2017 Belmont Stakes one-liners
Having started the 2017 Triple Crown by summing up the Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls, and continuing the idea for the Preakness (G1), it’s only right to offer the same kind of one-line treatment for the Belmont S. (G1) contenders.
#1 Twisted Tom was supplemented to the Belmont after progressing through a pair of stakes wins at Laurel, and what he lacks on form may be supplied by his strong pedigree and the training of Chad Brown.
#2 Tapwrit hasn’t had any luck since his stakes-record victory in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), but the $1.2 million son of Tapit has a profile reminiscent of last year’s Belmont near-misser from the same Todd Pletcher barn, Destin, who was likewise exiting a sixth in the Kentucky Derby.
#3 Gormley is the only Grade 1 winner in the field, having taken the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and the FrontRunner (G1) at two, but the hit-or-miss type comes off a ninth in the Derby and needs things to fall into place for him.
#4 J Boys Echo has shown flashes of talent, particularly in his career-best Gotham (G3), and if you toss his never-in-it 15th in the sloppy Derby, the Dale Romans colt has a live shot at a breakthrough.
#5 Hollywood Handsome appears ambitiously spotted after unplaced efforts in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Illinois Derby (G3), but the recent Churchill Downs allowance winner could be the latest surprise package from trainer Dallas Stewart.
#6 Lookin at Lee is the only contender to have run in all three jewels of the Triple Crown, finishing second in the Derby and fourth in the Preakness, and he’ll try to give trainer Steve Asmussen two straight Belmonts after Creator a year ago.
#7 Irish War Cry was originally supposed to skip the remaining classics after tiring badly to 10th in the Derby, but trainer Graham Motion had second thoughts for his Holy Bull (G2) and Wood Memorial (G2) winner, who jumped into the scene and took over Belmont favoritism.
#8 Senior Investment is on the upgrade following a score in the Lexington (G3) and a last-to-third rally in the Preakness, and trainer Ken McPeek is bullish on his staying capacity.
#9 Meantime looks to step up from his runner-up effort in the Peter Pan (G3) in his stakes debut, and arguably has to outstrip his pedigree to do so.
#10 Multiplier vaulted into the classic picture with a victory in the Illinois Derby, but got no closer than a closing sixth in the Preakness and needs to move forward again to threaten.
#11 Epicharis appeared to have a terrific chance in the build-up, until the Japanese hope sustained an ill-timed foot problem midweek and had to be a vet scratch this morning.
#12 Patch, the Louisiana Derby runner-up, is entitled to do significantly better than his 14th in the Kentucky Derby, and the Pletcher colt has a Belmont pedigree on top and bottom.
J Boys Echo photo by Harold Roth/Horsephotos.com