Friday, June 10, 2011

Paulie's Picks, The Belmont Stakes, 6/11/11

Let me start right off by making my prediction for tomorrow's Belmont Stakes, and then I'll tell you why I'm so unhappy with it:

12 - Shackleford
9 - Animal Kingdom
8 - Prime Cut

First of all, playing the winners of the Derby and the Preakness seems so amateurish. They'll surely be overbet, too - Shackleford and Animal Kingdom are going to be the exacta box of choice tomorrow, and both will badly be underlaid in the win pools, too.

But, but, but... Shackleford's the only pure speed horse in the race, and pace handicapping 101 dictates that no other horse can be safely bet in that scenario - a loose-on-the-lead type is very hard to catch. There are some really nice closers and stalkers in this race, but those kinds of horses need a pace set-up to pounce on in the stretch.

The live question, of course, is can Shackleford hold his speed for that long, long, long mile-and-a-half. If he's alone in the front, I think he probably can. The strongest closer, with two triple-digit speed figures to his credit, is Animal Kingdom, who should be bearing down in the stretch, but as in the Preakness (shown above), I think he might get there a little late.

So here's Paulie's picks for the whole Belmont card tomorrow - thirteen races! My good friend JK pointed out that the last race goes off at 7:50 pm; maybe should just sleep over and play Sunday, too!

1st race:
6 - Eternal Ruler
8 - Marine Officer
3 - Bruce Alley

2nd race:
3 - August Osage
4 - Crushing
2 - Not Now Ashley

3rd race:
13 - In Just We Trust
10 - Forty Prayers
9 - Philotimo

4th race:
11 - Johannesburg Smile
7 - Rattlesnake Bridge
5 - Ripples n' Waves

5th race:
11 - Power Dreams
3 - Gamblin Fever
1 - Shekomeko Son

6th race, The Acorn, G1:
2 - Turbulent Descent
1 - Her Smile
3 - Savvy Supreme

7th race, The True North Handicap, G2:
5 - Calibrachoa
3 - Trappe Shot
2 - Wildcat Brief

8th race, The Woody Stephens, G2:
7 - JJ's Lucky Train
6 - Little Drama
1 - Travelin Man

9th race, The Just a Game, G1:
2 - Aviate
1 - Gypsy's Warning
6 - Fantasia

10th race, The Manhattan Handicap, G1:
6 - Viscount Nelson
4 - Gio Ponti
3 - Windward Islands

11th race, The Belmont Stakes, G1:
12 - Shackleford
9 - Animal Kingdom
8 - Prime Cut

12th race:
7 - Mitigation
5 - Dr. W
9 - Russian Sage

13th race:
8 - My Cousin Eddie
3 - Rudy Rudy Rudy
10 - Don't Cross Me

Tune in tomorrow night for results and video, unless of course we decide to spend the night.