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2012 Belmont Contenders Analysis

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Kentucky Derby third place finisher Dullahan

Kentucky Derby third place finisher Dullahan should also be one of the favorites in the Belmont Stakes

© Cindy Pierson Dulay

Continued from page 1.

Guyana Star Dweej makes his stakes debut in the Belmont for the Shivmangal family, off a second place finish in an allowance at Belmont Park, which is a sharp prep and a sharp Belmont start. He qualifies on dosage index but has 2 Solid and 2 Professional points, is coming here off triple tops, has never run a 100+ Beyer, and has never run in a stakes race. He qualifies on number of starts, and on running style.

Paynter runs in the colors of Zayat Stable for trainer Bob Baffert, replacing stablemate Bodemeister. He won an allowance at Pimlico on Preakness day last out, a sharp prep, but this is his Triple Crown debut. He was unraced last year, runs on the lead, has never run at Belmont, and comes here off triple tops. He does qualify on starts at 3, was in the money in a graded stakes (2nd in Derby Trial), qualifies on dosage, and has run 100+ Beyers twice.

Union Rags was once touted as a potential Triple Crown winner but now has to play the role of spoiler for trainer Michael Matz. He fails on number of starts, being overraced at 2 and underraced at 3, is not here off a sharp prep (7th in the Derby), has not run a 100+ Beyer, and does not have a double-zero profile. On the positive side he can stalk the pace, has Derby experience, has won graded stakes (including the Champagne at Belmont Park), and is not here off triple tops. He will likely be overbet in this race.

The next 3 horses scored equal points and are listed alphabetically:

Dullahan was third in the Derby then skipped the Preakness, giving him a sharp prep, a graded stakes ITM finish, and a Triple Crown start. He is not entering off triple tops, and has a "double-zero" dosage profile. On the negative side his dosage index is 4.20, he has not run a 100 Beyer, he has never run at Belmont Park, rallies from far back, was overraced at 2 and underraced at 3.

Optimizer tries to bring trainer D. Wayne Lukas back to a Triple Crown winner's circle. He comes here off poor performances in both Derby and Preakness, clearly not sharp preps. His best Beyer is a 91, his dosage index is 3.24 (Belmont calls for 3.00 or lower), he has never run at Belmont, he was overraced at 2, and he rallies from far back. He did score points for running in the Triple Crown, enough starts at 3, graded stakes performance (second in the Rebel), is not here off triple tops, and has a double-zero dosage profile.

Unstoppable U is undefeated in two starts, his debut at Aqueduct and an allowance at Belmont. As a result the negatives are many. He runs on the lead, did not run in the Triple Crown, unraced at 2, underraced at 3, no graded stakes performances, best Beyer of 82. He does have a sharp prep and sharp race at Belmont, and qualifies on dosage, but it would be a shocker if he wore the white carnations on Saturday with his inexperience.

Ravelo's Boy ranks last in this year's Belmont analysis, coming here off a distant 5th in the Tampa Bay Derby with no in-the-money stakes finishes (graded or not). He skipped the Derby and Preakness, was overraced at 2 with 10 starts, underraced at 3 with just 3 starts, rallies from too far back (we want maximum 5 lengths out), has a best Beyer of 80, and has never run at Belmont. His only points were scored on dosage (3.00 and double-zero), and no triple top, having regressed slightly at Tampa. Compared to Unstoppable U, at least he has experience including graded stakes.

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