2010 Belmont Stakes Predictions

I’m feeling pretty good after nailing Lookin at Lucky to win the Preakness and predicting that First Dude would finish in the money. So let’s see if I can’t flub up my picks for the Belmont Stakes, which starts tonight at 6:30PM ET.

Win: Fly Down (5/1)
The more and more I look at this horse and his odds, the more I love him to win tonight. He’s already beaten First Dude (who I loved as a sleeper in the Preakness) twice in his career and is coming off a victory at Belmont Park on May 8 (the G2 Dwyer). He also has three wins in his last four races, although it’s worth noting that he finished ninth the only time he didn’t win in those four outings. Still, all of Fly Down’s races have come on dirt and he obviously knows Belmont well. He’s my pick to click tonight.

Place: First Dude (4/1)
I have a soft spot for First Dude, who I picked to come in third at the Preakness even though he was a 22/1 long-shot. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I think there’s something special about this horse and if he isn’t worn out from his excellent outing at the Preakness, then I think he’ll finish in the money. Will he beat out a well-rested Ice Box (second at the Kentucky Derby)? It’s tough to say, but I think First Dude will be out in front at some point and if he has enough left in the tank, he should make the board.

Show: Drosselmeyer (12/1)
This is my dark horse (pun definitely intended, which is why I wrote it) for tonight. He’s improved in each of his last three outings dating back to the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds Race Course on February 20, and is coming off a sharp prep at the Dwyer (where he finished second to Fly Down). I think his running style suits the Belmont and as long as there isn’t a quick pace set early, I think he’ll hang at the end.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Lookin at Lucky to skip Belmont Stakes

Those hoping to parlay Lookin at Lucky’s win at the Preakness into a possible victory at the Belmont Stakes will have to look elsewhere. Because Bob Baffert says the colt won’t run on June 5 in New York.

From SI.com:

Baffert said Lookin At Lucky will also take a pass on the Belmont and return to Southern California to freshen up. His next start may be the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 1.

“I want to keep this horse around,” the Hall of Fame trainer said.

Their absences, combined with no Triple try in play, leaves the Belmont with little drama. Baffert will be there, though, saying he plans to saddle Game On Dude, partly owned by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre. First Dude finished second in the Preakness, and is likely a Belmont starter.

“It’ll be the Battle of the Dudes,” Baffert said.

It’s disappointing that neither Super Saver (the Kentucky Derby winner) nor Lookin at Lucky will run at the Belmont, but it’s understandable. The Derby this year was a grind, given that the conditions were poor and the traffic at the start was brutal. Super Saver looked beat at the Preakness and I’m sure Lookin at Lucky is gassed after winning.

First Dude might be installed as the favorite at the Belmont in two weeks. He was a 20/1 long shot entering the Preakness on Saturday, but surprised the field to finish second.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

2010 Preakness Stakes Predictions

All right, so I was a tad off in my Kentucky Derby predictions two weeks ago. Sidney’s Candy (the colt I predicted to win) ran out of gas down the stretch and I’m pretty sure Line of David (my prediction to show) still hasn’t come out of the posts yet.

That said, my choice of Paddy O’prado to place was partly correct as he finished in the money, but third instead of my prediction of second. Had he not tired down the stretch, he would have held off Ice Box for second place, but I was happy that at least one of my predictions finished in the money. I also noted that Conveyance would probably jump out to a big lead at the front – which he did – but tire down the stretch (which he also did). But that prediction doesn’t really count for anything; I’m just trying to make myself feel a little better considering the picks didn’t pan out.

I’ll try to do better today with the Preakness, as the second leg of the Triple Crown takes place at 6:15PM ET.

Win: Lookin at Lucky (3/1)
Lookin at Lucky was the favorite heading into the Kentucky Derby, but he fought traffic out at the start and finished a disappointing sixth. That said, he spotted the field over 20 lengths, battled through traffic and still managed to finish sixth. The last horse to pull off a similar feat was Curlin in 2007, who lost to Street Sense at the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby and then won the Preakness two weeks later. Had Lucky not drawn the awful rail position for the Derby, we might have seen a different outcome. But now that he is coming out of the No. 7 post, he shouldn’t have to battle as much traffic at the start and he can run his race throughout. If he does that, he beats the field.

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