I literally just deleted three paragraphs of text on my plans for not betting on the Belmont Stakes tomorrow – at least not trying to beat I’ll Have Another but just placing a souvenir wager on him to take the Triple Crown.
Well THAT plan is at an end.
With I’ll Have Another’s scratch the day before his date with destiny, I had to actually open up The Form and take a look at some past performances. Dullahan took the mantle as morning line favorite while others are looking toward the return of Union Rags or the emergence of Paynter. I’ve gotten over most of my depression but I’m not sure that I see any value in here. I had thought that Dullahan was second best and now I think he is clearly the best. The distance shouldn’t be an issue, his quality is there and I can openly root for a son of the sire of my two fillies to win a Classic for Even the Score.
Paynter’s last two wins races earned monster Beyers but it’s hard for me to take a big Beyer in an allowance race seriously when a horse is prepping for the Belmont. When facing much better in his first two starts of the season he whiffed, not being able to handle the slop at Churchill and never really in the Santa Anita Derby (albeit with some trouble).
I think that Union Rags probably has the best chance of upending Dullahan here but this is a colt that always finds trouble. The fact that Velasquez gets on him is good, but it seems like a horse that finds trouble seems to find trouble all the time. That said, he still finds the winner’s circle more often than not and that speaks volumes of the colt’s class.
That said, I’m sticking with Dullahan with Union Rags a troubled second.