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Union Rags Ready to Make Amends

Posted by Pete Mitchell on 6/8/2012 5:27:10 PM

Who: Thoroughbreds ??? Union Rags, Dullahan, Paynter
What: Horse Racing Betting Tips ??? The Belmont Stakes
Where: Belmont Park
When: Saturday, June 9th

Horse racing fans were dealt a cruel blow when Triple Crown hopeful I???ll Have Another was scratched from the 144th Running of The Belmont Stakes the day before the race due to a tendon injury???one that resulted in his retirement. Still, there are some high-quality animals in the field. They may have beaten I???ll Have Another on the square???unfortunately, we???ll never know. Let???s analyze the race and formulate a betting strategy.

As I see it, there are only three horses capable of winning this race. I???ll discuss their pros and cons in order of preference:

#3-Union Rags (3-1): He???s the most accomplished horse on dirt, with a record of 7-4-1-1 ($1,198,800). One of those wins came over this very track in last year???s Grade 1 Champagne, in which he overcame a troubled trip to win impressively going away. There???s plenty of long-distance breeding on his dam???s side???that, coupled with his long, fluid stride, suggests that the 1 ??-mile distance of the Belmont Stakes is within his scope. Also, the switch to jockey John Velazquez pairs him with a rider who knows the Belmont Park oval like the back of his hand. You???ll recall Johnny V. won this race aboard the filly Rags to Riches in 2007, defeating two-time Horse of the Year Curlin in the process.

With a clean trip, I???m expecting Union Rags to gallop this field into the ground.

#5-Dullahan (9-5): Despite the fact that this horse???s two wins came on Keeneland???s polytrack, a case can be made that he???s equally effective on dirt. He finished a fast-closing third in the Kentucky Derby, ahead of 17 other runners, and zipped a bullet 4 furlongs on the main track in :45 and change in his final Belmont Stakes work. This horse is fresh and doing very well right now. He should make his presence felt in the stretch.

#9-Paynter (7-2): This relatively inexperienced colt has plenty of talent, and is the only member of the field with triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures (106, 100). His romp last out vs. allowance company at Pimlico was visually impressive, but the prospect of a bounce looms. Adding to the concern is his so-so final work for this race, in which he appeared to tire in the closing stages???.that???s not a good sign when you???re getting ready to go a mile-and-a-half. A repeat of his last race puts him in the thick of it???but a regression could cost him a spot in the top three.

As for the others, I could picture #1-Street Life (12-1), #4-Atigun (30-1), #10-Optimizer (20-1) and #12-My Adonis (20-1) rounding out tri???s and super???s, but that???s about it.

I???ll bet on Union Rags to win at odds of 8-5 or better. I???ll also key Union Rags on top in exactas, tri???s and super???s, with Dullahan second and the others mentioned above third and fourth. The tickets would look like this: $1 Exacta 3/5???total risk $1. $1 Trifecta 3/5/1,4,9,10,12???total risk $5. $1 Superfecta 3/5/1,4,9,10,12/1,4,9,10,12???total risk $20.

Those are my horse racing betting tips for The Belmont Stakes. Best of luck and happy gambling!


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