Nehro to have surgery for ankle chip

Gets surgery for ankle chip!

Nehro to have surgery for ankle chip.

Now we know why he hung and hung and hung in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes!

Click on the above link for the full story!


Belmont Stakes: Breen unsure what’s next for Ruler On Ice

Belmont Stakes: Breen unsure what’s next for Ruler On Ice.

For those of us who call Monmouth Park our “Summertime” thoroughbred racing home, it’s been a real treat to first have our track announcer Larry Collmus now calling all 3 Triple Crown races.

Now we have our local connections in Owners George and Lori Hall and Trainer Kelly Breen (seen here) bringing home the Belmont Stakes hardware with Ruler on Ice!

Click on the above link and read about their future plans for Ruler On Ice! Oh and there’s a bit of post-race video in it with Kelly Breen chatting up the race and future plans for Ruler On Ice!

Belmont Stakes: Velazquez has harsh words for fellow rider Maragh

Belmont Stakes: Velazquez has harsh words for fellow rider Maragh.

It’s was a rough start for John Velazquez on Animal Kingdom (seen here) this Saturday as he almost came off his saddle!

He has a few very choice words for his fellow jockey Rajiv Maragh actions on Isn’t he Perfect coming out of the gate!

There is nice piece of video in the link above showing what happened! “Sour grapes” or “foul” you make the call!

“The Trend is your Friend” – A Belmont Stakes day recap

We toss around the first half of our title all the time here at “downthestretchs” because this axiom is one of life’s crazy truisms!

The trend has indeed been your friend all throughout the 3yo season and it held true in this year’s Belmont Stakes too.

The “trend” of course has been that favorites have been going up or down in flames and long shots have been ruling the day !

Veteran handicappers” everywhere are just about ready to throw out all the logical rules of standard norm’s and principal’s of their craft for 3yo handicapping and maybe just sit at a slot machine where real random chance lives!

Can’t say that I’d blame them!

Then a day like yesterday at Belmont Park comes along and presto the long shot contagion is suddenly everywhere!

Favorites were falling from grace faster that a New York Congressman on the internet!

Mother Nature added to the chaotic fun by beating down a hard rain on the main-track turning “Big Sandy” into a semi-liquified state and transforming the turf courses into boggy lowlands!

What a receipt for wise-guy misery!

How did they all miss Ruler On Ice? Answer: group-think! Ruler On Ice is linked to more pedigreed blood lines then most horses. Pedigree, Pedigree, Pedigree is our first thought every Belmont day!

Ruler On Ice was one of only 3 horses in the year’s Belmont Stakes with any off-track dirt experience. All the favorites had none!

Johnny V lose the irons on Kentucky Derby winner  Animal Kingdom coming out of the gate and plummeted to an early last place by the clubhouse turn and never really made up that early lose ground over this slop-fest! Maybe a turf race try for him next after a brief pause in his training.

We all hoped Shackleford would be go wire to wire or at least hang in there for a board hit! Not to be, Shackleford is a 1 1/8 mile horse and was all done by the 1/4 pole of broken Belmont dreams! A break in training for a while than maybe a rematch with Ruler on Ice in the shorter Haskell perhaps!

Nehro hung and hung and hung on for 4th. Guess the 5-week refresh didn’t help here but finished the best of all the favorites! The Jim Dandy at Saratoga might be a good spot to pick up a needed Graded Stakes win next!

Master Of Hounds needs to find a nice Group-3 1600 meter turf race for 3yo’s back in jolly old England next time out and put his passport back in Aidan O’Brien’s desk draw. We still don’t understand the logical of continent-hoping this horse all over the Planet and expecting positive results.

Mucho Macho Man wasn’t so mucho-macho here over the Belmont slop, but did come out of this race with all four shoes this time! He too is probably better suited to a 1 1/8 contest, but we predicted a long rest for him as he has had a busy Graded Stakes schedule since last November! He has earned the rest!

Stay Thirsty also had a bit of off-track experience, as well and he too has blood lines back to the great one’s! The vie for the win and 2nd place finish here raised his stock considerably! Look for him at Saratoga or Monmouth Park next!

Brilliant Speed validated his GI Blue Grass victory here with his 3rd place finish, but he just might be a better poly/turf-horse. But for now, he is in this very wide top-tier of 3yo’s and could show up anywhere and on any surface type too. His connections now have a lot more future options to consider and that’s always a good thing!

As to the rest of this crew, there is always other derby-style races to run in and with one or more triple crown appearances on your resumes you should be able find your way into one of  them! All isn’t lost as 1 1/2 mile just wasn’t your brand of Vodka!

So the Racing-Gods again had their fun with us here in the 143rd Belmont Stakes as it was a reminded to us that we are just bit-players on their thoroughbred racing stage!

So the 2011 Triple Crown trail ended with a big splash, literally and the 3yo division isn’t any closer to sorting itself out then it was on 1/1/11! Over the past 6 months, we have seen more twists and turns in this division that a good spy movie or murder mystery novel and the show doesn’t appear to be over quite yet!

So the “Boys of Spring” will take a brief sabbatical now as we await their return for all the Summer Classic’s now!

In the meantime, the Handicap division too is in a state of some turmoil but the GI Steven Foster at Churchill Downs is up this Saturday and maybe this classic contest will help to settle this division some as we start on the long road back to Louisville in November for this year’s Breeders’ Cup races.

It’s another long and perilous journey my friends, so buckle-up as we are now in Breeders’ Cup Season”! Perhaps this trail will be easier to follow, we hope so!