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2010 Belmont Contenders Analysis

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Kentucky Derby runner-up and Florida Derby winner Ice Box

Kentucky Derby runner-up and Florida Derby winner Ice Box will likely be the favorite in the Belmont Stakes

© Cindy Pierson Dulay
Updated June 03, 2010

The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races, and at 1 1/2 miles on the dirt, is a dinosaur with so few main track events carded at twelve furlongs these days. With the short five week span for three gruelling races under scale weight of 126 pounds over three very different tracks and three different distances, it takes a very special horse sweep the series. So much so that only eleven horses have completed the task, and the last one, Affirmed, was back in 1978. When Lookin at Lucky defeated Super Saver in the Preakness, that ended the possibility of a Triple Crown winner in 2010, and since both of them are not starting in the Belmont we will not have a rematch.

Thanks to injuries, poor performance in preps, or just plain lack of ability at the distance, the Belmont often gets a short field of horses. While traffic trouble, a major issue in the Derby, shouldn't be an issue here, once again 3-year-olds are being asked to do something they've never done and conditioning will be key. Major factors which separate the likely winners of the Belmont are weighed out in this analysis, as we did for the Derby and Preakness fields.

Like the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, we have compiled some of the more profitable angles used to select a Belmont Stakes winner in recent years, and applied them to the possible entrants. Some novice horseplayers mistakenly believe a long race immediately favors closers when in fact the Belmont favors stalkers. As well, the 4.00 Dosage Index angle is stronger in the Belmont than in the Derby where it's mostly used, but there's an additional dosage angle which is quite counterintuitive indeed. The Belmont favors horses who do NOT have points in the Solid or Professional wings of their dosage profiles, where you'd expect to see indicators of stamina for the grueling 12 furlong trip. In this year's analysis, all 12 horses listed below satisfy the 4.00 maximum dosage requirement.

Below are the contenders we analyzed in order of preference. The contenders selected are the ones who are confirmed or likely to enter as of today. Always remember that this profile is for the winning position only and any horse can still finish in the money. You can view the past performances of these horses free at DRF.

First Dude leads the field in points this year. His second place finish in the Preakness earned him a sharp prep, a Triple Crown start, a 100+ Beyer (he earned a 101), and a new Beyer top, all of which are positive for the Belmont Stakes. He made 2 starts last year and has run 5 times this year, and has no Solid or Professional points in his dosage profile. The only knock against him are his lack of starts at Belmont Park, and his front-running style in a race that prefers stalkers.

The next 2 horses scored equal points and are listed alphabetically:

Fly Down comes to the Belmont off a 6 length romp in the Dwyer, earning him a sharp prep race, a new career best Beyer of 99, as well as a sharp race over the Belmont Park oval for trainer Nick Zito. He made 2 starts last year and 3 this year so far and has no points on the right side of the dosage profile. On the negative side he skipped both the Derby and the Preakness, he has not run a triple digit Beyer figure, and he rallies from off the pace.

Ice Box was a fast-closing second in the Kentucky Derby last out for trainer Nick Zito, earning him a sharp prep race, a Triple Crown start, as well as a new career-best and triple-digit Beyer figure (100). He also lacks points on the right side of his dosage profile, and has made 4 starts this year. Among his few negatives, he started 4 times last year (one more than the maximum), does not have a sharp race at Belmont Park (he was 4th in a maiden race), and he rallies from off the pace.

Uptowncharlybrown was third in the Lexington in his last start, meaning he skipped both the Derby and Preakness, a negative. He does not have any starts at Belmont, did not get a new career best Beyer in his last start, and he has never run a 100+ Beyer figure. On the positive side he made 1 start as a juvenile and 4 this year, is coming off a sharp prep, lacks points on the right side of his dosage profile, and can stalk the pace.

On to page 2 for the rest of the horses

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