6/6 (Sun) - Post-Belmont Stakes Comments:
- What an amazing Belmont Stakes race it was! Winning a 1-1/2 mile race was no easy task and it took a lot of guts and determination for Essential Quality to edge out Hot Rod Charlie and to win the third leg of the Triple Crown! After that 'quality' performance, EQ definitely deserved the win! Huge credit also goes to Luis Saez who dedicated the race to his brother! After the major Maximum Security debacle in the Kentucky Derby race last year, nobody could take THIS win away from Luis Saez THIS time! He gave a tremendous ride! Congrats to trainer Brad Cox and the winning connections also.
- Having won the Belmont Stakes in prior years, it's absolutely rare to see Todd Pletcher NOT coming in the money with any of his three entries: Known Agenda, Bourbonic, and Overtook.
- With his major speed, Rock Your World would have had to be at the TOP of his game to win the Belmont Stakes. Unfortunately, he wasn't anywhere close.
- I thought Bourbonic may do something as a closer, but off the pace held up well. It was a speed favoring track on Saturday in anyways. France Go de Ina should have never been in the race....after losing badly in the Preakness. Why would you even attempt a much longer race without much rest from the Preakness? Rombauer did well and finished third, considering!
- Considering that Medina Spirit's second test proved to be a failure, it will be interesting if Medina Spirit will be disqualified (soon), and if Mandaloun will be declared the official 2021 Kentucky Derby winner. Time will tell. Meanwhile, Bob Baffert is banned from Churchill Downs for the next two years.
6/4 (Fri) - One more day to go for Belmont Stakes!
- It is great to see 9 action-packed Graded Stakes races! Plus, with horse racing fans being allowed to attend racetracks in full capacity, everyone will have a BLAST and there will be a LOT of celebrations! Belmont Stakes will be a very exciting race to watch!!! May the BEST horse win! :-)
- It is great to see that the top Derby horses will most likely be competing in the Belmont Stakes. They include Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie, Rock Your World, Midnight Bourbon, and Known Agenda. It helps that these horses (except Midnight Bourbon) are getting a 5-week rest. With New York Racing Association (NYRA) having banned Bob Baffert at Belmont and Saratoga, I'm also glad to see that the Bob Baffert controversy won't be impacted in this race. The world is also waiting on what details come out of Medina Spirit's second drug test ordeal from the Derby race. A lot is at stake including the possibility of Mandaloun being declared the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner.
- It is critical that that stricter rules MUST be set so that the horse racing industry won't be tarnished in the future. Bettors' monies (millions of dollars) are ON THE LINE that we can't afford to have any more controversies. If so, bettors will lose interest in the game and it will be more difficult to earn their trust and return to their favorite national pastime.
- Quite the race that no one would have expected.....Rombauer came out of nowhere to win it easily by 2 lengths! He deserved the win, for sure. Apparently, the owners of Rombauer passed up a derby prep race and the Kentucky Derby to prepare for this big race! Their patience paid off. Flavien Prat is a very good rider and his first Preakness win!
- I called it with Midnight Bourbon and was very pleased that he got second. I was hoping for a win, but I'll take the exacta with the higher price. I really wasn't thrilled to include Medina Spirit in my picks, but I had to use him with his speed. MBourbon did a good job to press MSpirit on the lead, and MSpirit got tired and finished third. Who knows how worse the controversy would have gotten if Medina Spirit won. In a way, it was kind of nice that the focus was elsewhere....on Rombauer instead! A nice win for an unknown hard-working couple/owners. Good for them. They were supposed to sell Rombauer in earlier months, but they had to cancel it because of the pandemic. They ended up keeping the horse and trained him for some races (because they saw something special in the horse). Clearly, it paid off!
- In earlier years, at least half the number of horses that ran in the Derby also ran in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. All that changed in recent years, and not even a third of them of running in Preakness and Belmont Stakes. So, this gives other horses a better chance of winning because they're coming in fresh and had lots of time to rest (than those Derby entrants who only have a short 2-week rest). In the last 15 years, only 5 horses that ran in the Derby won. Usually, horses need a good month between races to get back to normal. Otherwise, they would still feel tired and not be in optimum shape. Of course, the Derby horses are only running without much rest in Preakness and Belmont because their ultimate goal is to win the MOST difficult task of all...the Triple Crown!
- Interesting that favored Bob Baffert's Beautiful Gift didn't do so well yesterday in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes race. In fact, Army's wife won easily from the inside post. Could this be a sign regarding Medina Spirit in the Preakness too? Time will tell. Will Baffert use Concert Tour to set up a Medina Spirit win? Or, will be vice versa, or neither! With Medina Spirit's major Derby controversy, we shall see how it all pans out.
- Wow! It's already bad enough that we had to deal with a major Kentucky Derby controversy last year involving Maximum Security. Now, make that two controversies in a row. This time, it involves the Derby winner Medina Spirit. It turns out that Medina Spirit failed a drug test and tested positive with a substance called betamethasone. Apparently, the veterinarian revealed that he or she applied it to Medina Spirit who developed dermatitis on his hind end. Churchill Downs key officials are looking deep into the matter, and they may disqualify Medina Spirit if the second drug split-test turns out to be positive. It may take a while to get the results.
- If the test confirms to be positive, it could jeopardize the horse racing industry in some way. Bottom line, it's such a BIG mess that horse race bettors shouldn't have to deal with. Horse bettor's monies are on the line and some of them would clearly get shafted one way or another. It especially involves those bettors who played Medina Spirit, Mandaloun (who finished second), or both horses in their various types of bets.
- It even impacts me! I got first and third for the exacta. I also had Mandaloun with Hot Rod Charlie. So, if Medina gets disqualified, I would have won this exacta. Oh well. Wasn't meant to be :-( I will just have to live with the double and pick-3 bets that I won on. Two out of three ain't bad, I guess!
- I was on the right track to predict that the Derby race could be a similar race to Spend A Buck race back in 1985! The only difference was....instead of Rock Your World that was supposed to go wire-to-wire, it was Medina Spirit that led every step of the way! How crazy is that?!!! Interestingly, Rock Your World beat Medina Spirit by 4 lengths in the previous race. That's a lot of lengths to win by! Tables got turned this time, I guess. Medina Spirit's better post position also had something to do with it; not too far inside and not too far outside. It seems that Baffert knows how to pull it off each time one way or another! Winning the Derby seven times is quite a feat and tough to beat! Maybe he'll make it even tougher to win another one in the future. Plus he won two Triple Crowns! Kudos to Baffert!
- My predictions weren't too far off....considering that neither Rock Your World not Highly Motivated did nothing :-( I did have Hot Rod Charlie and Essential Quality as part of my top picks who finished 3rd and 4th respectively. I did have Medina Spirit and Mandaloun in my middle-horse selection.
- In some ways, I was disappointed by the race. It's sad when the key horses didn't show off their talents as in the past and got bumped or whatever the reasons may be. I did predict that O Besos is an improving horse, and he finished in fifth place at 41-1 odds. In his previous race, he came in third against Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon. Speaking of Midnight Bourbon, I was disappointed he finished fifth. Overall, MB is a very good horse too.
- I hit Oaks-Derby double and Oaks-Turf Classic-Derby pick-3 for myself. I got first and third and lost my exacta bet. I almost had 50-cent pick-3 bet for races 11-12-13. Horse #9 beat me out at 13-1 odds.
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