By Shawn Rychling
The calendar reads mid-June and the Triple Crown is in our rearview mirror after three races with three different winners.
The series wrapped up with last Saturday’s Belmont Stakes when longshot Palace Malice defeated Preakness winner Oxbow by three lengths followed by Derby winner Orb. So the Triple Crown winners actually ran 1-2-3 in the Belmont.
Palace Malice and Oxbow stalked a solid pace with the latter taking over heading into the far turn. Palace Malice waited a little longer and took over at the quarter pole and went on to a leg-weary win without any challenge coming from the back of the pack.
Orb found himself 10-12 lengths behind at the midway point of the race and just could not make up that much ground as you need to be closer than that when running a 1 ½-mile race. Interesting though that no horses could make up any ground after early fractions of 23.11, 46.66 and 1:10.95. Palace Malice ‘ran’ the final quarter mile in 27.58 seconds.
One of five Belmont entries trained by Todd Pletcher, Palace Malice was getting some attention by Friday for the way he was training and many experts thought he could rate with the removal of blinkers which caused him to burn out on a suicide pace in the Kentucky Derby. They proved correct, but the betting public never really got the message as Palace Malice returned $29.60 to win and keyed a $323.50 exacta with Oxbow which ended up the fourth choice in the betting. The Preakness winner solidified his credentials staying on for the place after staying close to that swift early pace.
Orb was a bit puzzling so perhaps the sloppy track and early pace was more of a factor in the Derby than we thought and just made him look better than he really is. Expected Joel Rosario to be closer to the front in the Belmont as 10 lengths back heading into the turn was too much ground to make up. Orb looked poised to pass Oxbow for second, but flattened out at the 1/8th pole.
Now it’s on to the Haskell and Travers where the 3-year-old division will remain wide open.
Hopefully the sun comes out this weekend as rain has played havoc with the racing in New York the past week. And you can get all our New York Hot List picks right here.
Wow…just 34 days until Saratoga opens!
And remember you can get all the New York Hot List picks right here so happy wagering on the Belmont Spring/Summer meet.
Visit interbets.com’s handicappers’ page at: http://www.interbets.com/racing/otb/news/ny-hot-list/