Welcome to 2016 Belmont Stakes & Belmont Betting

The Belmont Stakes is the final race of the three that comprise the Triple Crown. It takes place every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. For the second year in a row history could be made at the 2015 Belmont Stakes. American Pharoah has already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and is one win away from becoming only the 12th Triple Crown winner in history. There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner in the sport of horse racing since Affirmed in 1978. California Chrome gave it a good run last year, winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before finishing fourth behind Tonalist in the Belmont.

The Belmont is a Grade 1 stakes race contested over a 1 ½ mile dirt track for three-year-olds. During the Triple Crown campaign, a horse must not only deal with the longest distance of their career but the grueling schedule. The Belmont takes place three weeks after the Preakness and five weeks after the Kentucky Derby. Since most high-level thoroughbreds usually race every three or four weeks, the scheduling of the Triple Crown races is as big of a challenge as the competitions themselves. The scheduling is so demanding that many horsemen have called for the racing schedule to be changed to provide horses with more time between races.

First held in 1866, the Belmont is the oldest of the Triple Crown races by nearly a decade. The race is the namesake of 19th-century financier August Belmont, Sr. and was originally run at the Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx. The Jerome Park track got its name from a Wall Street colleague of Belmont’s, Leonard Jerome.   August Belmont died in 1890 and Jerome in 1891 and following their passing the event was moved to the nearby Morris Park Race Course until the opening of Belmont Park. The race has been held annually since then with the exception of 1911 and 1912. Between 1963 and 1967 the race was held at nearby Aqueduct Racetrack due to a major renovation project at Belmont Park.

While the Kentucky Derby has the nickname ‘the run for the roses’, the Belmont winner traditionally receives a blanket of carnations. Despite the floral tradition of the Belmont the moniker “the run for the carnations” hasn’t exactly become part of the American lexicon. The race’s catch phrase may not have gained traction with the American public, but the Belmont does boast what many consider the greatest performance in the history of thoroughbred racing. In 1973, Secretariat clinched the Triple Crown in the Belmont with a downright dominant performance—“Big Red” set a course record of 2:24 in winning the race by an astounding 31 lengths. One of the most enduring images of Secretariat’s victory is the shot of jockey Ron Turcotte easing up his mount near the finish line as he looks back over his shoulder in amazement that the rest of the field is nearly out of sight.

The 2014 Belmont winner was Tonalist, trained by Christophe Clement with jockey Joel Rosario aboard. Tonalist was a 15/1 betting choice with California Chrome installed as a 3/5 post time favorite. Tonalist paid $20.40 to win, $9.60 to place and $7.00 to show. Commissioner finished second returning $23.20 and $13.20 while Medal Count took third paying $13.20.

The 2016 Belmont Stakes will take place on Saturday, June 11th. For those looking to attend the race live, gates open at 8:30 AM. In addition to the highly sought after reserved seating, Belmont Park admits thousands of fans via general admission on a first come, first served basis. Reserved seats should be purchased well in advance–in 2014, they sold out long before race day.

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Rachel’s Temper Wins Summer Colony Fresh Off A Claim

Posted Under: News by Jim Murphy on 22nd August 2016

Claimed by new connections less than a month ago, Rachel’s Temper got things off on the right foot by winning Monday’s $100,000 Summer Colony Stakes at Saratoga. The 5-year-old daughter of Flatter came from twelve lengths off of the very fast pace for jockey Joel Rosario and made her move at the top of the stretch to take her first career stakes victory. She finished 2nd by a nose in her last race and prior to that won an optional claiming race at Belmont on June 9.

Winning trainer Charlton Baker said that the race pace set up perfectly as did the fact that jockey Rosario was already familiar with her: “It set up pretty good for her, but she’s a nice filly. Rosario knows her; he did what he wanted to do. He’s ridden her a couple of times, and she was always there [for him].” Rosario concurred about the favorable pace: “I was happy about it [the pace]. I just tried taking my time and she handled it well. She was back, but she’s always honest. She tries hard, and I had a lot of confidence in her. It was a good race for her today.”

Baker said she was working so well they decided to give her a shot in a stakes race rather than put her back in another claiming event: “I always thought she was a nice filly, I always liked her, and when I saw her in for a claiming price I took her. We trained her with the intention of putting her back for the same price. But she was training so well that when the nominations came up for this race, I thought let’s take a chance and put her in and see what the field came up like. And I guess it came up to her liking the way she ran.”

Rachel’s Temper went off as a 3-1 choice and paid $8.40 to improve her career earnings to $371,905. After breaking her maiden in her 15th career start, her record now stands at 6-6-5. Tiger Ride finished second ahead of third place SweetGrass by a single length. The even money race favorite was Eskenformoney who could do no better than fourth.

Midnight Storm Continues Strong Season at Del Mar

Posted Under: News by Jim Murphy on 21st August 2016

Midnight Storm dominated Del Mar this Summer and now his connections are looking to move on to Santa Anita–for the Breeders’ Cup. He won his latest Grade 2 turf event on Sunday winning the $200,000 Del Mar Mile as the 1-5 favorite. Early in the meet he won the $251,380 Eddie Read Stakes at 1 1/8 miles. The next challenge is the Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile and his connections say that they plan to not race again until that event.

Om would finish second four and 1/2 lengths ahead of 9-1 choice Ohio. Om hadn’t raced since March and trainer Dan Hendricks is pointing him toward the Breeders’ Cup Turf. He was pleased with his horse’s gutsy performance in defeat: “I was really happy. He stalked so nicely. He ran hard. He didn’t look like he was spent.” Hendricks also said that he’ll run Om in another prep race before the Breeders’ Cup with the most likely target being the $200,000 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita on October 8

Although Midnight Storm led throughout the race he had to hold off a hard challenge from Om late to win by a half a length. He posted solid early fractions of 22.82 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.66 for the half mile. Midnight Storm led by a half a length over Ambitious Brew at the three quarter pole but after he faded Om came on from third to challenge Midnight Storm in the final sixteenth. Trainer Phil D’Amato said he knew jockey Rafael Bejerano had the situation under control: “I thought he had the race under control. It was tight at the end. Rafael said he rode him with confidence. Om came with a big run and made him run.” As for what’s next, D’Amato made it clear: “We’ll give him a break and go for the Breeders’ Cup.”
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Midnight Storm has now won three consecutive stakes including the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita on June 4 which awarded him a ‘free pass’ into the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 5 year old is having the best season of his career having earned $539,000 so far in 2016. For his career, he’s won 8 of 18 starts and earned $1,101,110.