Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Undercard

Traditionally, the Belmont Stakes undercard is the most impressive of all the Triple Crown days. It is a bit later in the year than the Derby and gives more quality horses the chance to rebound from any early-year starts they might have made. It also does not load the program with local horses the way that Pimlico does for the undercard.

That said, some of the stakes races appear formidable despite some short fields. In the first stakes race of the day, the Grade 2 True North, it is only a field of six, but two of those six are Benny The Bull and Fabulous Strike. Breeders' Cup Filly And Mare Turf champion, Forever Together, headlines the Grade 1 Just A Game. The Grade 2 Woody Stephens has Godolphin Derby runner, Regal Ransom, facing Derby Trial winner, Hull, in what promises to be a fast seven-furlong race. The Grade 1 Acorn for three-year-old fillies has Justwhistledixie, who only has won her last five by a combined twenty lengths. And, the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap features the likes of Court Vision, Gio Ponti, Champs Elysses, Better Talk Now, Cosmonaut, and Cowboy Cal. That's is a virtual who's who of turf racing in this country.

So, keep in mind that while the 141st Belmont Stakes will seize the headlines on Saturday, there will be a host of great horses at Belmont and there should also be some strong value prices on those horses. The selections for the 141st Belmont Stakes come tomorrow from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!

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