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Is an ax the only cure for talking heads?

The Belmont Stakes was another good betting race with the ice cold favorite Ice Box running up the track at $1.85 cents to the dollar. His stablemate, Fly Down, almost got there at 5/1, getting beat by the horse that he beat last time out on this same track, Drosselmeyer.

The last time these two met was in the Grade 2 Dwyer going 1 1/8; in that race Fly Down drew away by six in the stretch with Drosselmeyer a clear second.

So why the turnaround this time around on the same track, albeit at this longer distance? If you talk to Winstar boss Elliot Walden, it was the jockey switch from Kent Desormeaux.

Walden wanted the jockey change as he was not happy with the last three rides by Kent and thought that Mike Smith could get him in a smooth rhythm for this 1 ½ mile race, and he was right as Smith had him running very smooth and calm, just lurking in fifth place for a mile.

He then just let him out a little turning for home and got that one big run he needed to run down Fly Down and a very game First Dude by ¾ of a length with the other Dude, Game On Dude, running a big time fourth after he seemed to be making a winning move down the lane.

Jockey Martin Garcia on Game On Dude just may have moved a tad early but you can’t fault Garcia as his ride was a good one on a track and distance he is not familiar with.

It was an exciting finish and if you look at the chart, the thing that stands out is that the last race that the first and second place finishers ran was here at Belmont and they finished one two in that race.

It is a cardinal rule in horse race betting: if you like one horse you must use any horses exiting the same race.

The exacta for $2 paid a nice $144.50, the trifecta a real nice $766 for $2 but the great payoff was the super that paid $10,658 for $2. If you had a twelve dollar bill you could have boxed five horses in the dime super and collected $532.

There was no Hi Five wagering and the horse that finished fifth, Uptowncharlybrown, was disqualified and placed last for losing the eight pound lead pad on the backstretch; that did not cost the bettors but it did cost the connections a cool $30k.

If you were unlucky enough to not cash a bet on this race but you were truly unlucky if you had to suffer through the coverage. They switched from ESPN to ABC, who has no clue what horseplayers want and probably don’t care. Everything was a human interest story or watching the jocks play ping pong in the jock room or showing the wife of Alan Seewald, the previous trainer of Uptowncharlybrown who died in his sleep of a heart attack.

Now I feel bad for her, but do a special on the trainer if you want, the people who interested in the race want to see the odds, see how the horses look, the track condition, the exotic payoffs, and so on.

At least on ESPN they had some guys with some good insight. I had to move on to my third bottle of Sam Adams summer brew and just as I thought it couldn’t get any worse, the horses were coming onto the track and as I waited for all those hard core New York horse bettors to start singing Frank Sinatra’s, “New York-New York,” some young girl by the name of Jamine something was trying to sing some song by some rap guy J-something or the other by the name of “Empire State of Mind “and that put me in another Sam Adams state of mind.

But the one good thing the network did was switch to a commercial. As bad as things are for New York racing, what the hell was that all about?

If you did not cash on the Triple Crown races, just remember what the Cubbie fans say, “We’ll get’em next year.”

We could have one of the greatest races in years if the great Zenyatta attempts to beat Quality Road in BC Classic – now that race will be one to watch … but not on network TV.


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