It all started five weeks ago in Louisville, Kentucky with the 135th Kentucky Derby and will end in Elmont, New York with the running of the 141sth Belmont Stakes–the test of champions.
We had a gelding, Mine that Bird, win the Derby, and the second-longest Mutuel price in the Derby’s history.
The 134th Preakness went to a filly. Rachel Alexandra. She not only won the Preakness, but the filly derby, the Kentucky Oaks. No filly has ever done that before. She will pass on running in the Belmont. Her jockey Calvin Borel has a shot at winning all three Triple Crown races on two different horses. That would also be a first.
Let’s take a look at the field for the 141st Belmont Stakes:
Has the Belmont-upset trainer in his corner, Nick Zito. Has only two wins at sprint distances to his credit. Finished third to charitable man in the Peter Pan Stakes in last start.
6- Charitable Man:
Has never lost on dirt. His only defeat has come over a synthetic track. His workouts have been great for this start. If he goes the first half-mile in fifty seconds or more He could go wire to wire. He is two for two over the Belmont surface. The One to Beat.
Has been at Belmont training since his run in the Derby. He ran fifth. Had some nice workouts over the big sandy. Has top jockey Garrett Gomez in the saddle. Should be closing at the finish.
Had all kinds of trouble in the Derby. Stumbled at the start and again on the backstretch. Has only one win in brief career. This will be his fifth start. This horse is a question mark to me. Might hit the board.
He had trouble in his last start the Preakness. He’s only been to the winner’s circle once in twelve starts. Nice workout on May 27th. D. Wayne Lukas is his trainer.
Has a maiden win to his credit on a sloppy racetrack.
7-Mind That Bird:
Won the Kentucky Derby. With a dream ride by Calvin Borel. He gets his services back in the Belmont. Borel rode Rachel Alexandra to her historic win in the Preakness. The bird finished second in the Preakness. He will have to race closer to the pace in this one. He won’t be able to fall to far back and make that closing rush. Should be running down the stretch.
Won small Stakes race on the under card on Preakness day. This is Zito’s other starter. Should be up close to the early pace.
3-Mr. Hot Stuff:
He too had trouble in the Kentucky Derby. Bumped and squeezed in the race. Finished a nice third to Pioneerof the Nile in the Santa Anita Derby. Should improve on his Derby performance.
He only has maiden win under his belt. Picks up Kent Desormeaux for this race.
And now, my selections:
3—Mr. Hot Stuff
7—Mine That Bird
A safe trip to all the horses and jockeys.