Saturday, June 11, 2011

Belmont Stakes Current Odds and Selections

The Late morning Belmont Stakes Odds show Animal Kingdom as the favorite at 5-2 with Nehro at 7-2 and Master of Hounds at 4-1.

Preakness winner Shackleford getting no love from the early bettors and currently stands at 10-1. I'm sure his odds will lower by post time, but he could still be at 7-1. I originally was going to throw him out of my picks but if he stays at 7-1 worth a shot.

Mucho Macho Man
is 7-1 and Brilliant Speed getting some play at 9-1.

Looks like the rain has moved out and I'm optimistic the track will play fast by post time.

As for the race itself, it seems more often than not a horse that skips the Preakness scores in the Belmont. Master of Hounds has the breeding, he's fresh and has been pointed towards this race.

Here's the picks: 1. Master of Hounds 2. Animal Kingdom 3. Shackleford 4. Brilliant Speed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Howard Stern & Jockeys

Guest today on The Howard Stern Show on XMSirius radio were Jockeys Ramon Dominquez and Jesus Castanon. They were there to promote the Belmont Stakes (Ramon is aboard Mucho Macho Man and Castanon is on Shackleford) and a new Jockey Beefcake Calendar. Although ironically Jesus does not appear in the calendar.

Unlike the usual vanilla drivel Jocks will spill out when interviewed, Howard got honest and frank answers out of the Jockey's on several subjects.

Money: Ramon estimates only about 3% of all Jockeys actually make any real money. He cited the sobering statistics. After he gets his 10% winners share, 25% goes to his agent, 5% to the Valet and 1/2 of what's left goes to Taxes.

Making weight: Ramon said some vomit to make weight, but Ramon claims to he doesn't and lasts all day on just a cup of coffee and toast in the morning.

Whether the Horse knows they won
: Both Jesus and Ramon agreed the horse does not know when he wins a race. I found this answer refreshing as most jockeys after a race when interviewed will always claim the horse knew he won.

: Ramon said female Groupies for the top jocks absolutely exist and chided Jesus Castanon for claiming he never partaked in his single days. Both Jocks are now married.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Belmont Stakes Week Television Coverage

A nice expansion of Belmont Stakes coverage by NBC Sports on NBC and Versus.

On Friday there will be live coverage from Belmont featuring the Grade 3 Poker Handicap on the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap on Versus from 5-6 pm.

On Saturday live coverage starts on Versus at 3 pm featuring the Grade 1 Just a Game, the Grade 2 True North Handicap, and the Grade 2 Woody Stephens.

At 5 pm NBC takes over with the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap being shown before the Belmont Stakes. As was done for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, Versus will have a 30 minute post race recap after NBC signs off.

How many times do you think we will hear from NBC that this is only the 2nd time in the last 15 years that the Derby and Preakness winner have faced off at Belmont? I give the over/under for the Versus/NBC Saturday coverage at 14 times. I don't mind the stat, but a half dozen times it was impossible as a horse was going for the triple crown.

With Animal Kingdom and Shackleford both showing up I expect a nice turnout at Belmont Park. On non triple crown years, the weather is always a big factor in attendance and the early forecast looks good with temps in the 70's under Partly sunny skies.