And while I may add a few here and there in my pick 3’s or pick 4’s, here they are.
The True North is a Gr. 2 sprint for 3 and up and Trappe Shot gets the nod. I have always liked this horse and connections have him in the right spot now. His prep for this was just right and he should move forward from that. He has to beat the ex-claimer Calibrochoa, who got scary good at Aqueduct and is coming off a layoff, and D’Funnybone, who on a good day, can be tough.
The Woody Stevens is a Gr. 2 at 7/8ths of a mile for 3 year olds. My horse in here is Bold Warrior. I know, I know, he just broke his maiden. But I had him as a horse to watch as is he well bred and looks to be a talented colt. He is trained by a Master and there are no world beaters in here. I will include Arch Traveler, who is 2 for 3 at the distance, is happier back sprinting, and has a win at Belmont. So for me, I will use the “Jerkins”two.
The 9th is the Grade 1 What a Game, a one turn mile on the turf. I will play Much Rejoicing who is out of the great mare Soaring Softly. Yes, this is a big step up for her, but turf is her game and I’m willing to take a chance. You know the price will be right. She’s a single for me.
The 10th is the Manhattan. The horse in my virtual stable for this one is Al Kahli. This horse can run a big one now and then. I will also use Bold Hawk. I do love Gio Ponti but he may not be at his best after coming back from Dubai. But can I really leave him out???
In the Belmont, it’s all about Shackleford for me. (see previous post) I have no qualms about his pedigree, I know he’s game, he’s appears to be still moving forward and he will be up front as far as he can go.
A few thoughts on the other Belmont Stakes entries:
I love MMM, but I am a bit worried about just how much he has done in a short period of time for a horse that is not even 3 yet. There will be a time when he hits a wall.
Animal Kingdom can win it all, but in my mind, he is a true turf horse, and his connections have already admitted he will be returning to the turf after the Belmont.
I will use Brilliant Speed in my exotics. He ran a good race in the Derby, comes in fresh and is by Dynaformer who can get equally good, turf and dirt horses.
Master of Hounds? Good horse, but too much travelling…it’s asking a lot…
Santiva, Stay Thirsty, Nehru, outside chances all…
And the rest? I would be shocked.