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The Dude is Loose!

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 6/11/2010 3:08:24 PM
  • Who: Thoroughbreds – First Dude, Ice Box, Fly Down, Game On Dude
  • What: Horse Racing Betting Tips – The Belmont Stakes
  • Where: Belmont Park
  • When: Saturday, June 5th

Last year, The Belmont Stakes went to the “Birds” (Summer Bird – 1st, Mine That Bird – 3rd). This year it looks like the “Dudes” (First Dude, Game On Dude) will rule. Let’s take a quick look at Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, and I’ll explain why I feel this way.

Strong closers, like Ice Box and stablemate Fly Down are often fancied by the betting public in 1 ½-mile marathons like The Belmont Stakes. Players figure that if they finished strongly at shorter distances, the extra real estate should give them an edge. That may be true when the pace is swift and/or contested, but will that be the case tomorrow? I think not.

In looking over the 12-horse field, there’s not one horse other than First Dude that has led during any of the first three points of call of their last three starts. The closest was Interactif, who pressed the pace in The Hallandale Beach on the Gulfstream Park turf course, and was within a length of Sydney’s Candy’s dawdling pace in The San Felipe on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface. In The Hallandale Beach, the early fractions were :24 3/5, :49 4/5 and 1:14. In The San Felipe, the early fractions were :24 1/5, :48 2/5 and 1:13 2/5. By contrast, First Dude carved out swift fractions (:46 2/5, 1:11 2/5) in The Preakness, and kept on going. The top-class Lookin At Lucky wore him down in the late stages to win by three-quarters of a length. In other words, First Dude may have an easy time of it on the front end, and prove very difficult to catch.

Breaking from Post 11, First Dude should be able to clear the field heading into the first turn without expending much energy. He’s a huge horse, at more than 17 hands, and his long, loping strides will give him a significant advantage in this marathon event. He’s bred to love the slop, and has worked well over an “off” track, so the threat of rain should be no cause for concern…if anything, a wet track should boost his prospects.

As for the others, Ice Box figures to run a big race, but like many, he’ll be attempting to close into slow fractions. There’s also the potential for traffic problems, which won’t be the case with the “Dude”. Fly Down has demonstrated a fondness for Belmont, and he too is in sharp form. Look for him to make his presence felt at some point. Game On Dude (the other “Dude”), looked good winning The Lone Star Derby, but he didn’t beat much that day. He continues to train well, and reports have been glowing since his arrival at Belmont. He too could grab a minor share.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for the 142nd running of The Belmont Stakes. Best of luck dudes (and dudettes), and happy gambling!

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