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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2023 Belmont Stakes Analysis - Updated

This article may not be copied, reproduced, or paraphrased. LDM 6/7/2023

Updated - Early morning of 6/10/2023. I have revamped the entire analysis.

3.10 and Above

ANGEL OF EMPIRE M/L: 7-2 Post: Eight Cox/Prat

DP = 4-4-2-0-0 (10) DI = 9.00 CD = 1.20

Mare Profile = 6-4-6-11-3 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-21-20

St Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

Mizwaki/Ribot Connection

Updated: When I first heard that Angel was entered into the Belmont, my initial reaction was that he didn't have a prayer here. The numbers are simply completely incorrect for this race. After handicapping and going through that beautiful chart of his again, the elements presented there are so strong on the stamina side with his class that it put him on the highest pedestal. After taking the additional 2 days to continue working on the race, that 9.00 index just keeps flashing it's lights at me.

The presence of Ribot 3x in his chart, once with Flower Bowl through Graustark and the incredible sire Mizwaki, along with his killer style of running was realistically the signs of advantage for the 10f of the Kentucky Derby. With more time to analyze, it is not crystal clear that this would be enough to thwart that 9.00 index travelling 12f. When more things come to light, usually hours before the race, I take no action but this time I am. Historically for a 12f win, these numbers are incorrect.

Because of the high amount of 12f capability available throughout this field this year, taking the chance on top with a 9.00 horse at low odds is a bit careless so I will meet it in the middle. I will still use him sparingly, but I won't rely on him in any spot on that super alone. A compromise because of superstition on my part but it is also keeping with the concrete advantages that are revealed year after year.

Angel, Arcangelo and Tapit Trice are 3 colts who sit outside of the advantage. Of those three, the lowest index of the speed category (better situated) and the one who is holding FIRST generation Tapit would hold the highest advantage among this group. That colt is Tapit Trice, not Angel of Empire.

ARCANGELO M/L: 8-1 Post: Three Antonucci/Castellano

DP = 3-16-5-0-0 (24) DI = 8.60 CD = 0.92

Mare Profile = 6-7-4-9-5 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.00 Triads = 17-20-18

St. Simon: Unbridled → Aspidistra

Second Generation Tapit

Updated: His speed is an asset late and the fact that he has a slice of Tapit influence to lean on is nice. When adding in his prominent non-chefs, his index skyrockets to a 10.20. This is outrageous for the Belmont Stakes, especially when attached to a maiden and one G3 winner. If that 2nd gen Tapit force is enough to override that, then so be it and I'll rip my tickets up. Using one "speedy set-up" in the Belmont Stakes is a big step to begin with. Within this category with 3 "speed" contenders, it's Tapit Trice who has the best set-up. If I decide to do one super with the All button in the 4th spot, he will at least be represented as a straggler coming in low.

TAPIT TRICE M/L: 3-1 Post: Two Pletcher/Saez

DP = 5-15-11-1-0 (32) DI = 3.92 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 10-6-1-7-7 Speed = 16 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.23 Triads = 17-14-15

St. Simon: A.P. Indy → Bold Ruler → St. Simon 9.57%

First Generation Tapit

Updated: The quirky Tapit Trice has a direct competitor in Cox's Tapit Shoes standing directly next to him in the gate. Both are the only FIRST generation Tapit sons on the field. Tapit Trice is bred with more speed while Tapit Shoes is bred with more stamina. These two half-brother's will have two completely different advantages and it will revolve around that pace as to which one capitalizes. Before that first call even happens though, Trice has one leg up over Shoes while simply standing stationary in the gate - his class and experience - once the gates open, the fate of both will rely on the early pace structure.

Trice is speed dominant, Shoes is stamina dominant. Both have the distance. Speed wins races, especially down the stretch, so in that regard, Trice gets an additional leg up as well. Tack on a bit extra to Trice for the St. Simon factor as well and things start to become clearer and clearer. He needs to break well - that's a given. Pace does make the race and in the Belmont, position also plays a huge part as well. The simple solution, use them both heavily because both are built properly. Depends on pace with which one capitalizes best.

2.10 to 3.00

FORTE M/L: 5-2 Post: Six Pletcher/Ortiz, I

DP = 4-4-5-1-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.79

Mare Profile = 11-2-5-1-11 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.04 Triads = 18-8-17

St. Simon: Storm Cat → Nearco → St. Simon 18.75%

Highest St. Simon percentage of the field.

Slightly Updated: For Forte to capitalize off of his breeding, his style of running and his energy distribution, the fractional times would need to match a year similar to 2021:

Hot Rod Charlie posted: 22.78 46.49 1:12.07

If Il Miracolo takes the lead, Forte may in fact get that ideal set-up.

But, if National Treasure takes it, with Baffert's easily identifiable playbook where he slows that pace down to a crawl, it will work against him. Baffert's last two winners on the lead:

Pharoah posted: 24.06 48.83 1:13.41

Justify posted: 23.37 48.11 1:13.21

Because of how stacked this year is with all of the Tapit factors, (and Miswaki with Angel) a stand has to be made. When I look at his numbers, all I see is the Pennsylvania Derby. He is holding the highest percentage of St. Simon on the field but everything else that surrounds him is not ideal. His mares numbers are poor for the Belmont. He has been on a very long layoff and to ask him to come back and run 12f against a field of Tapit descendants is a tough ask. There is no doubt that Forte is one of the most talented of the group but it is a 50/50 proposition that Baffert gives up his gate to wire slow playbook to Il Miracolo. In addition, when adding in Forte's prominent non-chefs, his index skyrockets to a 4.71. His mares are simply not enough to counteract that above the 10f mark unless all the leads disintegrate. This is also a huge reason why he was so successful from his short maiden to his 9f FL Derby. That was his optimum and every extra 1/8th does him no justice in terms of his breeding. He's a very good horse but I can't back the configurations for a win in the 12f Belmont Stakes. Underneath possibly because of class, but that's about it.

TAPIT SHOES M/L: 20-1 Post: One Cox/Ortiz, J

DP = 4-11-12-1-0 (28) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.64

Mare Profile = 8-2-2-9-8 Speed = 10 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.74 Triads = 12-13-19

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

First Generation Tapit

Updated: Tapit Shoes is unavoidably joined at the hip with his half-brother Trice. One speed dominant, one stamina dominant. Both with advantage in the Belmont Stakes with the inbred ability to go the distance. Depending on pace, one or the other will grab an additional sack of advantage whichever way it goes.

Tapit Shoes is all stamina with his numbers, top and bottom, with a highly advantaged 3.00 chef index and a very low stamina-geared .74 mare index. Tapit Trice is obviously geared more to the speed side, with his much higher 3.92 index and mare index at an exceedingly high speedy 1.23. At the distances below 10f, Tapit Trice annihilates Tapit Shoes if they were to go head to head. Change that distance to 12f and advantages flip a bit to Shoe's advantage, but again, much will fall on that pace.

There is another scenario here that could easily disrupt any advantage Shoes might have. Being the 3rd horse in Cox's barn with that rail post could easily point to the Rabbit of the show. He has 2 classier colts with better resumes sitting in the gate and this is what gives serious pause to the entire plot. He could easily disrupt a well-bred advantaged horse in favor of his other two in the same manner that Pletcher sacrificed Kingsbarns in the Derby. If Shoes is taken off of his perfectly set-up even paced run and forced to gun it in favor of setting it up for Cox's others, Shoes will disintegrate just like Kingsbarns did.

In a nutshell, that scenario would leave Shoes with the same exact fate as the well-bred Rock Your World had when pushed too fast and against his fine-tuned breeding. Exact.

We cannot know the strategy. If left alone to trail National Treasure at a moderate pace, Tapit Shoes is a player. If you see him bolt out of that gate, then he is altering his ideal pace and we will know this within the first 15 seconds, but not before.

Either way, he is on an upward trajectory, he sits in the proper position, he has the best configurations on the field but his inbred speed is a bit off. At M/L odds of 20-1, there would be no chance of leaving this guy off of that super BUT he cannot be relied on in any spot alone just in case.

NATIONAL TREASURE M/L: 5-1 Post: Four Baffert/Velasquez

DP = 4-4-7-1-0 (16) DI = 2.56 CD = 0.69

Mare Profile = 8-7-3-3-9 Speed = 15 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.08 Triads = 18-13-15

St. Simon: Norther Dancer → St. Simon 12.1%

Second St. Simon percentage of the field.

Updated: His mares give him no assistance so he will need to rely heavily on his fantastic chef set-up. This is a tall ask as his advantage here sits solely on his early position up front. Whether he takes the lead and gallops slowly around the track or if he sits behind a faster pace and bides his time, he will be able to stretch his endurance fairly well because of that chef line. If Il Miracolo takes the faster lead, Treasure capitalizes because that horse has backwards energy distribution. If Tapit Shoes takes the lead because of a Cox strategy, Treasure sits and bides his time as well. All 3 scenarios give National Treasure a half decent advantage whichever way it goes.

He will be able to sustain what his chefs gave him if he keeps to a moderate pace and could easily hold it fairly long but his mares are completely off. Because of the position he will be in up front due to his lead or due to retreating colts in front of him, he is much more situated for a low board hit than a win. If he does win this race, he would be attached to Pharoah as an enigma with breeding that just does not belong in the winner's circle.

HIT SHOW M/L: 10-1 Post: Seven Cox/Franco

DP = 2-5-6-1-0 (14) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.57

Mare Profile = 6-2-4-6-8 Speed = 8 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.69 Triads = 12-12-18

St. Simon: Fappiano → Teddy

Second Generation Tapit

No Change: Incredible Belmont numbers. Besides Tapit Shoes, this 2nd generation Tapit boy has completely stand-out Belmont configurations and at 10-1 (and 20-1 with Shoes) how can you not take the plunge? With Hit Show, even if you took the Tapit factor away, he still sits with top notch killer configurations. The addition of Tapit is extra icing on the cake in this case. These are quintessential Belmont configurations. The perfect category, the perfect chef CD, incredible mare scale, equally impressive stamina dominant mare index and tilted triads. The fact that this horse has consistently hit the board or won at those shorter distances without depicting extremely speedy beyers is exactly what the Belmont demands. Too much speed at 12f is not ideal. He positions himself properly for this race and should have no problem carrying an even pace throughout. The only problem he may encounter is the stretch run. With so much inbred stamina, it does affect the final 10 seconds of the race. His best hope is the position he should be in as he hits the top of the stretch. Hopefully he finds his position without getting caught too wide for too long.

He can run the distance blindfolded and his running style is an absolute golden coin in his pocket. He has the class and he has Tapit to fall back on. The only thing that diminishes complete confidence is the possibility of getting caught too wide for a long period of time. This is a 12f race, we don't need him running 12.25f. This would be the main reason for spreading him.

There are two more second generation Tapit boys sitting directly under him in this favored category. One has more inbred speed but runs against the ideal style of the Belmont. The other has equal inbred stamina but lacks in class and has very poor energy distribution. The other two in this category have very poor mare configurations without Tapit. In this favorable category, Hit Show stands out like a sore thumb for the Belmont Stakes.

RED ROUTE ONE M/L: 15-1 Post: Nine Asmussen/Rosario

DP = 1-4-7-0-0 (12) DI = 2.43 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 7-3-5-7-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.92 Triads = 15-15-18

St. Simon: Fappiano→Teddy

Second Generation Tapit

Updated: This horse is not receiving much respect but after looking more deeply, I've changed my tune a bit. He has Belmont numbers just like his cousin Hit Show. Very similar charts with Tapit and Candy Ride. Much more inbred stamina that would affect his earlier short races with regards to speedy beyers and wins. Candy Ride offspring bloom late as well.

In each and every one of his last 6 races at 9.5f and under, he has charged late substantially and has shown incredible evidence that he can make up a ton of ground - whether he is displaying better speed than his foes or if he is passing retreating horses. In the Belmont, as is the case every year, he will absolutely have retreating horses to pass.

His .50 CD is magnificent and the fact that his mares tilt to stamina while still handing him extra speed (.92 index) is an asset along with that punch of Tapit. He is built correctly for the race and Rosario will have to be on his A-game because of Red Route's early style of running. I do believe that this horse deserves a nod somewhere on that superfecta. This is what happens when you put 10 extra hours into handicapping!!!

IL MIRACOLO M/L: 30-1 Post: Five Sano/Meneses

DP = 1-4-7-0-0 (12) DI = 2.43 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 5-4-5-7-8 Speed = 9 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.68 Triads = 14-16-20

St. Simon: Fappiano→Teddy

Second Generation Tapit

Updated: This backwards horse is sporting top notch Belmont configurations along with Tapit but he runs completely opposite of how they stand. He reminds me of Nullarbor who had killer configurations but forced to run completely counter to them. It is such a shame. The stamina presented with these configurations are perfectly in sync with Hit Show and the myriad of Belmont winners over the years. Honestly, looking at those odds sitting next to those numbers makes me want to call Sano and tell him to please keep him mid-pack at a moderate pace!!!!

That right there is the key to Il Miracolo's fate. The flipped energy that is on the same exact trajectory with Tapit Shoes if forced to run too fast in the early stages. Distribute that energy and you get a real competitor who is built for the race. We have an extremely well-built longshot here who has run at the absolute incorrect distances on the absolute incorrect biases his entire career. The best thing that could actually happen to this colt is that he breaks poorly and is forced to sit off of the pace because it is his energy distribution at the shorter distances that have beaten him every time. He's flipped. With the strong possibility that National Treasure takes a very slow lead, this would enhance this horse so much but the risk that he is now fixated on how he was "trained" to compete is a tall ask to change during a 12f race. He is a live longshot for a board hit underneath if fate hands him a way to force him to flip his style and adding one extra to the bottom with those odds could be warranted based on his breeding. Unfortunately, he is an easy toss because he has been geared his entire career backwards.


Boxed Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta - Hit Show, Tapit Shoes, Tapit Trice, Red Route One

Superfecta Combinations using the above with a few extra thrown underneath and possibly the ALL button for 4th.


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