Jun 072019
 

New York (NY) Saturday, June 8, 2019 — 3:50PM EST | Race ID : 2119767
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           E R C BELMONT DERBY

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Stakes – Sponsored – Purse : $100,000  -  3 Year Olds  -  Owner Restricted
12 Furlongs | ~2400 Meters | One Mile and a Half                           Fast Dirt
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Belmont_Secretariat

 

 

 

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From the environs of the city that never sleeps,  New York,  NY,  the Elite Racing Club presents its version of the “test of champions”,   the ERC Belmont Derby.  Run at the same distance and under the same conditions of its fabled namesake,  a full field of fourteen club runners,  including three upset minded fillies,  will battle it out for the winner’s share of the $100,000 purse up for grabs.  The main track at Belmont Park (aka Big Sandy) should be fast for the race,  as fine weather is forecast through the weekend.
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Some wikitrivia: “Belmont Park opened 114 years ago on May 4, 1905;  it is operated by the non-profit New York Racing Association, as are Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course.  It is widely-known as the home of the Belmont Stakes in early June,  regarded as the “Test of the Champion”,  the third leg of the Triple Crown.  The Belmont Stakes was named after financier and sportsman August Belmont Sr., who helped fund the race, and most sources say the racetrack itself was also named for him. Other sources say Belmont Park was named in honor of his son—August Belmont Jr., a key member of the Westchester Racing Association, which established the racecourse.
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The race was first run in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack in the Bronx. In 1937;  the wrought iron gates that bore an illustration of that first Belmont Stakes were donated to the track by August Belmont II’s sole surviving son, Perry Belmont. The gates are now on the fourth floor of Belmont Park’s clubhouse.  Secretariat’s finishing time in his 1973 Belmont victory (2 minutes, 24 seconds) set a world record for 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) on dirt, a world record which still stands. The 31-length victory clinched the first Triple Crown in 25 years, dating back to Citation in 1948. A statue of Secretariat is in the center of the Belmont paddock.
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Another Belmont Stakes achievement is recognized by the “Woody’s Corner” display in the first-floor clubhouse lobby, commemorating the five consecutive Belmont Stakes winners trained by Woody Stephens from 1982 to 1986.  Other memorable performances in Belmont Park history include the opening of the track in 1905 with the famous dead heat between Sysonby and Race King in the Met Cap. In 1923, Belmont Park was host to an international duel between the American and English champions: Zev, winner of the Kentucky Derby, against Papyrus, winner of The Derby. Zev won by five lengths in front of the biggest crowd for a match race in a hundred years.  Belmont Park was the site of the tragedy-marred victory of Foolish Pleasure over champion filly Ruffian in a 1975 match race.  Ruffian broke down during the race and had to be euthanized; she is buried near the finish line in the infield at Belmont Park, her nose pointed towards the finish pole.”
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Back to the race – our fifth !  The inaugural ERC Belmont in 2015 was taken by filly A SPIN IN PARADISE out of the jbcri09 operation, followed by harrylan’s INDY CANDY in 2016.   There is no Triple Crown on the line this year as there was back in 2017,  when dontbetonme’s ROBERTO CAERLEON came into this event looking to complete the feat – but was upset by PAJ,  trained by yours truly.  Dontbetonme got his ERC Belmont win last year with his filly SERVICE HISTORY,  and has a strong hand in this year’s rendition with two of the top three entry points rated runners DOG IRON RANCH and KRIS S. KAMEHAMEHA ,  who just so happens to be one of the three co-favorites at 5/1 on the morning line.  Though this year’s ERC Kentucky Derby and ERC Preakness winners are passing,  probably with eyes on bigger and better things,  their trainers are here – summerset is sending out one of the other co-co-favorites,  late running CHANGING CURRENTS,  while jbcri09 saddles a pair,  IT IS PARTY TIME and rabbit filly CAPITALS GAINED.  Reigning club champion harrylan has entered a pair of lightly raced colts,  IMAGINING LIFE and WELL OKAY,  both with breeding that suggests they may like the trip.  Amir1605 has a pair of colts switching back to dirt racing,  DRAGON CLAWS for the first time,  while our third co-co-favorite THE SCARY ONE returns after some success on the weeds.  Larrcamp has the ERC Ky Derby runnerup JEFF BRIDGES here,  rested up after passing the ERC Preakness.  Dunnvilledowns has a pair of fillies carrying the stable standard,  CHAMDOEN KWIN who was 4th in the ERC Ky Derby,  and overmatched BLAME GRAYDAR,  making her stakes debut.  Jb3commish has speedy TAKE ACTION NOW going to the post,  and newfydowns rounds out the entries with KYMARC HAWKS,  making his 2nd dirt effort.
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This is probably the only time these athletes wil go this far on dirt,  so lots of unknowns in this event.  Looks like we’ve got the makings for an entertaining race.  Let’s take a closer look at them in post position order and see what the past performances may reveal.
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CAPITALS GAINED                                 JPN     3F     jbcri32             K Proehl         15/1
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Leading them out on to the track is this fleet filly,  who won first off the claim in a NW1x allowance at 8.25 furlongs,  crashing an 89 SP# in a wire to wire score for her 5th straight win.  Blushing brown filly won her 4th straight when claimed,  that being a $15,000 claimer at 8.25 panels,  catching an 88 SP# in a stalking trip.  Admire Moon actress,  out of the stakes winning sim mare Tax Deductable (by Vindication) wired a $35,000 claimer at 7 furlongs in prior try,  casting an 83 SP#.  Should be in front as far as she goes,  stable mate will be hoping to pick up the pieces down the lane for the jbcro09 racing group,  who had no comment on his charges’ chances.
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KYMARC HAWKS                                      IN     3G     grandriverdowns     N Ambrose          15/1
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Light grey gelding steps up to stakes company for the first time,  after an even 8th in a NW2L allowance at 9 furlongs,  drawing a 90 SP# in his first dirt try.  Lentenor lad,  out of the sim mare Montana Rose (by Vindication),  ran on well for 3rd in his previous start in the same condition at a mile on the weeds,  drilling a 93 SP# showing some late foot.  One back of that he was a well beaten 8th in the same condition at a mile and an eighth,  dropping an 83 SP# with no excuse.  Said dunnvilledowns about his runner – “I am a big fan of KYMAR bred horses in the game and try to pick up any good ones I see at auction.  KYMARC HAWKS is a recent addition … and I decided to give him a go here at the Belmont.  Hoping he will find his speed here and maybe will show me something for future starts.”  Will need to step up his game to outrun his 15/1 morning line odds.
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DOG IRON RANCH                                   OK     3M     dontbetonme5     T Ace              9/1
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The speedy half of the dontbetonme entry has taken to the dirt as a three year old;  since the switch he’s 4-3-1-0,  the latest a game 2nd in the Fusaichi Flyer listed stakes at three quarters of a mile,  sizzling a 98 SP# in a stealthy stalking trip.  Burly bay colt won at 8.25 furlongs in a NW4x allowance in his prior try,  stabbing a 90 SP# in a four horse affair.  Dramedy dude,  out of the stakes placed sim mare Vegas Is Back (by Encosta De Lago) took an open allowance sprint at 5.5 panels in his previous start,  sticking an 86 SP# in a pace pressing performance.  Should be prominent early to help set up his late running stable mate;  pedigree doesn’t suggest he’ll like this trip,  though the handicapper gives him a shot at 9/1.
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IMAGINING LIFE                                      MD     3M     harrylanlow26         F Gossett         10/1
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Imagining imp,  out of the sim mare Street Life (by Street Cry) stormed down the stretch in latest to win another residency’s Preakness event in the slop,  smacking a 100 SP# from way back in the pack.  Bucking brown colt broke his maiden one back of that at 9 furlongs,  stashing a 92 SP# employing the same late move.  In his previous try he ran out of track when 3rd in an open maiden at 8.5 panels,  sticking an 84 SP# closing from tenth of eleven.  Deep closer has improved as the distances have gotten longer;  the mile and a half should not be an obstacle,  but the inexperience could be.  Here’s harrylan’s take: “Imagining Life is a Maryland bred who is pretty good and might be able to tolerate the 12 furlongs.”
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DRAGON CLAWS                                        ENG     3M     amir1639         W Sturman         31/1
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Boisterous bay colt exits a dull 11th place finish in a NW3L allowance at 9 furlongs on grass,  lucking into a 91 SP# in his 2019 debut.  Sea The Moon sir,  out of the sim mare Nureyeva (by Pour Moi),  won his 2018 finale in a local bred allowance at 8.5 panels on the poly track,  lashing an 82 SP# with a last to first move.  One before that he got his first win in an open maiden at 8.5 furlongs,  landing a 79 SP# with a big late run down the lane.  Weaker half of the amir1605 entry tries stakes company for the first time,  and tries the dirt for the first time;  the handicapper is unimpressed,  holding him as a 31/1 rank outsider.
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IT IS PARTY TIME                                   SKOR     3M     jbcri51             L Radzinski         12/1
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The stretch running half of the jbcri09 entry is this boisterous bay colt,  who comes in off a fast closing 2nd in a local bred allowance at 8.5 furlongs,  zapping a 101 SP# from way back in the pack.  Scratch bred Rock Hard Ten roller (by Mt Livermore) showed some late interest in prior run in a NW2L allowance at 9.5 panels,  zinging a 90 SP#.  One back of that he came on late for a distant 3rd in a local bred allowance at a mile and an eighth,  zipping an 89 SP#.  Deep closer looks like he’ll appreciate the extra distance here in his iniyial stakes outing;  trainer jbcri09 was keeping his thoughts to himself as he only offered “good luck everybody” when asked for comment.
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 JEFF BRIDGES                                            KY     3M     larrcamp4         D Givins         7/1
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The ERC Kentucky Derby runnerup skipped the ERC Preakness for this spot.  Rugged roan colt came out of the Derby in good order after flinging a 93 SP# in a late running performance.  Scratch bred Tonalist toughie (by Giant’s Causeway) tuned up for the Derby with a win in a NW2L allowance at 9 furlongs,  flashing a 92 SP# with a  nice stretch run.  One before that he tired to 3rd after uncharacteristically setting the early fractions in the same condition at 9.5 panels,  flipping a 95 SP# in a five horse affair.  Sire was a Belmont Stakes winner,  this one should be in the hunt as they come down the home straight.  Owner/trainer larrcamp was unavailable for comment as we went to press.
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THE SCARY ONE                                        CA     3M     amir1628         J Mannion         5/1
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Co-co-favorite at 5/1 on the morning line is this big bay colt,  who returns to dirt racing after running off with the Gaelic Mystique listed stakes at a mile on the weeds,  whacking a 103 SP# in a stalking trip.  Tamarando tabby,  out of the sim mare I Just Like You (by Camelot),  was 2nd best one back of that in the Leon Del Deserto listed at 6.5 panels,  working out a 91 SP# from just off the early leader.  One before thyat he was also 2nd in the Legendary Lemon listed at seven eighths of a mile,  wrangling a 96 SP# from the back of the pack.  Dirt form was OK as a two year old,  will try to get the jump on the deep closers.  Owner/trainer amir1605 reports: “I have been quite away from competition and just throwing two runners in.  Taking a gamble in some sense.”
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BLAME GRAYDAR                                    KY     3F     ohcanada         R Case             51/1
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The rank outsider at 51/1 odds is this Graydar gal out of the sim mare Its All Your Fault (by Mission Impazible),  who exits a late running 2nd in a NW2L allowance at 6.5 furlongs,  nailing an 83 SP#.  Light grey filly was 3rd in her previous start in a NW1x allowance at 6.5 panels,  notching a 78 SP# from just off the pace.  One back of that she tired to 5th in a NW2L allowance at 8.5 furlongs,  nabbing a 77 SP#.  Stretches way out in this heat,  can’t see her keeping up when the real running starts.  Opined trainer newfydowns: ” BLAME GRAYDAR has never gone more than eight and a half furlongs but her pedigree has me hoping that she can handle this distance and might be a nice surprise. Hopefully she will compete and be in the mix down the home stretch. “
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TAKE ACTION NOW                               FR     3M     jb3football         G Owans          19/1
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Owner/trainer jb3commish saddles this burly bay colt off a solid 2nd in a NW2L allowance at 7.5 furlongs,  drilling a 96 SP# after making all the early fractions.  Soldier Of Fortune stepper,  out of the sim mare Gernikas (by  Falbrav),  faltered badly when a distant 7th in prior try in the same condition at a mile and an eighth,  dropping an 82 SP# after setting the early pace.  One before that he tired to 6th in the same condition at 6.4 panels,  drawing an 81 SP# after an early pace duel.  Looks like he’ll be in the mix early,  but unlikely to hang around late.  Said jb3commish: “He was a gift horse I got from spinny (spinround) right after I joined last year. Has been moving up the speed chart slowly. Won first outing this year to break maiden but has taken a step backwards in last 2. Has never covered this distance so a prayer to the SIM gods may be my only hope.”
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CHANGING CURRENTS                      KSA     3M     razer8             S Israel             5/1
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Summerset seeks his second ERC classic this spring,  preferring this improving colt to his ERC Ky Derby champion.  Harlington hopper,  out of the stakes placed sim mare Echo Andante (by Rock Hard Ten) exits an even 3rd in a NW3L allowance at a mile and a quarter,  blasting a 102 SP# behind a runaway winner.  Brash brown colt won a NW2L allowance at 9.5 furlongs one back of that,  busting a 102 SP# from the back of the pack.  One before that he was 2nd best in the same condition at 9 panels,  bagging a 94 SP# with a nice stretch run.  Appears that the distance should not be a problem,  could live up to his co-co-favorite role in his stakes debut and first start outside California.
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KRIS S. KAMEHAMEHA                    JPN     3M     dontbetonme15     K Ledwith         5/1
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Scratch bred King Kamehameha kutup (by Danehill) is the only graded winner (G3 on grass) in the field,  but makes just his 2nd try on dirt.  Bruising bay colt comes off an even 5th in the G3 The Crown Roys at 8.5 furlongs on the weeds,  copping a 101 SP#.  In his prioir outing he won an open allowance at 7.5 panels,  cashing a 100 SP# from the back of the back.  He won his only dirt try one before that in a local bred allowance at three quarters of a mile,  casting an 84 SP# after a race long pace duel.  The stronger half of the dontbetonme entry has been keeping better company,  should like the trip as the co-co-favorite.  Donbetonme was keeping his card close to the vest,  as he had “no comment” for this article about either of his entrants – NEVER underestimate this barn’s placement strategies.
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CHAMDOEN KWIN                                  SKOR     3F     dunnvilledowns     E Seifert         16/1
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Beautiful brown filly went from last of fourteen to finishing 4th in the ERC Kentucky Derby at ten furlongs last out,  garnering a 90 SP# with an impressive stretch run.  Take Charge Indy tapper,  out of the sim mare Deceitful Queen (by Pioneerof The Nile) got up for 2nd one back of that in an open allowance at 8.25 panels against her own kind,  grabbing a 91 SP#.  In her previous engagement she was a non-threatening 3rd in a NW4L allowance at 9 furlongs in the slop,  getting an 85 SP#.  Deep closer likely will find this trip to her liking;  faces the boys yet again,  can outrun her 16/1 odds on top try.  Dunnvilledowns on his chances: “CHAMDOEN KWIN had a nice run in the ERC Derby with a 4th place finish so I thought I would bring her back and see how she responds to the extra distance. Her dam Deceitful Queen had some success at this length having finished on the board in three of six starts so I am hopeful that I might see a good result.”
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WELL  OKAY                                                 KY     3M     harrylan15         W Kewmwa         7/1
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Our final contestant is this improving roan rascal,  who comes off an OK 5th in his first NW2L allowance try at a mile and an eighth,  hammering a 100 SP# in his second 2019 outing.  He broke his maiden one before that at a mile,  hustling to a 96 SP# in a stalking trip.  He concluded his brief 2018 campaign with a just miss 2nd in an open maiden at 7.5 panels,  hanging an 86 SP# off a  nice late run.  Lightly raced runner makes his stakes debut,  handicapper likes his chances at 7/1 on the opening tote board.  Says owner/trainer harrylan: ” Well Okay looks to be pretty good but I’m not sure if he wants to take part in this event. Thanks ric for your continuing coverage of ERC events!”  You are welcome,  harry !
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Good luck everybody,  and may they all come home fast,  safe and sound

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  13 Responses to “Fourteen sophomores face off in the ERC Belmont Derby”

  1. Congrats harrylan…1st and 3rd awesome!!!

    My filly made her big move but maybe too late. Pleased with another 4th from her.

  2. good luck everybody

    Great read as always Ric

  3. Good luck everybody. Ric, I appologize for not getting back to you in time for a comment, my new job is trying to kill me, lol.

  4. Good luck everyone!!

  5. Thanks Ric……passwords for future races will be available next week.

  6. Good luck everyone! Sorry about forgetting to comment on my horse. All I can say is” hoping for the best”

  7. Ric, thanks again for your thorough and entertaining coverage of these races. Good luck guys!

  8. Thanks for another great write Ric!!! Good luck to all!!