by Jerry Shottenkirk
June 10, 2017
Whichever name gets the circle on your past performance sheets, rest assured no one will question your pick with all that much vim and vigor.
Need you be reminded of Palace Malice, Ruler On Ice, Drosselmeyer, Summer Bird, Da’ Tara, Birdstone and Sarava? And that’s just since 2002. Most of those names seem fine today, but did they really look that good going in?
The departure of Classic Empire sent most handicappers for a loop. Not that all of us were attaching our wagon to him. On the contrary. If you wanted to beat him, which was my strategy going in, your price is now affected, regardless of the direction you’ve taken.
There still are a few that will be overplayed. This is not to say they should be eliminated from any lists. But if you were looking for big prices on Twisted Tom, Tapwrit, J Boys Echo or Senior Investment, you probably won’t get what you thought you were going to get. Another factor on the board is Epicharis. He’s 4-to-1 on the morning line but the veterinary and trainer comments reported likely will chase away some supporters. Those who stick around will likely get a better price that they originally thought.
Going on current form and his propensity to close, Senior Investment is the choice here. He’s 12-to-1 on the board, and it would be surprising to get that. Kenny McPeek has the son of Discreetly Mine in top form. The growth he has shown since a sixth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby has put him among the upper crust in the 3-year-old ranks. His narrow win in the less-than-epic Lexington gave him his ticket to Preakness. Bypassing the Kentucky Derby was a wise move as he ran a very good third in Baltimore.
I’m hanging my hat on Senior Investment. He’s the central figure in all of my exotics, and his odds will be high enough to allow for him to be a good straight play.
Senior Investment has the running style that should suit the 1.5 miles of the Belmont. He’s been closing very well, but a look back into his form indicates he can be closer attendance of the pace. If you’re looking for a horse that is capable of putting down his own times of :24, :48, 1:12, 1:38, 2:03 and 2:29, this is el caballo. There are no delusions here that Senior Investment or any other in here can get remotely close to the top times in Belmont history. It’s clear that this isn’t the strongest bunch to come down the pike. If Senior Investment’s personal fractions are close to those listed, he’ll be three or four lengths off the pace early.
Channing Hill keeps the mount on Senior Investment, and that’s a strong positive. Hill is riding very well and Senior Investment’s career has taken a strong turn since he picked up the mount.
Belmont Stakes Picks: 1. Senior Investment; 2. Lookin At Lee; 3. Tapwrit; 4. Irish War Cry
Win Play: Senior Investment
Exacta Key Box: Senior Investment with Lookin At Lee, Tapwrit, Irish War Cry and Gormley
Trifecta and Superfecta: Senior Investment and Lookin At Lee in 1st spot, on top of Exacta horses. Potential adds in on bottom slots of exotics: J Boys Echo and Epicharis