Johnny Love picks the Belmont Stakes

  • Article by: JOHNNY LOVE , Star Tribune handicapper
  • Updated: June 7, 2013 - 1:07 PM

This year's Belmont Stakes could be the most wide open in years with it's large field of 14 and the strong chance of rain in the forecast.

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Trainer Todd Pletcher and Revolutionary

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This year's Belmont Stakes could be the most wide open in years with it's large field of 14 and the strong chance of rain in the forecast. Obviously, with the large group running today and the possibility of a sloppy course, this race definitely resembles more the Kentucky Derby than the Preakness Stakes.

This year's group includes several speed runners along with several closers who will attempt today's mile and a half distance for the first and probable last time of their racing careers. I think the two trophy winners, ORB and OXBOW are your main contenders but I'm having trouble in the trust factor with both.

Orb had his 5 win streak broke after a less than thrilling performance in the Preakness and his lone start at Belmont Park was a fourth place finish of 22 lengths behind. Oxbow is 0-8 when not getting the lead and he definitely won't get the snail pace dream trip he got in the Preakness with the speedsters in this field. I'm looking at rivals today who are well rested and can run a steady pace till the cows come home.

For wagering strategies I'm looking for a runner to key in my trifecta tickets who I think has the strongest chance of hitting the board spreading out around him.

Good luck and have fun.

REVOLUTIONARY is my key who ran third in the Kentucky Derby finishing well on the sloppy course after some traffic troubles. Trainer Pletcher skipped the Preakness to get ready for today's race, so should be fresh and ready with solid works entering. Another selling point is being reunited with jockey Javier Castellano, who won as a team in the two lone starts together in the Louisiana Derby and Withers Stakes.

OVERANALYZE is another Pletcher runner who won the Futurity at Belmont Park last September and should be well rested after finishing 11th in the Derby. Most interesting angle for me is his 8 race record of win-lost-win-lost-win-lost-win-lost-? Have to admit, hard to bet against with that pattern on the line. Pletcher's top jockey John Velazquez hops aboard who was the rider in the Futurity.

FREEDOM CHILD won the Peter Pan Stakes with a crushing 13 length victory setting quick fractions and drawing away from the field on a sloppy course at Belmont Park. With that race at 1 1/8 miles, the question is whether he'll have anything left in the tank to complete today's distance going gate-to-wire.

UNLIMITED BUDGET is the lone filly in the race and will have to step it up a notch in tackling the boys with Rosie Napravnik in the saddle. Won four consecutive before running third in the Kentucky Oaks after a bumpy start. Training well and did I mention another Pletcher horse.

GOLDEN SOUL ran second in the Derby at a huge price closing late in his career best race. Return off that effort makes him a contender but slight concern is a skipped workout and trainer saying his colt's appetite isn't where it should be.

Betting Strategy $1 Trifecta ( 9/ 2,3,5,7,13,14/ 2,3,5,7,12,13,14) (2,3,5,7,13,14/ 9 /2,3,5,7,12,13,14) (2,3,5,7,13,14/ 2,3,5,7,12,13,14 / 9) $36 each $108 Total.

Click here for the horses by post position.

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Chicago 14 2nd Qtr 8:48
Detroit 10
Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
ULM 44 2nd Half 6:19
Robert Morris 59
Santa Clara 30 2nd Half 10:48
Tennessee 41
Oklahoma 24 1st Half 7:58
Butler 8
Austin Peay 1:00 PM
Brown
Princeton 1:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Coastal Carolina 1:30 PM
Chattanooga
Kansas 1:30 PM
Rhode Island
Wisconsin 2:30 PM
Georgetown
FIU 2:30 PM
USC Upstate
Long Island 3:00 PM
Stony Brook
San Diego 3:30 PM
Xavier
Illinois 4:00 PM
Indiana State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cal State Fullerton 5:00 PM
Wright State
Michigan State 5:30 PM
Rider
UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
Marquette 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
Rice 8:30 PM
Mercer
San Jose St 10:00 PM
Washington
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 20 1st Half 6:09
Furman 23
Clemson 13 1st Half 12:55
Ohio State 17
Idaho State 1:00 PM
San Diego State
East Carolina 1:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Santa Clara 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Florida State 2:30 PM
Washington
Wichita State 2:30 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Wisconsin 3:15 PM
(1) South Carolina
BYU 5:00 PM
BYU-Hawaii
Kansas State 5:00 PM
LSU
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Montana
Illinois 5:00 PM
(9) Kentucky
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
(19) Oregon State 8:00 PM
Butler

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