Friday, June 05, 2009

Belmont Stakes Facts & Figures

---Beware betting Mine That Bird-The Belmont Stakes is not a race where the favorite fares well, especially in the last 2 decades.

---In the 1990's only 2 favorites finished 1st-A.P. Indy in 1992 and Thunder Gulch in 1995. Favorites failing to get the win included Unbridled (4th in '90); Strike the Gold (2nd in '91) and Real Quiet (2nd in '98)

---In this decade only 2 favorites won the race--Point Given in 2001 and Afleet Alex in 2005. Notable disappointments include War Emblem (8th in '02),Funny Cide (3rd in '03), Smarty Jones (2nd in '04), Curlin (2nd in '07) and Big Brown (DNF in '08)

---Despite stories about declining on track handle the 2 biggest on track handles for the Belmont were in this decade in '04 ($14,461,402) and '08 ($13,233,071)

---Likewise for attendance-The 4 highest Attendance totals are all in this decade ('04,'02,03,08) with the record being 120,139 in '04 when Mine That Bird's Daddy Birdstone upset Smarty Jones.

In the "for what it's what department" here is my betting thoughts: I see a slow paced race which I don't think will do Mine That Bird any favors. I see MTB making his customary one move late run, but I wonder if the long stretch will be just a tad too long for MTB. I would leave him in my exotics, just not sure he will get up for the win. My main bet will be a 4 horse Trifecta box of Mine That Bird, Charitable Man, Dunkirk and Summer Bird.

Good luck to all-I will be at Beautiful Belmont Park all day tomorrow for the big day. If you want to say hi, I will be the confused looking guy studying the racing program mulling about in the Grandstand area.

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