Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Belmont Gets Its Groove Back

No, it didn't have a hot, steamy affair with Taye Diggs.

But a week after losing much of the air in its balloon with the news that Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense was taking a pass, the buzz is back for the Belmont with yesterday's last minute announcement by trainer Todd Pletcher that his super talented and Kentucky Oaks winning filly, Rags To Riches, is foregoing Friday's Mother Goose race for fillies and running against the boys in the Belmont Stakes.

Like any party, the Belmont will be much, much better
with the addition of a beautiful and talented girl

The buzz comes in the form of storylines galore, starting with the Battle Of The Sexes angle: Rags To Riches is probably the best filly to come along since Silverbulletday in 1999. Silverbulletday was going to run in the Derby but instead passed and romped in the Kentucky Oaks, then tried her hand in the Belmont and finished a poor 7th. But Silverbulletday's breeding wasn't really suited for the Belmont; she should have taken her shot in the Derby.

Rags To Riches on the other hand is bred perfectly for the enduring and unique mile and a half distance of the Belmont Stakes. Her daddy, A.P. Indy won the Belmont, as did her grandfather, Seattle Slew. And her brother, Jazil, won the Belmont just last year.

Then there's Pletcher, who is 0 for damn I lost count {what are we at now, 26? 28?} in Triple Crown races. How crazy would it be if he won his first Triple Crown race with a filly?

ESPN/ABC will have huge wood over this, as this will at least match, if not exceed, Curlin as the main story, and is the dream lead in for their movie about Ruffian that they are airing immediately after the Belmont broadcast on Saturday.

Oh, she's 3rd choice on the morning line at 3-1 in a small but legitimate field full of talented horses. Curlin is the morning line favorite at 6-5, with Hard Spun second choice at 5-2. Should be good stuff. Preview and picks on Friday.

139th Belmont Stakes
Saturday June 9th
Belmont Park, New York
TV: 2-4 p.m. PST, ABC
Post time: approx. 3.25 p.m PST

1 Imawildandcrazyguy 20-1
2 Tiago 10-1
3 Curlin 6-5
4 C P West 12-1
5 Slew's Tizzy 20-1
6 Hard Spun 5-2
7 Rags To Riches 3-1

No comments: