2010 Belmont Stakes Betting Advice
by Trevor Whenham - 6/5/2010
You have probably heard or read by now that this isn't a good edition of the Belmont Stakes. Don't believe a word of it. On the surface it has a massive issue - it's the first Belmont since 2006 and just the third since 1970 that features neither the winner of the Kentucky Derby nor the Preakness. There is more than enough to overcome that situation here, though.
For starters, I really don't need to see Super Saver again for a while after he was so soundly dispatched in the Preakness. This field includes the most impressive horse in the Derby - Ice Box - and the toughest in the Preakness - First Dude. there are five graded stakes winners, four or five more intriguing runners, and as good a group of jockeys as you can assemble. It's a field so deep that you can find a new horse to like every time you look at it. It's a race that is a real pleasure to handicap, and it should be a joy to watch as well.
To get you ready for this race here is some Belmont Stakes betting advice - two tips to keep in mind as you prepare for the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Longshots - This is a race that loves its longshots. Last year Summer Bird paid $25.40 when he won the race. That's a nice payoff, but it's nothing compared to what we have seen in recent years. Da' Tara paid $79.00 in 2008. Birdstone won in 2004 at 36/1. Backers of Sarava in 2002 cashed for a stunning $142.50. Commendable in 2000 was barely a longshot by comparison, but he still paid off at $39.60. That's five pretty nice prices in the last 10 runnings of this race. Needless to say, looking at longshots in the Belmont isn't a bad idea.
So, who are the longshots to look at this year? I don't see a huge payoff like Da' Tara or Sarava gave us happening here, but there are three horses at double digits in the morning line that are worth a look.
Make Music For Me, at 10/1, is at a very attractive price. Ice Box gets all sorts of credit - well deserved - for making a massive move in the Derby. He went from 19th to second, and would very likely have won it if he hadn't encountered so much traffic. What is less recognized is that Make Music For Me made a move that was just about as impressive - he moved from 20th to fourth while encountering traffic,having to check his speed, and getting forced eight wide. It was impressive, and he has looked and trained very well since.
Stately Victor at 15/1 is also interesting. He hasn't been particularly impressive on dirt, so that's a concern. He's a patent horse who likes to relax off the pace, though, so this race will set up well for him. He's very well bred for the distance as well. What stands out most, though, is his win in the Blue Grass Stakes. He was unexpectedly dominant in that win. That race wasn't given a whole lot of respect at the time, but the field has since proven themselves strong - Make Money for me was sixth in that race, Paddy O'Prado went from second in the Blue Grass to third in the Derby, and First Dude improved from third in the Blue Grass to second in the Preakness. Stately Victor gets attention because the horses he beat are getting a lot of attention.
Finally, Interactif at 12/1 is worth a look. He's another horse from that Blue Grass stakes - he was fourth. That was his last race, so he is well rested here, and he has been working like a beast. He's faced the toughest schedule of any horse in this field, and though he hasn't won since October, he's consistently solid. He oozes class, and could really do some damage if he can finally get his head into it.
Experienced jockeys - Belmont is a very unique track - it's the only 1.5-mile oval on the continent. This race is also unique because it's the first time that any of these horses will have seen anything close to this distance, and one of just a handful of races of this distance run on dirt all year. Jockeys that have never run in the race can be surprised with how long it is and the impact it has on horses, and they may not manage it as well as they could.
Beyond the distance concerns, the track itself can mess with jockeys who are unfamiliar with it. At most one-mile tracks there is 3/8 of a mile left when the horses enter the final turn, but at Belmont there is still half a mile remaining. That's a huge difference, and riders who aren't used to it and don't compensate for the difference in the heat of the moment can often find themselves making their move too soon and burning their horse out before the wire. That's what happened to Calvin Borel with Mine That Bird last year, and to Smarty Jones when he came up short in his Triple Crown bid in 2004.
As a general rule, then, a jockey who is experienced with both the track and the race is going to be more attractive than one who has never seen either before if everything else is equal. Martin Garcia, Jamie Theriot, and Joel Rosario will all be making their debuts at Belmont this weekend, and Garcia is the only one who has a ride on the track before the Belmont.
Check out Doc’s Sports homepage for the most updated Belmont Stakes post positions and field lineup, along with daily exclusive content, each day leading up to the third leg of the Triple Crown. We also offer our expert Belmont Stakes Picks for just $20! Call us toll-free at 1-866-238-6696 for more information.
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