Saturday’s 149th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes concludes the 2017 Triple Crown and only a pair of horses who placed in the first two legs, Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin at Lee and Preakness third Senior Investment, will return for the 1 ½-mile race.
I’m going with #8 Senior Investment off a strong finish at Pimilico. He broke poorly and was steadied leaving the far turn before finishing up swiftly from far off the pace, rallying past five rivals in eye-catching fashion through the stretch.
Kenny McPeek touted the Preakness as a Belmont Stakes prep pre-race and Senior Investment brings improving form as well as increasing BRIS Speed Ratings into the race. Out of a mare by Travers winner Deputy Commander, the chestnut will look to launch his move sooner in the Belmont, advancing into a menacing position by upper stretch.
I’ll tab Senior Investment to finish up best of all for a minor upset.
#7 Irish War Cry merits serious respect. He’s admittedly inconsistent, getting drilled in the Kentucky Derby and Fountain of Youth (G2), but the Curlin colt can bring it when on his game, recording impressive 102 BRIS Speed Ratings for convincing wins in the Wood Memorial (G2) and Holy Bull (G2).
Trainer Graham Motion, who mentioned the Haskell (G1) in late July as a target after the Kentucky Derby, appears bullish by running his pupil back in the Belmont and Irish War Cry is a threat to overpower these foes. I will save with the forwardly-placed chestnut in multi-race and vertical exotics.
#2 Tapwrit could be sitting on a big effort following a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby and rounds up my top 3. I’ll add #1 Twisted Tom, #4 J Boys Echo, #6 Lookin at Lee, #10 Multiplier and #12 Patch to the bottom of the trifecta.
Tickets ($100 budget)
$20 Win & Place #8 ($40)
$10 Exactas: 8 over 2,7 ($20)
$8 Exactas: 2,7 over 8 ($16)
$1 trifecta: 7,8 over 2,7,8 over 1,2,4,6,7,8,10,12 ($24)
Good luck in the Belmont Stakes!