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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Countdown to the Belmont

There are several articles that have been posted throughout the years here at the club concerning the dynamics of the Belmont Stakes. With this year, we need to take it a few steps further based on the Probables and the make-up of the potential field. They are coming at us from all angles.

Taken from "The Derby vs. Belmont" article from Jan 30, 2019:

The Belmont race is 2 furlongs longer than the Kentucky Derby. When you break it down, a furlong equals 220 yards or 660 feet. Two furlongs equals 440 yards or 1320 feet. A horse who can sustain his speed for 10f and has an optimum distance of 10f will find that he cannot sustain that speed an additional 1320 feet. It takes a monster to be able to switch gears and change his winning ways in order to spread that speed the additional distance. Conversely, a horse who does not have an optimum distance of 10f and does not have comparable speed capabilities at 10f will not see an advantage, will not be able to compete against his speedy peer and will not magically change his optimum to fit the day. Even though his stamina can carry him 12f, this does not mean that he has enough speed inheritance to prevail at 10f. Two separate styles and two separate types take a gate with their advantage in two separate races.

The 12f DISTANCE is not the component that takes precedence for this race. In reality, every horse who is entered into the Belmont Stakes can run 12f and over. Some will run faster. Some will run it slower. Some will disperse their energy properly, some won't. There will be colts (and fillies) entered who have been trained to reserve their energy, while others have been trained to release it early. While speed vs. stamina is the type of "breeding" that dominates race results from 6f all the way up to 10f, this particular race finds favor with BALANCE.

This is the severe blunder with "pedigree" gurus out there when it comes to this race. 90% of the horses who have been entered into this race over the decades DO NOT have 12f in their pedigree, win or lose. What they have is an average balance in their scale which allows them to drive past the "speedy guys" and outrun the "stamina guys". It is about BALANCE, not DISTANCE. This can easily be corroborated through the race results throughout the years.

This is why we have such success in pointing out the real Belmont Players year after year. BALANCE.

That balance reveals a horse who does NOT expend his energy too early and thereby gives him the ability to persevere the additional 440 yards. Conversely, that balance allows the horse to reserve his speed without "galloping" too far away from the pack with the ability to unleash his speed later in the race. The balance works both ways, both in style and in breeding. Even if a horse has an optimum distance of say, 10.5f, the horse can still compete at 12f depending on how he distributes that energy.

Any colt (or filly) that starts with a chef index of 2.10 to 3.00 will automatically find favor in this particular race because his scale is not tipped to one side or the other, thereby making him balanced by default. With the addition of the tilted mare stamina, this allows the horse to keep his normal patterns without altering his style to a major degree. The history of this race overwhelmingly favors this type of competitor, regardless of class, regardless of previous wins, and regardless of previous beyers or other figures.

This race dances to its own beat and it boils down to a balanced horse who can divide his energy throughout each call of the race. This comes "easier" to those who already have a balance (2.10 to 3.00) for a win, but it can not discount others who still have that balance in other ways.

Without handicapping this year's edition to any degree yet, on the surface, the probable runners this year are mostly all highly balanced across the board. Without revealing too much in this open article, there are only two colts so far that can easily be tossed from superfecta consideration. Just two. In year's prior, that number averaged 4-5 colts that could easily be crossed out. Close to half the field tossed. That will not be occurring this year. For the superfecta, the advantaged will run passed the 2.10 to 3.00 based on their scales and their balance, although the winner himself (herself) will still have a greater advantage coming from that range.

Again, without any real handicapping so far and without revealing too much, this is a preliminary of what we are looking at with the probable contenders. This year is a wildly competitive group for what wins and hits the board in the Belmont:


Back in 2018, there was only one "Speed Guy" who was entered into the Belmont, Vino Rosso. As stated in that analysis, Vino was not a "Speed Guy" in the true sense of the word. He had a 3.57 chef index which is taboo for a board hit in the Belmont but his mares stamina tilted that scale to such a degree that it portrayed more than ample balance to sustain his speed the 12f. He was able to distribute his speed evenly throughout. His numbers depicted the importance of consulting the mares contribution. Even though it was "very rare that I would point out a speed type colt for the Belmont" - Vino was easily pointed out as board hit material for the superfecta that year because of his configurations. He did hit that board, filling out the super against his 3.57 chef index because of the mares contribution. This year, Rich Strike mimics that type of balance.


The configurations, both top and bottom, are exceptional for what wins this race. They couldn't be configured any better. This is a filly though, and as usual, these configurations MAY OR MAY NOT figure as they historically do with the numerous prior COLTS who entered the Winners Circle in this Stakes race with the same comparable scale. This makes things a bit choppy as far as perspective. There are a substantial amount of fillies who run true to their numbers with the same historical relevance as they do for the males, however, there are just as many who do not. There would be no hesitation at all if Nest were a colt with this breeding and those configurations, but this is something that needs to be handicapped and considered - Killer and perfect configurations as far as "colts" are concerned.


Even though this guy's OPTIMUM is 10.1f (which is in relevance to the Kentucky Derby) that optimum has no bearing on the Belmont Stakes. As talked about in the paragraphs above, the Belmont has to do with the scale and balance. It has to do with the distribution capabilities found within that breeding. Mo Donegal has killer configurations for the Belmont.




These three are second generation Tapit colts. All three have a very heavy advantage in this particular race. The extreme stamina from the Tapit line coupled with the favorable speed from the mares makes each of them BALANCED in their inheritance which is the favorable component. The scale is automatically balanced for this race which is why Tapit colts are successful in this race yearly. We have three of them to deal with this year.





Two colts out of the remaining four have fantastic and competitive Belmont Configurations. Two of these colts can be easily tossed without a second thought. Regardless of previous beyers, timeform, thorograph figures, M/L odds, and even class - the Belmont Stakes does not find favoritism when it comes to any of that. It boils down to who is bred with the proper balance and the inbred ability to distribute energy according to that distance. Two of the colts have it, two of them don't.

The 2022 Belmont Stakes is brimming with 12f competition and is unlike any edition seen in recent years. Only two colts out of a potential ten can easily be tossed, which leaves 8 who have the proper scale to compete for a board hit. In years passed we had an average of five potential players which made life much easier. This is a loaded field that does not care what timeform or beyer figures came in previous races. This is a 12f race, and the only thing that matters is the distribution of energy throughout the race and how their breeding gives them the advantage in the ability to persevere - BALANCE. Eight of them have the breeding. We have our work cut out for us this year.


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