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Some final thoughts on the Belmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes 2017 Field (in post position order, with comments)

#1 Twisted Tom (20-1) - Biggest strength is Castellano. 

#2 Tapwrit (6-1) - Reminds me of Destin.

#3 Gormley (8-1) - Twelve furlongs seems too long.

#4 J Boys Echo (15-1) - Interesting exotics contender.

#5 Hollywood Handsome (30-1) - Improving but in too deep. 

#6 Lookin At Lee (5-1) - Fourth race in eight weeks.

#7 Irish War Cry (7-2-1) - Probably wins or finishes up the track.

#8 Senior Investment (12-1) - Deep closers usually struggle in Belmont.

#9 Meantime (15-1) - Can a son of Shackleford get 12f?

#10 Multiplier (215-1) - Illinois Derby winner adds blinkers.

#11 Epicharis (4-1) - Belmont week foot problems a major concern.

#12 Patch (12-1) - One-eyed wonder draws outside again.

Belmont Stakes Pedigree Analysis

#12 PATCH’s sire Union Rags won the Belmont Stakes in 2012 and his dam sire A. P. Indy won the Belmont Stakes in 1992.

#2 TAPWRIT’s sire Tapit was once considered a prolific stallion up to nine furlongs, but sustained success at stud brought bigger and better mares his way. In 2014, his son Tonalist captured the Belmont Stakes. His son Frosted was 2nd to American Pharoah in 2015. He had Creator and Lani run 1-3 for him in 2016.

#11 EPICHARIS has a field-best Average Winning Distance of 7.9 furlongs for sire Gold Allure (Sunday Silence) and an AWD of 8.7 furlongs for dam sire Carnegie. The Japanese invader is certainly bred to get the trip.

#4 J BOYS ECHO should get stamina from his sire Mineshaft, a son of Belmont Stakes hero A. P. Indy. 

Curlin was 2nd in the 2007 Belmont Stakes and sired 2013 Belmont Stakes hero Palace Malice. He is represented by morning line favorite #7 IRISH WAR CRY this year. 

From the Tapit sire line, #5 HOLLYWOOD HANDSOME is a son of Tapizar. 

From the A. P. Indy sire line, #3 GORMLEY is a son of Malibu Moon. #8 SENIOR INVESTMENT is a son of Discreetly Mine (Mineshaft).

Today's Racing Digest Speed Figures

#7 IRISH WAR CRY got a 152 Final Rating in the Wood (104 FIRE) and a 153 Final in the Holy Bull. He is a likely winner if he runs his best race and stays the trip but that is not a certainty. 

#6 LOOKIN AT LEE received a 152 Final Rating in the Kentucky Derby. His other numbers are much lower.

#1 TWISTED TOM earned a 147 Final in the Tesio on a sloppy track but his other numbers do not come close.

#2 TAPWRIT got a 146 Final in the TB Derby and a 140 in the Pulpit. That was part of a nice winter progression but he regressed in the Blue Grass + Ky Derby. He also earned a 146 Pace Rating in the TB Derby and a balanced attack like that would work well at a mile and a half.  

#9 MEANTIME received a 146 in the Peter Pan and a 136 in his romping maiden win but both were wet track numbers. A mile and a half on a fast track is an eternity for a son of Shackleford.

#3 GORMLEY owns a trio of 140+ Final Ratings but his Pace Ratings are almost always better than his Final Ratings and his stamina is a concern.

#10 MULTIPLIER’s 143 Final Rating in the Illinois Derby seems too high based on his other numbers. He adds blinkers and returns in three weeks after finishing up the track in the Preakness (125 Final).

#8 SENIOR INVESTMENT garnered a 141 Final in the Lexington but that race collapsed and fell into his lap and his other numbers are lower like his 126 in the Preakness. Deep closers typically struggle in the Belmont Stakes.

#5 HOLLYWOOD HANDSOME uncorked a 140 Final in an entry level allowance win at CD May 14. Class is a big cloud.

#12 PATCH is lightly raced with an interesting numbers pattern. In his first three starts, he got a 111, 135, and a 137 Final in the LA Derby. From post 20 in the Kentucky Derby, he got a 98 Final Rating. He is bred for the marathon distance and is an intriguing contender if he improves off his LA Derby number.

Pace Makes the Race

A few of these figure to be forwardly placed starting with #9 MEANTIME, followed by #3 GORMLEY, #7 IRISH WAR CRY, and #11 EPICHARIS. #1 TWISTED TOM can stalk from the rail, and #2 TAPWRIT might be in the perfect spot behind that group.

KEY TRENDS: Derby-Belmont

The current hot trend is competing in the Kentucky Derby, skipping the Preakness, and winning the Belmont Stakes (since 2000): '16 Creator, ‘13 Palace Malice, ‘12 Union Rags, ’09 Summer Bird, ’06 Jazil, ’04 Birdstone, ’03 Empire Maker, ’00 Commendable.

This year’s Derby-Belmont runners are #2 TAPWRIT, #3 GORMLEY, #4 J BOYS ECHO, #7 IRISH WAR CRY, and #12 PATCH. The 2017 Belmont Stakes winner could easily come from that group. 

Jarrod's Belmont Stakes Top 4 Picks:

1 - TAPWRIT (#2)

2 - Patch (#12)

3 - Irish War Cry (#7)

4 - J Boys Echo (#4)

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