Meet The Horses of the 149th Belmont Stakes

#1 – Twisted Tom

Belmont Stakes 2017

Pedigree: Creative Cause  x  Tiffany Twisted (Thunder Gulch)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 6-4-0-0
Money Earned: $209,040
Dosage Index: 1.13

Owner: Cobra Farm, Inc.
Trainer: Chad Brown
Jockey: Javier Castellano

Chad Brown has decided to do it again, opting to run a horse no one has heard about in a Triple Crown race that seems over ambitious for his lack in class. However, before you toss him out, take a second to think about what happened three weeks ago at Pimlico. Chad Brown teamed up with Javier Castellano to upset the heck out of the Preakness with Cloud Computing, a horse almost exactly like Twisted Tom. Well, Brown and Castellano are giving us encore performance in the Belmont Stakes, almost like they are daring us not to bet them…

Castellano knows Big Sandy like the back of his hand and Chad Brown is winning at 29%, the highest of any trainer in this field. Whether you like Brown or not, there is no denying he knows what he is doing. Why would he run this colt in the toughest race of his entire career if he did not think he stood a chance? Why would Castellano have taken the ride?

The answer may be in Twisted Tom’s dosage index (1.13), which indicates he is bred to run all day long. Over the last 20 years, only three horses have won the Belmont with DI’s between 1.00 – 1.99; the most recent being Drosselmeyer (1.75) in 2010.

Click each tab to learn more about the horses running in the 149th Belmont Stakes.

#2 – Tapwrit

Tapwrit Belmont Stakes

Pedigree:  Tapit  x  Appealing Zophie (Successful Appeal)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 7-3-1-0
Money Earned: $343,902
Dosage Index: 3.00

Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Bridlewood Farm, Robert LaPenta
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Back to redeem himself after finished __ in the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out this son of Tapit hoping for a better outcome. The Belmont is a race that is made easier by three things:

  1. Pedigree
  2. A jockey that knows the track well
  3. Heart

In my opinion, Tapwrit has 2-of-3 covered. His sire, Tapit, has produced more Belmont Stakes winners than any other sire, and it would not surprise me if jockey Jose Ortiz could win a race over Big Sandy with his eyes closed. However, when it comes to heart, I am not sure this colt is cut out for the task.

Replay of the Gr.2 Tampa Bay Derby, here.

#3 – Gormley

Gormley Santa Anita Derby

Pedigree:  Malibu Moon  x  Race to Urga (Bernstein)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 7-4-0-0
Money Earned: $920,000
Dosage Index: 2.25

Owner: Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S Moss
Trainer: John Shirreffs
Jockey: Victor Espinoza

I have been on the Gormley bandwagon since his gritty win in the Santa Anita Derby and I see no reason to get off of it now. Put a line through the slop fest you watched in Louisville, the track had a huge impact on the outcome of the Kentucky Derby, making it almost impossible for horses that were not in front to do much of anything. And I don’t blame them either, I would have pulled a Thunder Snow the second I felt the slightest bit of mud. The horses that went all the way around were practically assaulted by it, getting it in their ears, eyes and up the nose and stood very little chance of finishing well.

Gormley comes into this race fresh and should run a much better race than he did five weeks prior. Victor Espinoza’s experience over this track is limited, which puts him at a disadvantage considering the jocks in the field. And this is a jockeys’ race. It will not be a walk in the park, but the duo should hit the board.

Gr.1 Santa Anita Derby replay, here.

#4 – J Boys Echo

J Boys Echo Bobby Flay

Pedigree:  Mineshaft  x  Letgomyecho (Menifee)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 7-2-1-1
Money Earned: $349,600
Dosage Index: 4.09

Owner: Albaugh Family Stable and Bobby Flay
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Robby Albarado

Last year, Bobby Flay bought into Creator just days before running in the Belmont Stakes, and Creator went on to win in dramatic fashion. Now, the celebrity chef has done it again, buying 25% of J Boys Echo days before the big race. Am I the only one that thinks this is too suspicious to pass up?

J Boys Echo finished 15th in the Kentucky Derby, his dosage index is far too high (only 3 horses have won since 1997 have won the Belmont with a DI above 4), and he has not won a race since the Gr.3 Gotham in March. But the son of Mineshaft received a 102 Beyer – the highest in this group – in that race, and beat Preakness winner Cloud Computing by 3 ½ lengths. Robby Albarado piloted him to that win and he will be back on this Saturday.

Flay, who comes across as being smart with his money, would not have dropped a significant amount of cash without solid reasoning to back it up. He has to know something we don’t. Or maybe he is just one of those people with extremely good luck. Either way, at 15-1 on the morning line, it is too tempting to pass up placing a small bet across the board.

Gr.3 Gotham Stakes replay, here.

Photo courtesy: The NYRA

#5 – Hollywood Handsome

Hollywood Handsome horse

Pedigree:  Tapizar  x  Ladyflickerflacker (Forestry)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 9-2-0-3
Money Earned: $123,430
Dosage Index: 5.67

Owner: Nancy and Mark Stanley
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Jockey: Florent Geroux

Late Thursday morning, led over to be cleaned up before going out for a graze, Hollywood Handsome stood sleepy-eyed, affectionately nuzzling trainer Dallas Stewart. Stewart nuzzled back and watched as the colt snacked on a patch of green grass. Coming off an allowance win at Churchill Downs, this son of Tapizar is a bit of an oddball and super out classed, running no better than 4th in the Gr.2 Louisiana Derby).  And, if we are going off of the last two decades, his dosage index (5.67) should turn you off even more. But Stewart believes his colt has a shot and will appreciate the added distance.

Proceed with caution.

#6 – Lookin At Lee

Pedigree:  Lookin At Lucky  x  Langara Lass (Langfuhr)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 11-2-3-2
Money Earned: $942,795
Dosage Index: 3.40

Owner: L & N Racing
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Closers do not usually fair well in the final leg of the Triple Crown, but that is not to say they cannot win. Jockey Irad Ortiz, who is one of the best jocks on the New York circuit, replaces Corey Lanerie and I have no doubt that he will give Lookin At Lee the ride he deserves.

Since 1997, seven horses have won the Belmont with a dosage index ranging from 3.00 – 3.27. This handsome son of Lookin At Lucky packs a DI of 3.40 and has shown a liking to running distance. For example: compare his run in the Kentucky Derby (1 ¼ miles) to the Preakness (1 3/16). Given an extra 1/16 in the Derby, he closed in on the leader much more than he did in the Preakness. Imagine what he could do with an additional ¼ mile in the Belmont. I like this horse. And I like him even more with Irad Ortiz.

Gr.1 Kentucky Derby replay, here. (#1 horse)

#7 – Irish War Cry

Irish War Cry horse

Pedigree:  Curlin  x  Irish Sovereign (Polish Numbers)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 6-4-0-0
Money Earned: $699,460
Dosage Index: 3.00

Owner: Isabelle de Tomaso
Trainer: Graham Motion
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

An absolutely stunning specimen, this colt has been the talk of the town all week. Given some time to relax after a horrendous trip in the Kentucky Derby, Irish War Cry headlines the 149th Belmont Stakes as the 7-2 morning line favorite. Running a 101 Beyer in the Gr.2 Holy Bull and Gr.2 Wood Memorial, one of the most impressive preps of the season, his odds are not that surprising. Stamina runs deeps in his blood and his 3.00 dosage index screams Belmont winner. Regardless, for one reason or another, I am not ecstatic about him.

Gr.2 Wood Memorial replay, here.

Photo courtesy: Adam Coglianese

#8 – Senior Investment

Belmont Stakes 2017

Pedigree:  Discreetly Mine  x  Plaid (Deputy Commander)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 9-3-0-2
Money Earned: $372,080
Dosage Index: 3.00

Owner: Fern Circle Stables
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Jockey: Channing Hill

His third place finish in the Preakness was impressive. Watch the replay here. Make note of his effort on the stretch. He was so far back it seemed highly unlikely he could make up so much ground in so little time to finish third. But in 23 strides, this son of Discreetly Mine went from eighth to third and his last nine strides were incredible. Can he improve off of that performance? Perhaps. However, he will need to be in much better position at the top of the stretch to be in contention and hit the board.

#9 – Meantime

Mike Smith jockey

Pedigree:  Shackleford  x  Livermore Leslie (Mt. Livermore)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 4-1-2-1
Money Earned: $83,740
Dosage Index: 7.00

Owner: Silverton Hill LLC
Trainer: Brian Lynch
Jockey: Mike Smith

Dosage Index has come up enough times in this post for you to be comfortable enough with its significance by now. The lower the DI (i.e. closer to 1.0), the more a horse will be inclined to run distance. The higher the DI (i.e. closer to 10.0), the less inclined they will be to run distance.

Of the 12 horses in this field, nine have DI’s under 3.7, and two are between 4.0-5.7. Then there is Meantime with a mind blowing 7.0! I mean, what in the world? No horse in the last twenty years has won the Belmont Stakes with anything above 4.5. Either Brian Lynch is in on something we are not, or he has completely lost his marbles.

Gr.3 Peter Pan Stakes replay, here.

#10 – Multiplier

Belmont Stakes horses

Pedigree:  The Factor x  Trippi Street (Trippi)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 5-2-1-1
Money Earned: $187,310
Dosage Index: 3.67

Owner: Wachtel Stable
Trainer: Brendan Walsh
Jockey: Joel Rosario

His win in the Gr.3 Illinois Derby prompted connections to take a shot in the Preakness, but he did not fire and finished a disappointing sixth. This will be trainer Brendan Walsh’s first attempt at the Belmont Stakes since going out on his own in 2011. Jockey Joel Rosario, who piloted the colt at Pimlico, won the Belmont back in 2014 aboard Tonalist and has more than 2,300 career wins. If you are a fan of playing jockeys in this race (as I am), count on Rosario to give Multiplier a dream trip.

#11 – Epicharis

Epicharis Belmont Stakes

Pedigree:  Gold Allure (JPN)  x  Stapes Mitsuko (JPN) (by Carnegie, IRE)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 5-4-1-0
Money Earned: $920,285
Dosage Index: 1.20

Owner: Carrot Farm Co.
Trainer: Kiyoshi Hagiwara
Jockey: Christophe Lemaire

The Belmont Stakes is the toughest race a three-year-old will attempt and it is absolutely detrimental to come into it functioning at 100%. Unfortunately, Epicharis came up lame on Tuesday evening and was forced to miss two days of training. Connections kept the son of Gold Allure (JPN) in on Friday, so the most he has done is walk the shedrow of his barn. Before anything was announced, the colt was the second favorite on the morning line (4-1), and for good reason. Three starts back, he galloped to win the Hokkaido Nisai Yushun (#13 in the race) by 12 lengths, destroying the field in extraordinary fashion. Additionally, his dosage index is through the roof.

He is a really nice colt, loaded with talent. However, the lameness concern puts a huge damper on things. His connections know him better than any of us to judge whether he should or should not race. In my opinion, it is too risky to run him and bet him.

Photo courtesy: The NYRA

#12 – Patch

Pedigree:  Union Rags  x  Windyindy (A.P. Indy)   Full Pedigree HERE

Record: 4-1-2-0
Money Earned: $230,020
Dosage Index: 3.00

Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Todd Plether
Jockey: John Velazquez

The one-eyed wonder is back to take his shot in the final leg of the Triple Crown after running 14th in the Kentucky Derby, five weeks ago. There has not been much talk about Patch this week, but do not count him out just yet. In 2012, John Velazquez rode sire Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes by a neck over Paynter. Velazquez is also familiar with the colt, having ridden him to his one and only win back in February.

Two months ago, Patch finished second in the Gr.2 Louisiana Derby, besting Senior Investment (who finished third in the Preakness) and Hollywood Handsome. Watch the replay here (he is the #1 horse).

Concerned with his post? Don’t be. Just because he does not have a left eye does not mean he will have no idea what is going on breaking out of the gate and running; he can still hear and has a great pair of eyes in John Velazquez. Patch is not afraid to run in tight quarters or even on the rail. Combine his fearlessness with his dosage index and jock and this colt has as much of a shot as any other horse in the field.



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