1)

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: John Velasquez

Sire: Tapit


2 - Sole Volante (6-1)

Trainer: Patrick Biancone

Jockey: Luca Panici

Sire: Karakonite (JPN)


3 - Max Player (15-1)

Trainer: Linda Rice

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Sire: Honor Code


4 - Modernist (12-1)

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Sire: Uncle Mo


5 - Farmington Road (15-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Sire: Quality Road


6 - Fore Left (30-1)

Trainer: Doug O'Neill

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Sire: Twirling Candy


7 - Jungle Runner (50-1)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Reylu Gutierrez

Sire: Candy Ride


8 - Tiz The Law (4-5)

Trainer: Barclay Tagg

Jockey: Manny Franco

Sire: Constitution


9 - Dr Post (6-1)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Sire: Quality Road


10 - Pneumatic (12-1)

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

Sire: Uncle Mo


The Analysis:


Tiz The Law comes out as the heavy favorite in the forums and the heavy favorite in our hearts, as he races out of the Sackatoga Stable based in Saratoga, New York. New York horses always get a little extra love at CSB and horses from Saratoga require immediate $2 across-the-board action no questions asked. Tiz The Law has earned his stripes by winning both of the races he's entered in 2020; the G3 Holy Bull on February 1st, and the G1 Florida Derby on March 28th against impressive horses like Gouverneur Morris and Ete Indien. It's too bad the odds for Tiz are at 4-5 or I'd say he is the no-doubter pick of the race. But they don't pay me to pick favorites. In fact they don't pay me at all. Anyway, who else has a chance?


Tap It To Win trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Johnny Velasquez rode strongly in an allowance win on this track on June 4th. The big brown colt struggled with two 10th place finishes to end his 2-year-old season but has turned it around with two wins in as many races as a 3-year-old.


Trainer Patrick Biancone made an interesting move running Sole Volante at Gulfstream in a 1-mile allowance on June 10th, a mere 10 days before the Belmont Stakes. Volante won the race over good competition in Ete Indien and Shivaree and has four wins, a second and a third in his six lifetime races. Biancone will either look like a hero or a goat for running Sole Volante that close to the Belmont Stakes in a different state. But tell me, does this guy look worried?


Farmington Road put in a good effort finishing fourth behind Nadal, King Guillermo, and Finnick the Fierce in the second division of the Arkansas Derby. This Pletcher trained horse has the closing speed to finish in the money but will have to hang around with the pacesetters to make his move in this shortened version of the Belmont.


Fore Left is coming off a win on February 6th in the 1-mile UAE 1000 Guineas. Doug O'Neill has this horse positioned to ride hard early, but will he have the mettle to go the distance with horses that many believe to be out of Fore Left's class.


Dr Post is 2 for 2 winning both of his races as a 3-year-old, although he was the favorite in both and didn't face the type of competition he will on Saturday. Todd Pletcher's other horse in the race has a tough starting spot next to the favorite Tiz, but if he can get position early he should have a clear sight of the leaders. He had one of the higher Beyer scores of the field at 96 in his Maiden at Gulfstream on March 29th.


And lastly, I am finding more and more reasons to like Pneumatic every day. Trained and ridden by one of my favorite duos, Steve Asmussen and Ricardo Santana Jr., and sired by another favorite Uncle Mo. Pneumatic looked like he would be bringing an undefeated record to the Belmont before giving way late down the stretch and finishing third in the G3 Matt Winn at Churchill Downs on May 23rd. Pneumatic has finished first, first, and third in his three career races, all coming this year.


MY BETS:


8 $2 ATB :: $6 (3 bets) (mandatory Go NY, Go NY, Go bet)

8-10 $2 EX BOX :: $4 (2 bets)

1, 2, 6, 8, 10 $0.50 SUPERFECTA BOX :: $60 (120 bets)


Total: $70 (125 bets) (really 3 bets)



Now, I would be remiss to not mention that both Charlatan and Nadal are absent from this race. The two winners from the Arkansas Derby, sure to be favorites in any triple crown race they entered, will not be racing in the first leg of the crown on June 20th. This also means that Bob Baffert, trainer of both Charlatan and Nadal, is without an entry in the Belmont for the first time since... *tries to google it to find out*... *fails*... since a long fucking time. My guess is sometime in the 90s. Baffert has been at the pinnacle of the sport for decades and with Charlatan and/or Nadal he would have had a chance to train 3 triple crown champions in 6 years. Considering there have only been 13 triple crown winners in 145 years, having 3 in 6 years would make Bob Baffert something of a John Wooden figure in racing history.


I also feel the need to mention that this will be the first time that the Belmont Stakes is the first leg in the triple crown, rather than the last. Oh, and they shortened the race from its usual length of 1 1/2 miles to 1 1/8 miles. In racing distance, it's been shortened from 12 furlongs to 9.


So it's a shorter race than usual, it's the first leg rather than the last, and the two winners from the Arkansas Derby won't be there. Other than that, it should be a good race...



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