Announcing “downthestretchs” new “Weekend Picks” page

With the Triple Crown season drawing to a close soon that doesn’t mean there isn’t more great thoroughbred action ahead.

So with that in mind, we’re announcing our New Weekend Picks”page.

Every weekend from now until Breeders’ Cup Saturday we’ll take on all the note worthy Grade Stakes contest for that upcoming weekend and offer up our fearless picks and a note or two on some wagering strategies for each race!

The only exception would be the race we are already covering on the main blog, of course! 

So check it out every weekend and see what we are thinking.

It should be a lot of fun and profitable “we hope” too!


The Belmont Stakes is a horse-race of a different color!

Yes, you’ve caught us paraphrasing a little “Wizard Of Oz” lingo here, but it’s true!

The Belmont Stakes is indeed a horse-race of a different color from all the other 3yo contests every year!

So we’ll offer up some bullet points on why we’ve posed this off-beat notion!

  • The Belmont Stakes might be the first and last time any of this year’s 3yo crop will ever have to run this 1 1/2 mile distance in their careers! So this “ain’t no sissy 6 or 7f sprint” here.
  • The last time Pedigree played such an important role in these horses racing careers was probably way back in their 2yo firsters race, when all we had to work with were workouts, connections and Pedigrees. So much like in Real Estate where it’s all about “location, location, location”, at the Belmont it’s all about “Pedigree, Pedigree and Pedigree”. If your “daddy” or your “momma’s daddy” didn’t run well here in the past, then a snowball has a better chance in Miami during a blackout! Rare is the non-pedigreed 3yo thoroughbred who wins here, as it’s not the general rule! So look for horses with lines that carry back to Derby, Preakness and especially Belmont winners!
  • Pace Pace is everything at the 1 1/2 mile distance, turning 22’s or 3’s, 46’s and 1:11 or 12’s can be gotten away with in the Preakness or even the Derby, but it’s instant death here. So if a horse is a needs to lead with speed, x that one right off your handicapping list because by the 1/4 pole those horses will have faded to black!
  • Like a marathon race, the Belmont is about surviving that first 1 1/4 mile Kentucky Derby distance and still having enough gas left in the tank to go and vie for the win as every horse is sucking big-time wind by mid-stretch! Summer Bird and Drosselmeyer are the two most recent examples of still having something left in the tank at the end and why they won here the past two years! So the Belmont Stakes is more a 3yo survival contest disguised in the trappings of a “horse-race”!
  • And for my money, the Belmont 1/4 pole is the most ominous feature of this gigantic Belmont edifice! Why, you might ask? Well, to be very direct, it’s where Triple Crown dreams have either failed or come true. Every Belmont Stakes is either won or lose by that point and for the last thirty or so years it’s where every Triple Crown want-to-be has been faltering! It’s the first thing I look for every Belmont Stakes live visit as I remember all of those 3yo’s who have tried and failed right at that marker. It’s why I have such a profound respect for those who have passed this final grueling test of the Triple Crown Troika!

Yes, Dorothy, the Belmont Stakes is a horse-race of a different color!

2011 Belmont Stakes early odds with PP’s!

We’ve got the official  2011 Belmont Stakes “Odds” for you!

The M/L odds are pointing to a match-up between Animal Kingdom, Shackleford and Nehro as the field is all but set now!

So here is a quick look at the 2011 Belmont Stakes Odds as of this date below!

Underlined Names are linked to standard PP’s! – OR – Click Here to see the “Full Page” of Past Performances for all this year’s “Contenders“!

As of 06/08/11,

Official 2011 Belmont Stakes Morning/ Lines!

Animal Kingdom at 2/1, Derby winner and Preakness 2nd!

Brillilant Speed at 15/1 and 7th in the Derby!

Isnt He Perfect at 30/1, and wasn’t in the Preakness finishing 9th!

Master of Hounds at 10/1, and 5th in the Derby!

Monzon at 30/1 and 6th in the Peter Pan!

Mucho Macho Man at 10/1, must keep all his shoes on  !

Nehro at 4/1, and should be rested now!

Prime Cut at 15/1 3rd in the Peter Pan, 2nd in Lex/Coolmore

Ruler On Ice at 20/1, 2nd in the Tesio Stakes!

Santiva at 15/1, late of a 6th place finish in the Derby!

Shackleford at 9/2 and needs no intro!

Stay Thirsty at 20/1, and disappeared into the Derby mist somewhere!

Draw was held this moring at 11:00 am!