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Belmont Stakes- 3rd Time Is A Charge

2013 Belmont Stakes Is a Toss-Up

145th Belmont StakesOk. It’s time for the Belmont Stakes and again this year we will be without a Triple Crown contender. Orb had such high expectations after his Derby win and then Oxbow crushed them with his wire to wire Preakness victory. It is hard to win all three races that make up the Triple Crown. You really have to have a horse that is the caliber of Secretariat or Seattle Slew and none of the three year olds this year has exhibited that kind of talent.

The Will Take Charge Dilemma

Will Take Charge With D Wayne LukasAs you all know, I backed Will Take Charge in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and was sorely disappointed in both races, especially the latter. So I am faced with a sort of dilemma when it comes to wagering on the Belmont. I still like this horse and despite his short-comings as of late, I believe he can get there. Trainer, D Wayne Lukas has this to say about Will Take Charge and his chances at a Belmont victory-

 

“He’s 17 hands high. He doesn’t start and stop, he’s not nifty, but when he gets that head of steam up and gets rolling, and in this particular race with the configuration of the race track and distance, I think he’s a factor. I’d put him in my superfecta, at least.”

Another thing I have to consider about this horse is that veteran jockey, Jon Court, will be back on board since Mike Smith will be back on Palace Malice. Many of you probably remember what I had to say about Mike Smith’s Preakness ride, so I won’t continue to harp on it. What I will say is that I like Jon Court. Court, at 52, has been around and he knows this horse well, as he showed in the Derby. With him at the helm, I feel more comfortable backing Will Take Charge again.

The Pletcher Percentage Game

OveranalyzeTodd Pletcher is at his old stuff again and is entering a scatter shot of horses in the race. I really don’t like his approach. I think you should make up your mind about who in your barn really has a shot at winning and limit your entries to two horses. Pletcher has five horses entered from the field of fourteen. More than a third of the entries for this year’s Belmont are trained by Pletcher. That’s it Todd, play the percentages.

With that said, I do like the chances of a couple of Pletcher’s horses. First off I don’t understand him entering Palace Malice in the race. Obviously the only way for him to win is to be allowed to get out there and set slow early fractions and believe me Freedom Child and Oxbow will not allow him to steal this race. Unlimited Budget is a good filly but should be kept with the fillies (of course that is only in my opinion). Revolutionary has somewhat of a shot coming from behind but I liked him better with Calvin Borel on board. Midnight Taboo had all sorts of trouble in his last race and came running like a freight train when he finally got clear.

Overanalyze has a legitimate shot at winning if he returns to his two year old form. I like his chances too because horses that ran in the Arkansas Derby typically do well in the Belmont. Temperance Hill, Victory Gallop, and Summer Bird come to mind. Here’s what Pletcher had to say about his Arkansas Derby winner-

 

“He’s been in every kind of scenario you can think of, he’s been in-between, behind horses, on the lead. He’s pretty versatile in terms of his running style.”

 

Taking Charge or Eating Bones

Eating The Bones if Will Take Charge Doesn't Take ChargeAnyway let’s get down to it. I have to wager a little on Will Take Charge because of the obvious. He owes me. I also like Overanalyze and Orb. Oxbow will just have to prove to me that he is as good as he seems to be.

So, I will be betting Will Take Charge and Overanalyze to win and my trifecta box will be those two and Orb. If I win it will be steak and potatoes for dinner. If I lose I guess I’ll eat the bones at KFC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of HandicapHorseRacing.com. 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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