2010 Belmont Stakes Hopefuls
2010 Belmont Stakes
The 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes comes on Saturday, June 5, 2010. The Belmont Stakes is the third and last leg of the Triple Crown, and the most demanding of the three races because of its 1-1/2 mile length. With no potential for a Triple Crown winner in 2010, the Belmont Stakes has less of a spotlight on it than the first two races – the Kentucky Derby (won by Super Saver in 2010) and the Preakness Stakes (winner Lookin’ at Lucky). The major contenders in the Derby and Preakness have chosen to forego the Belmont Stakes, leaving a wide-open race next Saturday.
Dave In Dixie
In the last two Derbies and a number of other races, jockey Calvin Borel has proven apt at upsetting the top horses in a race by riding the rail. In this Belmont Stakes, Borel picks up a ride on Dave in Dixie, a son of Dixie Union and Risk. Dave in Dixie has a best Beyer of 95 and a dosage index of 1.67, meaning that on paper and according to an equation based on his pedigree he should be able to run a classic distance and may be able to handle the Belmont’s longer distance. However, in five starts, the dark bay colt has won only one race and finished second once. He comes off a 5th place finish in the April 3 Grade 3 Illinois Derby. Dave in Dixie is trained by John Sadler.
This well-bred colt is by top sire Distorted Humor and out of Grade 1 stakes winner Golden Ballet. With a best Beyer of 96 and dosage of 1.75, he shows promise as a long-distance runner. The chestnut colt has eight starts with two wins, three seconds and two thirds. In his last start he finished second to Fly Down in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes. Earlier in the year, trainer Bill Mott and owner Winstar Farm groomed Drosselmeyer for the Kentucky Derby. However, he failed to earn enough winnings to qualify for the start.
Named for Sarah Palin’s husband, First Dude has shown plenty of potential in his last two starts. Though he finished third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes, he rallied in the Preakness Stakes to lead to the half, put away Super Saver at that point, and fought for a well-earned second by less than a length to Lookin’ At Lucky. The bay son of Stephen Got Even and Run Sarah Run has a best Beyer of 95 and dosage of 3.00. He has one only a maiden win in seven starts but has four second place finishes and a third. First Dude is trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Ramon Dominguez. He should be a contender for the Belmont win, especially if he gets to the front and is allowed to set the pace.
Fly Down is a lightly raced son of Mineshaft and Queen Randi. His best Beyer is a 99 and dosage is 4.00, showing that he may be more suited to a shorter distance than the Belmont’s mile and a half. Fly Down was well-beaten in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in his first graded stakes, but rallied from that loss to win the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes. In that race, his last start, he came from last place and, with a six length lead, was still pulling away from Drosselmeyer at the finish. He is trained by Nick Zito and ridden by John Velazquez.
Game On Dude
Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude is another lightly raced entry. With five starts and two wins, he may be out of his league in the Belmont Stakes. Baffert gives the ride to his Preakness-winning jockey, Martin Garcia. The bay colt by Grade 1 winner Awesome Again started last in the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby where he won by 4.5 lengths.
Ice Box Wins Florida Derby
In March Ice Box overcame 23-1 odds to win the Grade 3 Florida Derby. He proved to doubters that his win wasn’t a fluke when he rallied from 19th to finish second in the Kentucky Derby. Ice Box likes to run towards the back of the pack before coming for the lead so a slow pace in the Belmont could hinder his racing style. The chestnut son of Pulpit and Spice Island has a best Beyer of 91 and a dosage of 3.36, with three wins and a second in eight starts. With Ice Box, Nick Zito brings a 1-2 punch to the Belmont Stakes. Jockey Jose Lezcano gets the ride on Ice Box who will likely be the heavy favorite.
Make Music For Me
The bay son of Bernstein and Miss Cheers has only one win in nine starts but he showed real potential in the Derby when he rallied from 20th to finish 4th. Trained by Alexis Barba and ridden by Joel Rosario, Make Music For Me has a best Beyer of 99 and a dosage of 3.31. Like Ice Box, a slow pace will hinder his running style, but previous races have also shown that this colt can run close to the pace. He may be a serious contender in the Belmont.
This longshot has never raced at a distance longer than 1-1/16 miles. His only win comes in a maiden race, though he came from being a 28-1 longshot in the Grade 3 Withers to finish third. By Distorted Humor and out of the Kris S. mare, Spangled, Spangled Star is trained by Rick Dutrow and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
Stately Victor was a 40-1 longshot who was completely dismissed as a possible contender for any major race when he won the Grade 1 Bluegrass Stakes. A month later he finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby, proving that he can compete against the country’s top horses. The son of Ghostzapper is trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Alan Garcia. He has a best Beyer of 95 and a dosage of 1.91, with two wins and a second in nine starts.
A chestnut colt by Broken Vow and out of O.K. Kris, Stay Put is trained by Steve Margolis and ridden by Jamie Theriot. He won two races in December and January then finished fifth in consecutive races in the Grade 2 Risen Star and Louisiana Derby. Stay Put will likely be outclassed in the Belmont and not a factor at the finish.
Another horse who likely won’t be a factor. Trained by Kiarin McLaughlin, Uptowncharleybrown has thus far found graded stakes company too difficult, finishing third in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis and Grade 2 Lexington, and fifth in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby. The chestnut colt is by Limehouse and out of La Iluminada.