View Full Version : Belmont Stakes 2015 Contenders / Value Line / Analysis

06-06-2015, 01:04 AM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/5.jpg American Pharoah (2-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/6.jpg Frosted (6-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/7.jpg Keen Ice (7-1)

There it is. The kiss of death. The first time in this year's Triple Crown that American Pharoah has topped my list of contenders...a rather tiny list this time around. Obviously, with a 2-1 value bet line, I won't be wagering on him. I think he has every right in the world to win the race, and I'll be thrilled if he does - as I've said right on this message board - if he won the Derby, he'll win the Triple Crown. I'm sticking to that, although my money will be riding elsewhere. Consider it a hedge.

I've made it no secret that I utilize the TimeformUS.com (http://www.timeformus.com) figures in my handicapping. I think Craig at TFUS is one of the brightest and most dedicated minds in the game today. And his numbers have consistently placed American Pharoah at the bottom when it comes to his late pace numbers. And the Belmont Stakes is no exception. In fact, he's ranked dead last with his 84 rating. He wasn't ranked much better in the Derby or Preakness, but we all know what happened there.

I continue to maintain that this horse is toying with all of us. Late ratings be damned. They haven't hit the bottom of this horse yet, despite the multitude of whip counters post-Derby. The most important thing that has ever happened to this horse was the injury that put him on the shelf for 168 days at the end of his two-year-old year. THIS is the reason why this horse has performed so well in the Triple Crown, and THIS is the reason why he'll have plenty to give at the end of the Belmont Stakes. This is no tired horse.

But what American Pharoah lacks in late ratings, he more than makes up for in the early department. This horse absolutely towers over this field early. He SHOULD have it all his own way. If Espinoza knows this horse, he will allow him to gain a significant pace advantage, settle into a comfortable rhythm and just gallop around the track. Unless I'm totally mistaken, when the others start kicking in with their late runs (Keen Ice, Frosted and maybe even Frammento), it SHOULD be too little too late. That 168-day layoff is what will carry American Pharoah home the rest of the way. Mark my words.

But enough about who is going to win. Let's move onto who I'm going to actually bet. And there is only one horse I'm going to wager real money on, and that's Keen Ice. This is the value play of the Belmont. He'll be a huge price, while being the horse with the best late number. I'm comfortable spending money on that combination in a race like this. If speed can't win it, and the one presser/tracker in the field (Materiality) doesn't cut the mustard with me contender-wise, then I'll leave it to the closers to get the job done, and there's no better closing bet than Keen Ice. I'll bet him to win and play some exactas with him on top of my other contenders plus Materiality, Frammento and Mubtaahij underneath.

In the end though, I think Triple Crown history will be made by a horse whom we've yet to see give everything and then some.

Here's hoping for a safe trip for all and a few cashed tickets.