2006 Belmont Stakes field shaping up as great betting race
By Kenneth Strong of Ultimatecapper.comThe 2006 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 10 is shaping up as a great betting race with 10 runners confirmed as of June 2 and more interesting entrants to come.
Confirmed runners to date include Kentucky Derby runner up Bluegrass Cat; Wood Memorial winner Bob and John; Derby eighth-place finisher Deputy Glitters; Preakness third-place finisher Hemingways Key; Derby fourth-place finisher Jazil; Preakness sixth-place finisher Platinum Couple; Santa Catalina runner up Sacred Light; Derby third-place finisher Steppenwolfer; Peter Pan winner Sunriver; recent romping Belmont allowance winner High Finance; and perhaps the most interesting entrant of all, Oh So Awesome, a newcomer to the Triple Crown fray from France, trained by future Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Jerkens.
Theres no clear-cut favorite in the 138th running of the Belmont, but we would love to see Jimmy Jerkens win it. The son of Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens was the right-hand man for most of his fathers Giant Killer upsets that included the mighty Secretariat, Buckpasser and Kelso among numerous others. And the great thing about the Jerkens clan is that they posted their famed upsets through creative and superior horse training, not drugs. These guys could train a horse to twirl a baton.
Oh So Awesome is owned by Barry Irwin and his team Valor Syndicate, who finished second in the 1992 Belmont Stakes with My Memoirs behind A.P. Indy. In 1998, Thomas Jo, trained by Jimmy Jerkens and co-owned by Earle Mack and Team Valor, finished third behind Victory Gallop and Real Quiet. In 2001 Team Valor finished last in the Belmont field with Dr Greenfield.
Oh So Awesome has spent most of his racing career in France running with moderate success in Turf routes against allowance level horses. In his North American debut for Jerkens on May 19 at Belmont Park, the son of Awesome Again finished a rallying third over the deepest part of the track in the Match The Hatch Stakes over a sloppy track going a mile and a sixteenth.
CLICKHERE TO BET ON HORSE RACES USING A CHECKING ACCOUNT!Oh So Awesome had been running on Turf in France, but his pedigree is all dirt and improvement is expected again for a trainer who has an amazing record with horses transferring into his barn from other trainers. Oh So Awesome has come back with solid if not spectacular works of four and seven furlongs since his Match The Hatch race. An additional blowout that bears watching is expected before the Belmont.
Mike Smith, who has one second from eight mounts in the Belmont Stakes, will be aboard Oh So Awesome for the Belmont on June 10.
With no Derby or Preakness winner in this years Belmont Stakes mix the race has turned into a betting extravaganza. While favorites do win the Belmont 25 percent of the time, longshots have arrived on time on numerous occasions over the past 20 years including Colonial Affair (1993, Win Payoff $29.80, Exacta Payoff $464), Lemon Drop Kid (1999, $61.50, $1,537) Commendable (2000, $39.60, $213) Sarava (2002, $142.50, $2,454) and Birdstone (2004, $74.00, $139). The trifectas and superfectas were even better!
The absence of a superstar in the 2006 Belmont Stakes has turned the race into one of the best betting races of the year. Check back next week for our more detailed analysis of Belmont Stakes-winning running styles, pedigrees, workouts, trainers, jockeys and more. Lets make a score this year.