Who will win the 2011 Belmont Stakes?

Animal Kingdom training for the Belmont
Kentucky Derby Animal Kingdom training for the Belmont

The 143rd Belmont Stakes will be run tomorrow in New York. Belmont is a track that I used to visit as a child. My maternal grandfather was a big racing fan and I happily tagged along with him whenever I was invited. I never went for the big race, but it didn’t matter to me — I loved watching the shiny horses in the post parade.

Shackleford training for the Belmont
Preakness winner Shackleford training for the Belmont

The Belmont is a long, grueling race at a mile and a half with all horses carrying 125 pounds. For horses that have raced in both the Derby and the Preakness, it’s been a tough season. Most stakes runners have more time off in between races and the Belmont is the longest race yet. The good news is that the heat wave is over. On Thursday when temperatures approached 100 degrees racing was canceled at Belmont. Tomorrow should be cloudy and in the mid-60s, perfect weather.

There is much debate in the press over whether Shackleford can stay the distance or Animal Kingdom can rally. But if you take a more pragmatic view of the race, just take a look at the post positions.

PP. Horse. … Jockey. … ML Odds
1. Master of Hounds. … Garrett Gomez. … 10-1
2. Stay Thirsty. … Javier Castellano. … 20-1
3. Ruler On Ice. … Jose Valdivia, Jr. … 20-1
4. Santiva. … Shaun Bridgmohan. … 15-1
5. Brilliant Speed. … Joel Rosario. … 15-1
6. Nehro. … Corey Nakatani. … 4-1
7. Monzon. … Jose Lezcano. … 30-1
8. Prime Cut. … Edgar Prado. … 15-1
9. Animal Kingdom. … John Velazquez. … 2-1
10. Mucho Macho Man. … Ramon Dominguez. … 10-1
11. Isn’t He Perfect. … Rajiv Maragh. … 30-1
12. Shackleford. … Jesus Castanon. … 9-2

Now look at the historical placement based on post position.

Post. #Wins.

Master of Hounds training for the Belmont
Master of Hounds training for the Belmont. Based on his post position, he should be favored to win.

1. 23
2. 11
3. 13
4. 9
5. 14
6. 7
7. 13
8. 5
9. 4
10. 2
11. 2
12. 0

Based on this analysis, Shackleford doesn’t have a chance and Animal Kingdom is not ideally positioned. If history is predictive then it’s Master of the Hound’s day to shine.

Tune in tomorrow!

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