The BEL – GI
BEL 11 Race 1 1/2 – Dirt
Three Year Olds
And while once again we will not see a triple crown try in the Belmont this year it will still be an exciting field. Since the game has started there has been 14 runnings of the race with only 1 trainer ever winning it more than once and that was Mb Stables in 2015 with Deja Steel and on 2017 with Positive Thinking. The fastest running ever of the race was back in 2011 when Crown Heights won in 2:29.37 for Barcelona Farms. The slowest running ever was the next year when it was ran on a muddy track and Wounded In Action won for Rouge River Stables in 2:36.74. There has also never been a jockey win the race more than twice in all of the editions of the race. There has only been one horse ever win the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont and that was Five Fives in 2010. There has also never been a horse win the Preakness and Belmont either. There may be a wet surface also with rain in the forecast. Let’s take a look at the field for this year’s edition.
1. Handsome (7-4-0-1 $555.460), trained by D J C Racing Stables, ridden by C J Lanrie
Last Start: 14th by 6 lengths in the KYD
Last Win: SUN Derby by ¾ of a length on March 25th.
Pedigree: Niagra × Festival (Jolly Be Great)
The first entry from the wizard of Long Island is this gelding by Niagra. He had been on a hot streak until the KYD when he won four of his five starts before leading up to the derby. I know if there is one race D J C Racing Stables wants to win more than the Derby is this race because this is his hometown and he loves running horses on this wonderful weekend of racing.
2. Indistinguishable (11-6-2-0 $2459.500), trained by Mb Stables, ridden by J R Velasquez
Last Start: 1st by a nose in the Prk
Last Win: Prk by a nose on May 19th
Pedigree: Moment Of Madness × In Your Mind (Commanding)
The horse that ruined this year’s Triple Crown bid. It’s not a crazy thing to say that he may have been the most hated horse for a couple hours or days after the Prk. If he wins he may earn the best three year old in the game title but if he doesn’t run any good and Pretty Ferro wins boy oh boy will people be mad he edged him out by a nose at Pimlico.
3. Simple Request (10-3-3-1 $893.120), trained by Saratoga Stud, ridden by R J Albarado
Last Start: 11th by 5 lengths in KYD
Last Win: BG Stakes by one length on April 7th
Pedigree: Frenched Quarters × Stealing Info (Well Informed)
The BG Stakes winner who likes to close with a from way back will be trying to make a sweep of different winners in all three races of the triple crown races. He likes the mud also so if there is rain it will not damage his chances. He’s coming into this race fresh after skipping the Preakness so he might have a better chance with the little freshening.
4. Motor City (10-4-2-1 $797.200), trained by First Class Stable, ridden by R Bejarano
Last Start: 6th by 4 lengths in the MUD
Last Win: Rebel at OP by ¾ of a length on March 17th
Pedigree: General Motors × Lil Choir Girl (Swarley)
One of the deepest closers in the field is right here. He came from eighteenth in the derby to get up for sixth which is pretty impressive to me. He likes to close from far back so a fast pace will help him out a ton. He has a legitimate chance to win if the pace is hot and he can close into it like he usually does.
5. Dream Controlled (9-3-1-1 $348.440), trained by Mb Stables, ridden by J Talamo
Last Start: 7th by 5 lengths in the KYD
Last Win: Withers by three lengths on February 3rd
Pedigree: Controlled Hook × Misty Dreams (Thats Entertainment)
Before the derby this was Mb Stables favorite three year old coming into the derby and he sold a couple and kept a couple out of the field just to see him in the race. His race didn’t go to plan that day and he wound up on the lead and nine times out of ten that’s an impossible task to do. He is highly regarded and definitely has a chance.
6. Stainless Metal (11-1-3-2 $198.520), trained by John Henry, ridden by J J Castellano
Last Start: 2nd beaten a length in the Peter Pan
Last Win: Maiden Special Weight at ELP on September 3rd, 2017
Pedigree: Frenched Quarters × Gun Metal (Folk Art)
The second Frenched Quarters foal in the race and he may not be as good as the other one so far but he is no slouch for sure. He ran second last out at this same exact track in the local prep for the Belmont, the Peter Pan. He had some success early in his career on the turf but has transitioned to the dirt nicely.
7. Zombie City (10-3-5-1 $1090.200), trained by Pan Farms, ridden by A A Gallardo
Last Start: 3rd by 2 lengths in the KYD
Last Win: Risen Star at FG on February 17th
Pedigree: City Of Angels × Zombie Island (Walkin Dead)
The other horse in the field with the word city in his name and this one is the better of the two on paper. He ran a charging third in the derby and then decided to skip the Preakness. He’s another who likes to come from behind most of the time but he has been versatile in the past and ran good from close to the pace.
8. Blindfold (7-4-0-0 $852.020), trained by Mb Stables, ridden by I Ortiz Jr
Last Start: 18th by 10 lengths in the KYD
Last Win: 1st by a half length in the LA Derby
Pedigree: Engine Failure × Breeze On By (Inspector Jacques)
The Louisiana Derby winner came into the derby off the strongest race of his career and threw an absolute clunker. I believe it was the muddy track that is to blame for that performance because he hasn’t ran good on an off track in either of his starts on it. Mb Stables obviously likes him to bring him back in this race.
9. Pretty Ferro (11-7-1-1 $2494.960), trained by Estero Farms, ridden by F Pennington
Last Start: 2nd by a nose in the Prk
Last Win: 1st in the KYD by two lengths on May 5th
Pedigree: Ferro × Pretty One (Generals Out There)
The KYD and almost triple crown bid chance since Fuji Ninja is the best three year old in the game and the best three year old we have seen in a long time. If he had an ounce more racing luck in the Preakness he would have a triple crown shot. He is still the best horse we have seen in a long time and is still the horse to beat.
10. Rumble (8-4-1-1 $394.980), trained by D J C Racing Stables, ridden by Alan Garcia
Last Start: 1st in the Peter Pan by a length
Last Win: 1st in the Peter Pan by a length on May 12th
Pedigree: Mr. Creepy × Earthquake (Smart Deputy)
The local horse with the local trainer going for the upset. Nothing better than that for this race. He won the Peter Pan last out on the same track and will try to be the first horse to win the Peter Pan and Belmont. He is going out to win the race for the wizard of Long Island and will try and be a huge upset win.
11. Sacred Brave (6-1-0-1 $227.150), trained by Blushing Meadows, ridden by J L Ortiz
Last Start: 4th by three quarters of a length in the Ark Derby
Last Win: SB Maiden Special Weight at WO on December 1st, 2017
Pedigree: Doctor Nemesis × Yellow Rose Of Texas (Rene)
This Doctor Nemesis gelding barely missed out on running in the derby. He ran two very good races in triple crown preps when he ran third in the LA Derby and then off a three week rest ran fourth in the Ark Derby. He is coming into the race with a nice freshening and may be a longshot to watch for.
12. Splash Mountain (10-3-2-3 $296.660), trained by Smokey Stover, ridden by J R Leparoux
Last Start: 3rd by half a length in the Ark Derby
Last Win: SB allowance at MTH on August 9th, 2017
Pedigree: Ned Isakoff × Sneaky Alessandra (Sneaky Little Pirate)
This New Jersey bred gelding ran a very impressive race last start when we tried to go wire to wire in the Ark Derby. He’s been battle tested but just can seem to break through in the big races. If he can get to the front like last time and slow down the pace to a pedestrian like speed he will be very tough.
13. Champion In Action (10-3-1-1 $177.000), trained by Night Rider Stables, ridden by R Maragh
Last Start: 1st by half a length in the Sir Barton at PIM
Last Win: Sir Barton at PIM on May 19th
Pedigree: Natural Drummer × Angies Taco Truck (Meals On Wheels)
This Night Rider Stables gelding is coming off a win in the slop on the Preakness undercard in the Sir Barton stakes. He ran a very good race and won very nicely three weeks ago coming from far back in the field to win the race. If he runs a big race he may be this stables new best three year old.
14. Lane Frost (9-4-2-0 $401.440), trained by Sanny Village, ridden by H A Karamanos
Last Start: 8th by 5 lengths in the Prk
Last Win: 1st by three quarters of a length in the Fountain Of Youth on March 3rd
Pedigree: That’s Entertainment × Rhinestone Cowgirl (Destin Grade)
Now if this horse won it would be quite a story. His owner Sanny Village who sadly passed away live in New York not that far from Belmont Park. His real life horse won her first career start at Belmont a few weeks ago. If he wins it would be rather magical and he is my sentimental pick for the race.
15. No Chill (9-3-1-0 $342.510), trained by Team 7 Illusions, ridden by L H Colon
Last Start: 9th by three lengths in the Wood Memorial
Last Win: 1st by a neck in the Juvenile Stallion Stakes on October 29th, 2017
Pedigree: Cherokee Sunset × Gianna (Die Laffin)
This Cherokee Sunset colt has been on hard times on a hard trail of races since his last win last year as a two year old. Maybe he doesn’t like the extra distance and should cut back to sprinting or maybe he just hasn’t been at the right level. I respect the trainer for taking the chance but he is in too tough.
16. Performance Artist (9-2-2-2 $392.050), trained by Serenity Stables, ridden by K J Desormeaux
Last Start: 6th by four lengths in the Prk
Last Win: 1st by one length in the King Glorius on December 16th, 2017
Pedigree: Stars And Bars × Dollar Breed (Proud Chai)
One of the favorites leading up to the derby he looked like a winner at the top of the stretch for a second. He kind of flattened out that day and then never made a legit run last time in the Preakness. I’m not sure if he will love the extra distance and this outside post definitely hampers his chances.
Obviously the two top dogs are Pretty Ferro and Indistinguishable. They’ve won the first two legs of the triple crown and are coming into this race looking very strong. There is always other horse to look at though and some of those are, Zombie City, Dream Controlled, Rumble, Lane Frost, Blindfold and Performance Artist. If it rains the top two are still the ones to beat but a couple other may jump up like Simple Request, Champion In Action and No Chill. It’s obviously a great race with great horses and of course other factors come into play like post position, trip and pure racing luck. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain and it will be an even greater racing day. Good luck to all in the race.