If there is a future for horse racing it will only come when families embrace the sport, talk about it, watch it together and make it part of their shared experience. We need more Aunt Rosie's. My dear Aunt Rosie passed away several years ago now. She lived life to its fullest and passed over to the other side and awaits her family. Somewhere, on the other side, she may be running a sports book, and she most definitely has the ponies on her mind. I spent alot of time with Aunt Rosie when I was very young and she remains one of the biggest influences in my life. We didn't see each other much after I left for the Navy and then returned home to raise my own family, but she was never far from my heart, and when we got together, we always talked horses. Several years back, just after she died, I had a dream the morning of the Belmont Stakes and Aunt Rosie visited me and asked me who I liked. I told her I liked Rags to Riches. She told me she loved the Grey/Roans and I told her I didn't think she was grey and that I would go home and get the Daily Race Form and come right back and she told me OK, but she was really telling me goodbye. It was her, her voice, her manner of speaking, yet she was wrapped in burial cloth. I loved my Aunt Rosie and I look forward to talking the ponies with her again one day.
If there is a future for horse racing as we still know it, it will be people in our families talking to friends and family about this wonderful sport and making it part of the daily conversation again. Enough about the Turk, let's get after it!
Belmont Park Race 11: The Belmont Grade I; 1 1/2 Miles on Dirt for 3 YOs
This isn't exactly the type of year that encourages new fans and you have to wonder what a Triple Crown winner would do for generating interest. Well, the horses had a different idea. What we have on our hands today is a collection of runners that range from mediocre to some level that I'm still not sure of. You take this mix of runners and you throw them into Big Sandy and ask them to run a 1/4 of a mile farther then some of them ever had and 5/16ths of a mile farther then most of them are comfortable doing right now. What's it all mean? Results may vary. But you know what, this is gambling and uncertainty often pays the most money.
I see three horses being better then the rest of the field, Ice Box, Fly Down and First Dude. I'm backing Ice Box to win. The winner of Grade I Florida Derby by a nose, he closed like a frieght train to take second in the Kentucky Derby and was then back benched for the Preakness by Trainer Zito for this moment. A smokin' four furlong bullet in :46 3/5ths at the Saratoga Training Track signals he is ready to rumble. J. Lezcano gets the mount today and he wins 21% of his races with Zito at Belmont and 27% at Belmont overall. He'll be pushed down to 5-4 and maybe less then even money so he doesn't represent value but I think the chalk is pretty heavy. Ice Box should be able to handle the track under any conditions.
Zito's second runner today is Fly Down. A big winner in the Grade II Dwyer at Belmont at 1 1/8 miles a month ago. Expect him to charge hard through the last 1/2 mile and the son of Mineshaft poses a legitimate threat to Icebox.
First Dude, bad name aside, is a Stephen Got Even runner trained by Dale Romans. 4 Places in 7 starts and 6 of 7 in the money lifetime. R Dominguez is up and he's clipping away at 27% through 568 starts in 2010. He'll press the pace and I'm curious if he won't be gasping the last 1/4 mile and possibly give the race up in a stretch duel.
I'm going to betting more inner race then a Pick Three or Pick Four Sequence today for the very simlple reason that the card is a tough one, especially with the potential for bad weather, and Race 8 with Custom for Carlos scratched and Race 9, The Acorn, being so wide open, I just felt like I wasn't prepared to make the financial investment to put together a winning card. That said, I'm thinking Superfecta here at the Belmont Stakes.
I feel pretty good that my Top 3 will be in the Top Four so I'm going to build my base bet with that in mind. The tricky thing is the fourth spot and then a few hedges in case my top three falter. As I build my bets I again feel the overwhelming urge to push away from the table, and if this wasn't a Triple Crown race I would, so I'll keep the risks minor and the chance of reward conservative but worthy. I'm going with a 10 Cent Super as my main bet with 5,6,11 Over 5,6,11 over 4,5,6,7,8,11,12 over 4,5,6,7,8,11,12. This bet drags Make Music For Me, Drosselmeyer, Interactif, and Game On Dude into the 3rd and 4th spots. This bet will cost $12 and I'll bet about $30 total and have some fun with Little Turk assembling some value exactas once we get a bit closer to post time and the odds firm up,
Enjoy the day friends and readers, Turk Out!