Kentucky Derby Horses in the Belmont Stakes
by Trevor Whenham - 6/2/2011
A lot can change between now and entry time, but as it currently stands the top seven horses from the Kentucky Derby are all aimed towards the Belmont. If that happens it will be a record -- in 1949 and 1950 the top-five finishers from the Derby ran in the Belmont, but we have never seen more of the top Derby finishers than that move forward. The fact, that there are so many horses coming back from the Derby is good news for handicappers because these horses tend to do particularly well in this race. Here’s a look back at the last seven editions of the Belmont to see how the Derby runners have fared:
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2004 - There were nine horses in the Belmont, and two had come from the Kentucky Derby field. Smarty Jones was the heavy favorite and the potential Triple Crown winner, but he could only manage second. He was passed by a freight train in the stretch as Birdstone stormed past to take the win. Fortunately for bettors, Birdstone was the other horse who had run in the Derby. He wound up on top of a $139 exacta.
2005 - There were three horses in the Belmont field of 11 that had run in the Derby. Derby winner Giacomo proved that he was a fluky winner when he was an unimpressive seventh-place finisher in New York. Like the year before, though, the other two horses made up the exacta. Andromeda’s Hero was second, but he was miles behind the incredibly impressive Afleet Alex, who won by seven lengths. The exacta paid $44.
2006 - This was a rare race in that the Derby and Preakness winners -- Barbaro and Bernardini -- were both absent. That left the race totally wide open, and five Derby runners were among the 12 entrants. Two of them made up the exacta yet again, with Jazil pulling away from Bluegrass Cat as they neared the wire. They paid $92 in that exacta.
2007 - There were only seven horses in the Belmont this year, but it was one of the deepest and most impressive races in recent years. Rags to Riches became the first filly since 1905 to win the race in an incredible stretch duel with super horse Curlin, but Curlin, Tiago and Hard Spun finished second, third and fourth to fill out the rest of a very winnable superfecta that paid $242.50.
2008 - The big story here was Big Brown. He had cruised through the first two legs and looked as close to a lock as a horse can be to win the Triple Crown. It turned out disastrously -- he didn’t even technically finish the race. There were three other Derby runners in the field of nine, and two of them wound up second and third behind the impossible, unlikely longshot Da’ Tara.
2009 - It wasn’t the top six horses in the Derby that ran in the Belmont, but there were still six Derby horses among the 10 Belmont entrants. Those horses came through in a big way -- Summer Bird, Dunkirk and Mine That Bird combined for a solid $295 trifecta and the top two paid $121 for the exacta.
2010 - This was a lousy class of Derby horses, and they showed just how lousy they were in the Belmont. There were three Derby horses in the 12-horse Belmont field, and they only managed to finish eighth, ninth, and 10th. Ugly.
So, that’s a pretty good showing. In seven years the Derby horses have made up four exactas, as well as a trifecta. If you had boxed all of the Derby horses in the Belmont each year you would have enjoyed a very juicy ROI of almost 140 percent. In horse racing terms that’s serious -- especially since the investment is relatively low each year.
There is one important qualification to make here, though. While horses that ran in the Derby have done well in the Belmont recently, horses that ran in both the Derby and the Preakness have not fared so well. In the last nine years Afleet Alex is the only horse who ran in both previous races before winning the Belmont. That’s something to consider closely this year since three horses -- Animal Kingdom, Shackleford, and Mucho Macho Man -- are on track to run in all three events.
Doc’s Sports will release our expert Belmont Stakes picks for the third leg of the Triple Crown on Saturday, June 11. You can purchase our full Belmont package for just $20. You will get Doc’s win-place-show bets plus a variety of exotics for one low price, and if we don’t show you a profit then our next batch of horse racing picks come free of charge. Doc is an expert against the Belmont odds and he has been putting in lots of extra time on this race and thinks there will be some big profits on Saturday.
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