Friday, June 5, 2015

147th Belmont Stakes Analysis and Selections

The 147th Belmont Stakes is all about American Pharoah's quest to be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. American Pharoah backed up his Kentucky Derby victory with a dominating win in the Preakness Stakes. On Saturday American Pharoah will look to make history, but he is facing a tough field. In the Belmont Stakes, American Pharoah's main challenges will come from Frosted and Materiality. Frosted was a very solid fourth in the Kentucky Derby, and is fresh, having skipped the Preakness. Materiality ran sixth in the Kentucky Derby, but had a terrible trip and closed with a flourish in what ended up being an impressive sixth place finish. My Kentucky Derby selection Mubtaahij comes into the race with a decent 8th place finish and has been working steadily coming into the race. 

Pace Scenario 
In the Belmont, I expect American Pharoah to be on the lead. He is the most talented horse in the race and has natural speed. If he breaks well he should be on the lead. Materiality also should be close to the lead, which is his more natural position. The connections of Mubtaahij want him to be closer and I expect him to be closer, sitting right behind the two leaders. Frosted should be closer than he was in the Derby and should be sitting fourth. Madefromlucky who comes off of a victory in the local prep for the Belmont Stakes, the GII Peter Pan Stakes, should be sitting in the fifth. Three long shot closers Keen Ice, Frammento, and Tale of Verve will be far back early, unless one of their riders gets unexpectedly aggressive.

American Pharoah 

Long Shots with a chance
Keen Ice

Longshots with no chance
Tale of Verve 

1. #6 Frosted
2. #1 Mubtaahij 
3. #5 American Pharoah 

While I will be rooting for American Pharoah to complete the Triple Crown sweep, I believe the combination of the added distance and a very talented Frosted waiting in the wings will be too much to overcome. American Pharoah is a superstar, but Materiality will be able to track him and pressure him the entire way around the racetrack, and this will cost him the race. Waiting the entire way around the track for him will be Frosted and Mubtaahij, and these will be the two to decide the last furlong of the mile and one half marathon race. Good luck! 

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