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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2024 Belmont Stakes Analysis - UPDATED

Belmont Stakes - June 8th, 2024 - Saratoga - 10f

This article may not be copied, reproduced, translated, or paraphrased, in whole or in part, without consent. LDM 6/4/2024

Listed in order from Highest Chef Speed down through to Chef Stamina. Mares are taken into account separately.


SEIZE THE GREY Arrogate D. Wayne Lukas Jaime Torres

DP = 7-16-9-0-0 (32) DI = 6.11   CD = 0.94

Mare Profile = 4-6-4-9-6   Speed = 10   Stamina = 15   Index = 0.72   Triads = 14-19-19

This horse is built extremely well for Saratoga. He can obviously work a sloppy track should it rain. He has the correct post to storm to the lead or track closely behind. He has alot of strong points for this race, however, there is one major glaring problem in terms of a win here.

Seize the Grey has performed in ten races. In every single one of them, his late energy has taken a substantial hit regardless of distance and regardless of where he ended up on that tote board. This is a 10f race, which means that point will get heightened even more. He tends to expend too much early energy which is not the same as his sire Arrogate or even Arcangelo. That is where the difference lies. He is favoring the speed side of his scale to higher degree even though he inherited a great deal of stamina to balance him. He has given every bit of evidence that his 6.11 index is the driving factor in his make-up, unlike Arrogate and Arcangelo. No matter how fast or how slow Seize the Grey runs out of that gate, his early energy always tanks. At this distance and with the caliber of his late running competitors, I can't view the track surface as some type of "Arrogate Magic Potion" that will change his breathing and heart rate for a better late burst of energy.


MINDFRAME Constitution Todd Pletcher Irad Ortiz

DP = 1-4-3-0-0 (8) DI = 4.33   CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 6-6-5-8-3   Speed = 12   Stamina = 11   Index = 1.21   Triads = 17-19-16 (2nd gen Tapit)

This two-time entry is facing a very classy field in his first Graded race, but something remarkable does stand out with this. Not one of his competitors on this field comes anywhere close to the figures that he posted in their early first two races. It's not even close and this is getting compared to eventual stakes winners, an eventual Preakness winner and Derby Winner. He is leaps and bounds ahead of the game over when they first stepped onto a track. Natural progression off of his first two smashing wins would indicate that he would advance from those efforts in his third race. In addition to that, he has posted the fastest performance of the entire field as well, regardless of when it occurred.

The presence of Tapit will certainly see to it that he retains a good pace at 10f, so the distance should not be a problem. The high amount of inherited speed through both his chefs and his mares should act as a guiding force should the track turn sloppy. And finally, with the strong balance back to the stamina side through Tapit, he should have no problems with either side of a Saratoga bias either. He's balanced correctly for both sides.

With all that said, there is still a nagging problem that needs to be addressed, but with the way he has performed so far, it may be a moot point. Tapit decedents sporting his type of scale in the 10f Kentucky Derby do not win, they hit the board. How that "rule" translates to a different Triple Crown race at Saratoga at 10f is a crapshoot because there is no precedence for it.

A huge positive is the fact that he won by excessive lengths at a very fast pace in his two races with two different running styles. In addition, when he took the lead in his last race, he was allowed to control a very moderate pace and then simply exploded. This point would allow the horse an opportunity to sit idly off the pace if he wants, biding his time for the point in which Seize the Grey begins to tamp down on his energy like he did late in the Preakness. (Same goes with Dornoch.) In that scenario, it would appear that Mindframe would have killer position above his late rivals, coupled with unmatched massive late speed. He has Irad Ortiz. His post position may see to it that he stays away from that lead. He has the inbred stamina to run wide for a bit if need be. These are the reasons why the class side will be bypassed and I'll hope for odds at 3 to 1 or better for the top of the ticket, most likely with one other.

Update: I'm sticking with him on top with Resilience. Pletcher and Ortiz are on a roll. Tapit son, Arthur's Ride, traveled gate to wire at 10f on Friday, close to hitting the track record.


PROTECTIVE Medaglia d'Oro Todd Pletcher Tyler Gaffalione

DP = 8-9-7-2-0 (26) DI = 3.73   CD = 0.88

Mare Profile = 9-6-1-6-6   Speed = 15   Stamina = 12   Index = 1.32   Triads = 16-13-13

There has got to be a reason why Pletcher is entering this horse, but for the life of me, I can't figure it out. He is not a lead runner who would act as rabbit for Mindframe (unless he secretly trained him for that). He has never won a race. He is not going to break his "maiden" in the Belmont Stakes against this crew because he can't run 10f. Mare profile says it all. Easy toss.


RESILIENCE Into Mischief Bill Mott Junior Alvarado

DP = 5-5-8-0-0 (18) DI = 3.50   CD = 0.83

Mare Profile = 2-12-4-13-2   Speed = 14   Stamina = 15   Index = 0.95   Triads = 18-29-19

Every time I see those configurations I am reminded of the name Resilience. He has the best mare line on the field. One thing is for sure with Resilience, he must be settled no further back than 5th position or else he doesn't like it and he won't give it his all. A good break from his 2nd gate should help him with that as opposed to breaking from Post 19 in the Derby. That right there caused Resilience to make it to the 4th position at the top of the stretch and back down to 6th at the wire. Still, he ran a great race in defeat for one who prefers a more forward early spot. The effort was commendable.

He is one who will be greatly enhanced by a more speedier track so the bias for him will be very important. For right now, assuming a normal fast track, I am more apt to use him along with Mindframe as the top two for this race and that is mainly due to favorable odds along with that Derby effort from Post 19. He'll have a much better shot, an easier and more favorable lead tier run this time around. Plus, he has Bill Mott (high % trainer) and he's working out like a Champ. Could easily surprise, so I'll take those odds and I'll take that shot if the previous dirt races show lead-tier favoritism. I think he'll do very well on Saturday.

Update: He has the bias on his side now as well.


HONOR MARIE Honor Code Whitworth Beckman Florent Geroux

DP = 9-11-15-1-0 (36) DI = 3.24   CD = 0.78

Mare Profile = 4-3-6-4-9   Speed = 7   Stamina = 13   Index = 0.61   Triads = 13-13-19

Extremely troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby which means I'll be putting a line straight through that race as if it never existed. This guy is right for 10f and right for Saratoga. If he is going to finally shine, it will be here and at this distance. If it rains, he will still come running, (loaded profile). He came in 2nd on a sloppy track at Churchill and even though he only posted a 5th place on the sloppy track in the Risen Star, the horse still excelled from 11th position to 5th position and ran out of track. It was too short for him.

If you note his E1, E2 and LP Beyer figures down the list of each of his races, they align fairly evenly with Sierra Leone. There isn't a massive difference between the favorite Sierra Leone and this guy, except that without posting the wins, the accolades suffer. This is the race that Honor Marie will see his best advantage and hopefully he will take advantage of that. He has always upgraded his position in each of his races but unfortunately, his configurations simply wanted more distance. Unfortunately, he was finally in a 10f stall but his trip was horrendous. Simply not his fault. This is the race for him and hopefully he takes full advantage. I'll be using him.

Update: Loaded profile with 3.24 index helps his rear running chances on this bias. He has the means to rise to it.


MYSTIK DAN Goldencents Kenny McPeek Brian Hernandez

DP = 0-1-1-0-0 (2) DI = 3.00   CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 4-5-5-12-0   Speed = 9   Stamina = 12   Index = 1.06   Triads = 14-22-17

Checked the weather for this upcoming weekend. Thursday, thunderstorms. Friday and Saturday, rain showers. High humidity. At the very least, the track should be wet and this will aid Mystik Dan a great deal. If not for the weather, I may have opted to completely bypass him for this race. Even though he is the Derby winner, his beyer figures and call times did not set the world on fire. He also came in second place in the Preakness but I highly doubt he would have been as successful had it not been a sloppy track.

If you notice, Mystik Dan only hits those 100+ figures in his calls on a sloppy/muddy track. Over 8.5f, he is lucky to see 93 at any given call. These are not explosive by any stretch, so if the tracks ends up sloppy, he is a must use. If it is clean, maybe just a slight nod on the bottom. He needs a sloppy track on Saturday.

Update: Bias and the clear weather will not aid his cause.


THE WINE STEWARD Vino Rosso Mike Maker Manuel Franco

DP = 1-3-4-0-0 (8) DI = 3.00   CD = 0.63

Mare Profile = 7-3-3-5-10   Speed = 10   Stamina = 15   Index = 0.71   Triads = 13-11-18

This is not a horse whose name would ever conjure up thoughts of brilliance, however, he has one heck of a race record. Six races, three wins, three second places. That record actually rivals Sierra Leone's, albeit a bit slower. He is the son of Vino Rosso which carries with it severe stamina. He certainly has Belmont Stakes numbers, but they are 12f Belmont numbers, not 10f.

Like Resilience in the opposite manner, he is bias-dependent. Resilience is dependent on a more speedier bias, while The Wine Steward will be dependent on a stamina-leaning bias. If speed demons start dropping like flies on the lead tier during the meet, neglect the Wine Steward on the bottom of your superfecta at your own risk. He will relish a harder track or a track with deep and unrelenting mud. He won't be quick about it but he will pass defeated and retreating speed colts and could hit the board by default if the bias is on his side. At his ultimate odds, a few extra dollars spent in that scenario is worth it to cover your butt.

Update: Bias is completely against him now.


ANTIQUARIAN Preservationist Todd Pletcher John Velazquez

DP = 2-4-8-0-0 (14) DI = 2.50   CD = 0.57

Mare Profile = 6-5-5-6-7   Speed = 11   Stamina = 13   Index = 0.88   Triads = 16-16-18

This guy has some buzz going because of his 9f Peter Pan performance. Proficient on a sloppy track traveling 8.5f in his maiden win. Distance is borderline, but more importantly, the horse is slow. That is, slow traveling under 10f, which means he probably wouldn't pick it up and move even faster travelling further. I think Pletcher has a shot at the Winner's Circle this year, just not with this guy - but with his stable mate, Mindframe.


DORNOCH Good Magic Danny Gargon Luis Saez

DP = 2-4-8-0-0 (14) DI = 2.50   CD = 0.57

Mare Profile = 7-8-2-9-8   Speed = 15   Stamina = 17   Index = 0.89   Triads = 17-19-19

Where did the young Dornoch go? He held such promise up until mid-March and then he threw in that bad performance at Keeneland. The Derby, well, could be a bit deceiving and quite possibly a toss race like it is for Honor Marie.

"...shuffled back in traffic inside the 1/2 mile mark, came again between foes, was bumped and checked hard off heels, angled out into the stretch but came up empty."

Truly not a trip for a lead tier runner, that's for sure. He found himself in 13th position and then was bumped and hard-checked. He never got to run his race. So the question reverts back to the Bluegrass because the Derby should be a toss race for him. What the heck happened there? Yes, no horse is expected to go undefeated, however, the performance was straight, no outside interfering factors. He simply didn't fire.

Will he go back to firing again at Saratoga? If it does rain, he has shown major expertise on that bias and he certainly does have the distance. He has morning line odds of 15-1. Rain or shine, I see Dornoch as being the best longshot bet of the entire festival. If he can replicate any moment in his entire career prior to the Bluegrass mess, he would be the quintessential longshot to back at Saratoga travelling 10f. The way this horse came back at Sierra Leone in the stretch at Aqueduct has got to be the best single performance on the entire past performance sheet. If he walks into that gate with an unimpeded run as the "old" Dornoch, he could really do some damage. At 15-1, I'll throw my money his way with an attempt to beat the odds. This race pretty much demands it because its a 10f Belmont - at Saratoga - with no history. How could you not take a side chance?

Update: He won't have the bias to blame if he doesn't fire. Stalking trip helps this guy a great deal.


SIERRA LEONE Gun Runner Chad Brown Flavien Prat

DP = 2-2-8-0-0 (12) DI = 2.00   CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 5-3-5-6-8   Speed = 8   Stamina = 14   Index = 0.67   Triads = 13-14-19

I still think the Haskell Stakes is the perfect race for this guy. That said, he was outstanding in the Kentucky Derby. Running 8 wide, he accelerated from 18th position all the way up to missing by a nose at the wire. Over 12 lengths behind and covering all kinds of ground on the far outside. Truly impressive with an equally strong list of performances to back it as well. He is the deserving favorite but he is also very dependent on faltering lead tier foes. It is easier to get that on a 20 horse field at 10f with all of the mess that goes on out of the gate. He probably can't rely much on that this time around.

He is well equipped for Saratoga and, believe it or not, Sierra Leone is sitting on the very bottom of the spectrum with the highest amount of inbred CHEF stamina on the field. There are no true stamina-leaning horse (under 2.00 category) entered this year. This gives him a bit more of an edge but then again, there is no precedence to consult for Saratoga. This field is basically stacked with horses who are within minimal notches of each other, with Sierra Leone sitting just above. His odds will reflect that slight edge. I can conceivably consider these odds in a boxing situation whereby you are covering yourself on top but also screaming for the better odds to prevail for a profit. No horse is ever a lock, especially in a race where it is the very first edition. Boxed, yes.

Update: Has shown that even with his running style, he can still tackle a fast bias, but it does affect his edge.



Race 1 - Maiden Special Weight - 7f

Winner: ILLUMINARE Index: 3.00   Equibase Figure: 88

Lead Tier, Ran in 2nd position

Sire: City of Light

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz

Race 2- Allowance Optional Claiming -  10f

Winner: ARTHUR'S RIDE   Index: 3.00   Equibase Figure: 115

Gate to Wire

Sire: Tapit

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Race 4 - Starter Allowance - 7f

Winner: NOTAH Index: 3.47   Equibase Figure: 85

Gate to Wire

Sire: Flatter

Trainer: Terranova

Jockey: Irad Ortiz

Race 7 - Allowance - 6f

Winner: MUNNYS GOLD Index: 3.67   Equibase Figure: 98

Gate to Wire

Sire: Munnings

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Irad Ortiz

Race 8 - Allowance - 6.5f

Winner: JEFFERSON STREET Index: 2.43 Equibase Figure: 101

Lead Tier, Stalked in 3rd

Sire: Street Sense

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Junior Alvarado

Race 12 - Acorn Stakes - 9f

Winner: THORPEDO ANNA Index: 3.00  Equibase Figure: 99

Lead Tier, 2nd position

Sire: Fast Anna

Trainer: Kenny McPeek

Jockey: Brian Hernandez

Track Bias: Six Dirt Races:

All lead tier or Gate to Wire.

Speedy wins up front.

Irad Ortiz top dirt jockey with Junior Alvarado second.

Pletcher and Mott, top dirt trainers for the day.

All but one were speed-dominant runners.

Race 2, 10f race won gate to wire by a Tapit Offspring with a 115 E figure. He was less than 1 second off of Arrogate's track record and ran the fastest race of his career. The track is F-A-S-T.

14 коментарів

Lisa De
Lisa De
08 черв.

That was B_E_A_U_T_I_F_U_L!


Lisa De
Lisa De
08 черв.

They should ALWAYS just have the tape of Frank Sinatra singing New York New York - GEES! That was horrific. Bugle call now and the post parade. So exciting! Good luck and safe travels to every single horse in that gate!

Коментар для:

It was kind of horrendous which is weird cause she's normally a really good singer.


There's supposed to be a headwind gusting to 34 mph going during the stretch, so tailwind on backstretch. Think it makes it more likely the pace will fold, but not sure if doesn't disadvantage the closers almost as much.

Коментар для:

I know how you feel!!


Lisa De
Lisa De
08 черв.

Updated. Added Fridays Dirt race results as well. Track was F-A-S-T yesterday.


Lisa De
Lisa De
06 черв.

Magnificent Looking! Wow! Mindframe schooling.

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