Belmont Stakes Recap/3-Year-Old Top 5
The 2019 Belmont Stakes was a tale of two trips, and the inside bias was a strong factor in the final outcome. Sir Winston is no longer known as War of Will’s stablemate after his win in the Test of Champions on Saturday, June 8 at Belmont Park.
Let there be no doubt that a strong inside bias was in play at Belmont Park on Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8. Early-pressing speed was certainly an asset, but the inside lanes were the place to be even if you were coming from off the pace.
Joevia showed the way for much of the running, and he broke from the inside post and was on the rail throughout. Tax, Spinoff, Everfast, and War of Will chased, but not of those runners were able to pass the front runner.
Sir Winston was definitely not a speed horse, and he was patiently ridden by Joel Rosario. He was able to ride the good inside for a nice stretch, and the key to victory was his inner journey.
Post time favorite Tacitus lost this race at the post draw. Jose Ortiz was never able to get him anywhere near the rail, and he was wide throughout. As they approached the far turn, Sir Winston and Tacitus were moving together, and the big difference was the former was parked inside, while the latter was widest of all.
Sir Winston moved out, found room in the stretch, and inched clear. Tacitus was grinding away in the lane by came up 3/4ths of a length short. The Bill Mott trainee almost certainly wins this race with a different trip. Actually, switch trips and post positions with Sir Winston, and he probably wins for fun.
Joveia held 3rd, and the track bias helped him every step of the way. Tax just held 4th over Master Fencer, and they were followed by Spinoff, Everfast, Intrepid Heart, War of Will, and Bourbon War.
The 2019 Triple Crown series saw three different winners (Country House, War of Will, Sir Winston), and you can make that four if you count Maximum Security (disqualified from 1st to 17th in Derby).
Tacitus has been the most consistent performer in this division all year. He won the Tampa Bay Derby and Wood Memorial, and finished 3rd in the Kentucky Derby and 2nd in the Belmont Stakes.
Omaha Beach was the Kentucky Derby favorite but was forced to scratch because of a breathing issue. He had successful surgery to correct the problem and should return later this year. Trainer Richard Mandella has to be wondering what could have been after watching an average at best Triple Crown series.
The sophomore division is without a leader, and the second half of the year should be quite the adventure.
Jarrod Horak’s Top 5 Three-Year-Old Males (6-9-19)
#1 – OMAHA BEACH – Looking forward to return after throat surgery.
#2 – GAME WINNER – Juvenile champ had impossible trip in Ky. Derby (G1).
#3 – TACITUS – Belmont (G1) runner-up always fires trifecta shots.
#4 – CODE OF HONOR – Have always liked the Derby runner-up.
#5 – MAXIMUM SECURITY – Dq’d "almost" Derby hero tunes up for Haskell (G1) in June 16 Pegasus Stakes.