2014 Knickerbocker

Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont

Up With The BirdsOk, let’s preview the Grade 3  Knickerbocker Stakes for three year olds and upward going a distance of 11/8 miles for a purse of $200,000.  The morning line favorite is Chad Brown’s Easter Gift with Jose Lezcano in the irons. Easter Gift is listed to run on the main track only and it is supposed to rain all day Saturday in New York, so it is a real possibility the he will run. To find his last win you have to go back to June of last year. He has had two dismal starts this year where he was beaten a combined 39 lengths. And he is the morning line favorite here? When he does run well he likes to come from a stalking position. Second choice in the ML is Malcolm Pierce’s Up With the Birds and he will have the services of Cornelio Velasquez. The Birds last win came in July at Woodbine in a Grade 2 event. He likes to come from off the pace as was evidenced in that victory. Third choice in the morning line is Christophe Clement’s Za Approval with Luis Saez in the saddle. Za’s last race was a seven furlong event which he won in wire to wire fashion at Belmont. When he goes a little longer he likes to come from just off the pace.

Easter GiftSo who will win this event at Belmont? Well I don’t usually like to pick the favorite but I am going to break from that tradition here today and I will tell you why. I like Easter Gift here and I just don’t see him as being bet very heavily. I mean he hasn’t run but twice this year and both of those times looked like he was a horse that belonged elsewhere. He is slated to start only on the main track and I like that. Maybe Chad Brown knows that they won’t be running on the turf and most probably there will be some scratches. Besides all that, the horse is working like gangbusters in the AM and these are works that say he does belong in this race. Now if it doesn’t rain, my point is moot. He won’t run at all if this race goes on the turf. But if it doesn’t go on the turf I believe that Easter Gift will win it with Tricky Hat second, and Za Approval third. If it goes on the turf you are just on your own. Happy Handicapping Gals and Guys!




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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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