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McNamara: Horse-by-horse Belmont analysis

1 DAVE IN DIXIE

20-1

Trainer: John Sadler

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Only win in five starts was at 6 furlongs, and he lost by 16 lengths in only dirt race, the very weak Illinois Derby. Lacks early speed, another problem in what looks like a relatively paceless Belmont.

2 SPANGLED STAR

30-1

Trainer:Rick Dutrow

Jockey:Garrett Gomez

Miracle worker Dutrow is only reason to give 1-for-8 colt a second look. Needed six starts to break his maiden, and speed numbers are poor. Can't recommend.

3 UPTOWNCHARLYBROWN

10-1

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey:Rajiv MaraghHas plenty of upside after only five starts, all since Dec. 26. Bad trip might have cost him Lexington win and a trip to the Derby. Never ran a bad one, and first-time McLaughlin is a strong angle. 4 MAKE MUSIC FOR ME

10-1

Trainer:Alexis Barba

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Has never run on a fast dirt track, and 1-for-9 (0-for-6 in stakes). Outran 30-1 odds when fourth in Derby, making up 23 lengths after early trouble. Still a mystery horse, and might be a closing sprinter/miler.

5 FLY DOWN

9-2

Trainer:Nick Zito

Jockey:John Velazquez

Blew open Dwyer with quick, four-wide rally on the far turn, the type of move that wins Belmonts. Only one in field who's won over the track; looks like a serious player who could give Zito his third Belmont trophy.

6 ICE BOX

3-1

Trainer:Nick Zito

Jockey:Jose Lezcano

Will be overbet off bad-trip, fast-closing second in Derby. Deep closers don't win many Belmonts, and moderate pace shouldn't help him. Use in exotics, because at worst he should be passing tired rivals late.7 DROSSELMEYER

12-1

Trainer: Bill Mott

Jockey: Mike Smith

Disappointed in three stakes since promising 2010 debut. Broke slowly and was blocked when second at 3-5 to Fly Down in Dwyer. Needs a career best, but could jump up and run big at nice price.

8 GAME ON DUDE

10-1

Trainer: Bob BaffertJockey:Martin GarciaQuick enough to affect the pace dynamic, and Baffert-Garcia combination has been deadly. Didn't beat much in Lone Star Derby, and figures aren't impressive. Could be an early factor and fade.

9 STATELY VICTOR

15-1

Trainer:Michael MakerJockey:Alan GarciaDidn't embarrass himself when eighth in Derby after 40-1 breakthrough win in Blue Grass. Great distance bloodlines (by Ghostzapper out of a Dynaformer mare), and training well for sharp Maker. Not impossible.

10 STAY PUT

20-1

Trainer:Steve MargolisJockey:Jamie TheriotLost both stakes tries, and two of three wins were in slop. Has good closing numbers but very slow early and never been a factor in top company.11 FIRST DUDE

7-2

Trainer: Dale Romans

Jockey: Ramon Dominguez

Led into the stretch, hung tough for second in Preakness; probably will set pace again. Pedigree says he'll handle marathon better than rivals, although he's lost ground late in his last four. If fractions are soft, he might be hard to catch.

12 INTERACTIF

12-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Has done his best work on turf, winning two grass stakes last year. He's 1-for-2 on conventional dirt but hasn't been on it since last July. Winless beyond 1 1/16 miles on yielding turf, so stamina also is an unknown.

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