View Full Version : Official PaceAdvantage.com Belmont Stakes Analysis

06-11-2011, 01:10 AM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/12.jpg Shackleford (5-2)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/9.jpg Animal Kingdom (7-2)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/6.jpg Nehro (8-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/10.jpg Mucho Macho Man (11-1)
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/4.jpg Santiva (15-1)

I can't wait for Saturday afternoon. It is so refreshing to feel such a buzz around a Belmont Stakes with no Triple Crown on the line. Somehow, they got the top seven finishers in the Kentucky Derby to show up Saturday, including the two big guns, Shackleford & Animal Kingdom, who are set to renew their rivalry on yet another grand stage. Aside from a TC on the line, it doesn't get any better than this.

With that said, can you believe the lack of respect my poor Shackleford is getting leading up to this race? How can you NOT love this horse? Figure-wise, he's been as fast and as consistent as they come over his last three races. He caught the worst of it in the Derby over a surface that clearly was biased against him. That theory was proven in the Preakness when he won the race despite going the first quarter in 22 and change. Read that fact again. Shackleford, the supposedly distance-challenged colt, ran head-to-head with Flashpoint through the first quarter in the Preakness in TWENTY TWO and THREE FIFTHS seconds and STILL had enough left to hold off the fast closing Animal Kingdom at the wire.

My friends, a distance-challenged horse does not win the 9.5 furlong Preakness Stakes after running the first quarter in 22 and change. It simply doesn't happen.

In fact, if you look at Shackleford's late pace numbers (I'm again using CJ's figures from PaceFigures.com (http://www.pacefigures.com)), you'll see he stacks up quite nicely late with everyone except of course Animal Kingdom, who holds a definite advantage in that department.

But that edge will be severely tested given the HUGE PACE ADVANTAGE Shackleford figures to enjoy in the Belmont Stakes. There is, quite simply, NOBODY to run with this game-as-can-be colt. Running-style-wise, maybe Prime Cut will be the closest early on, but his actual early numbers are dismal when compared to Shackleford. I can't see anyone getting anywhere near Shack early. It's just not there on paper.

So, to me, whatever edge Animal Kingdom enjoys late will be almost completely erased by Shackleford's early pace advantage.

There is some rain in the forecast for the Belmont Stakes, but it should be noted that Shackleford is very well bred to take to an off track, and his speed should prove even more dangerous should the track come up wet.

It should also be noted that there may be some value elsewhere in the race. Both Mucho Macho Man and Santiva figure to go off at or above my value line of 11-1 and 15-1 respectively. But there is little doubt where the greatest value is going to lie Saturday afternoon, and that is with Shackleford.

I thought it couldn't get any easier than the Preakness. Three weeks ago I wrote: "I'm going to take a talented, speedy horse who has shown tenacity, at a very square price in today's Preakness." This Saturday afternoon, I can add "isolated on the front-end" to my list of advantages. If the early betting and the Brooklyn/Belmont Double will-pays are any indication, Shackleford is going to be the third or even the fourth choice in the betting when the gates spring open. Total insanity.

Shackleford, a gift that just keeps on giving.