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SportsHorseracingBelmont Stakes

Belmont Stakes 2015 analysis

Newsday's Ed McNamara provides his analysis for the 2015 Belmont Stakes. (Horses are listed by saddle cloth number.)

MUBTAAHIJ

MUBTAAHIJ Trainer: Michael de Kock Jockey: Irad Ortiz
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

MUBTAAHIJ

Trainer: Michael de Kock

Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

Record: 8-4-1-0

Last 3: 8-1-1

Odds: 10-1

Comment: The Derby's mystery horse got a lot of attention and didn't embarrass himself, finishing eighth of 18 in his North American debut. Irish-bred globetrotter has an Old World pedigree that says 1 1/2 miles won't be a problem, and de Kock thinks he's doing better than he was during Derby week. Should be battling on when many others are backing up. Wouldn't be the worst stab.

TALE OF VERVE

TALE OF VERVE Trainer: Dallas Stewart Jockey: Gary
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

TALE OF VERVE

Trainer: Dallas Stewart

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Record: 7-1-2-2

Last 3: 2-1-2

Odds: 15-1

Comment: Somebody had to be second in Pharoah's Preakness runaway, and I think 28-1 Tale of Verve did because he disliked the slop less than the other also-rans. Stewart has an amazing record with long-priced second-place finishers in Triple Crown events -- 40-1 Macho Again (2008 Preakness), 34-1 Golden Soul (2013 Derby) and 37-1 Commanding Curve (2014 Derby). This colt likes distance but I don't see him repeating his Preakness run on a dry track. Consider in superfectas, but not a win bet.

MADEFROMLUCKY

MADEFROMLUCKY Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Javier Castellano Record:
Photo Credit: AP / Sue Kawczynski

MADEFROMLUCKY

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Record: 8-3-2-1

Last 3: 1-4-2

Odds: 12-1

Comment: Looked good taking the Peter Pan, as Tonalist did last year, but Madefromlucky didn't beat much in a five-horse field. Runner-up Conquest Curlinate is 1-for-6 lifetime and would have been closer with a better trip. This son of Bob Baffert's 2010 Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky is an in-and-outer whose last workout didn't impress Pletcher. I won't be using him.

FRAMMENTO

FRAMMENTO Trainer: Nick Zito Jockey: Mike Smith Record:
Photo Credit: AP / Arron Haggart

FRAMMENTO

Trainer: Nick Zito

Jockey: Mike Smith

Record: 8-1-1-1

Last 3: 11-4-3

Odds: 30-1

Comment: Zito's horses usually outrun their odds in the Belmont, in which he canceled Triple Crown bids by Smarty Jones (2004) and Big Brown (2008) with 36-1 Birdstone and 38-1 Da' Tara, respectively. Brooklyn Nick also has finished second a record seven times. He often refers to The Man Upstairs, and it may take divine intervention for this colt to run big. He's 0-for-4 this year, beaten a total of 41 3/4 lengths. Can't play him.

AMERICAN PHAROAH

AMERICAN PHAROAH Trainer: Bob Baffert Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Photo Credit: AP / Danny Johnston

AMERICAN PHAROAH

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Record: 7-6-0-0

Last 3: 1-1-1

Odds: 3-5

Comment: Will American Pharoah become the 12th thoroughbred immortal or the 14th Derby-Preakness winner to flame out since Affirmed's 1978 sweep? Yes, he runs effortlessly, is training brilliantly and on paper looks like a sure thing, but none of that guarantees anything. Baffert says he's confident, but as he told HRTV: "The fans in New York, they're thinking this may be the one. How many times have we heard that?" Way too many. It would be fun if we finally saw a happy ending, but something bad always happens. It won't be as easy as the Preakness. He won't be loose on the lead and hes going 1 1/2 miles in his fourth race in eight weeks. Unquestionably the horse to beat, but at odds-on, hard to play. I'd enjoy seeing him win but won't be betting on it.

FROSTED

FROSTED Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin Jockey: Joel Rosario Record:
Photo Credit: AP

FROSTED

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Record: 8-2-4-0

Last 3: 4-1-4

Odds: 5-1

Comment: Ran big for fourth in the Derby but had no chance closing wide from far back into an easy pace. Rosario's rating tactics didnt work, and McLaughlin said he expects to be up closer. Training brilliantly at Belmont, and Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Welsch said Frosted never looked better this spring than in last Friday's workout. Rangy gray is bred to run a long way (by top sire Tapit out of a Deputy Minister mare). He's a major threat if Rosario can work out a trip and Pharoah isn't himself.

KEEN ICE

KEEN ICE Trainer: Dale Romans Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
Photo Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel

KEEN ICE

Trainer: Dale Romans

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Record: 8-1-0-2

Last 3: 7-4-3

Odds: 20-1

Comment: Long-winded grinder lacks quick acceleration, a type that rarely wins the Belmont but often inflates trifecta and superfecta payoffs. Barring a pace meltdown, his ceiling appears to be third, which is where the shrewd Romans' 24-1 Medal Count finished last year. Had a rough trip in the Derby and should be passing tired horses again. Include underneath in any exotics.

MATERIALITY

MATERIALITY Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: John Velazquez Record:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

MATERIALITY

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Record: 4-3-0-0

Last 3: 6-1-1

Odds: 6-1

Comment: Hesitated at the start in the Derby, which wrecked this front-runner's chances and changed the complexion of the race. If Materiality had been up front with Dortmund and Firing Line, the fractions surely would have been faster and would have given come-from-behind horses a chance. Looks like Pletcher's best shot to pull the upset and get his third Belmont trophy. Would be no surprise if he tried to lead throughout, as Pletcher's Commissioner did last year, when Tonalist caught him in the final strides. Can win if Pharoah doesnt fire.

New York Sports

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