2017 Belmont Stakes Cheat Sheet
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
2017 Belmont Stakes Replay
Did you watch the Kentucky Derby and Preakness? Of course you did. Did you feel unprepared? We tried to help! Well, fret not, we’re here for you… again! Although we strongly suggest that you sign up for our Derby Prep Alert so you’re not so unprepared next year.
Here’s an overview of each of the 2017 Belmont Stakes contenders by post position. With ten of the thirteen starters having run in the Derby and/or Preakness, be sure to check our 2017 Kentucky Derby Cheat Sheet and 2017 Preakness Cheat Sheet for more back story.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of this year’s field by post position including the morning line odds.
1. Twisted Tom (20-1) – The Federico Tesio winner has slowly been climbing the class ladder with success but makes his biggest jump to date in this spot going from a listed stakes to graded winners. He’s well-bred for the distance in addition to displaying a resolute will to win and could be interesting in your exotics, and maybe more.
2. Tapwrit (6-1) – WINNER – His 6th place finish in the Derby is a little misleading in that the Tampa Bay Derby winner encountered traffic trouble early, but once he shook loose and got on the good part of the track he was able to make up some ground. The defection of favorite Classic Empire makes him an attractive option in a relatively wide open field.
3. Gormley (8-1) – FOURTH – The Santa Anita Derby winner is one of several coming out of the Kentucky Derby who’s hard to get a read on. After a wide run just behind the first flight of runners he seemed to throw in the towel in the stretch after encountering some traffic trouble, but instead of fading badly as others did, he kept on and finished relatively well. If you’re willing to give him a pass, he could be an interesting addition to your exotics.
4. J Boys Echo (15-1) – Like Irish War Cry, Cloud Computing’s win in the Preakness flatters the Gotham winner. But unlike Irish War Cry, he had traffic trouble throughout the Derby. Much like his 4th in the Blue Grass, he didn’t throw in the towel but he also didn’t move forward. With a better trip he could be an interesting addition to your exotics.
5. Hollywood Handsome (30-1) – Trainer Dallas Stewart is known for getting his longshots to run in the money in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but he hasn’t been able to produce the same results in the Belmont Stakes. His latest attempt exits an allowance win at Churchill Downs after off the board runs in the Grade 2 Louisiana and Grade 3 Illinois Derbies. Good thing he’s handsome!
6. Lookin at Lee (6-1) – Despite not hitting the board, the Kentucky Derby runner-up made a decent showing in the Preakness in that he ran his race and was moving well at the end. He has yet to win a graded stakes, but he’s consistently performed well with more distance and could certainly step up here.
7. Irish War Cry (7-2) – PLACE (2nd)– Despite clunking in the Derby after a perfect trip, the defection of Classic Empire has made the well-bred yet inconsistent Wood winner the morning line favorite. Cloud Computing’s win in the Preakness flatters him, and he could move forward, but there are plenty of more attractive and well-priced options.
8. Senior Investment (12-1) – The late running upset winner of the Lexington Stakes proved himself to be less of a fluke than many thought by finishing a fast-closing 3rd in the Preakness, and now he’ll get a chance to display his propensity for distance running. If you’re looking for an upset pick at a price, he’s an interesting prospect, and at the very least should be in your exotics.
9. Meantime (15-1) – Last out in the Grade 2 Peter Pan, his first stakes foray, he set a comfortable pace but was taken over by winner Timeline in the stretch. He stayed on for 2nd but didn’t really give the type of performance that screams “stepping up in a Grade 1 at a longer distance.”
10. Multiplier (15-1) – The Illinois Derby winner made a decent jump in class in the Preakness. Despite only finishing 6th he had to steady in traffic and still ran on. While he doesn’t seem like an upset contender, he could still move forward and perform well.
Epicharis (4-1) – SCRATCHED – This international mystery horse is exceptionally mysterious given that last out in the UAE Derby he was caught at the wire by Thunder Snow, the notorious Derby non-runner. Thunder Snow did come back to finish a solid 2nd in the Irish Guineas, which does speak well for this Japanese starter. By all accounts he seems to have shipped well and is well suited for the distance. Mysterious or not, he’s an interesting prospect in a relatively wide open field.
Update 6/9: Epicharis has recently had an issue with lameness and missed a planned training session on Friday morning. His connections are still hopeful he can run, but if he does keep this issue in mind.
12. Patch (12-1) – SHOW (3rd) – The one-eyed fan favorite will try again after a disappointing 14th in the Derby. In his defense he ran on the worst part of the track and encountered a lot of traffic. He could improve here and with the defection of favored Classic Empire he stands a better chance to be in the mix late.