Saturday, June 11 will mark the 91st running of the Jamaica Derby at Caymanas Park (5.20 p.m.) and the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York (5.35 p.m. CDT).
The Belmont
This is the third leg of the U.S. Triple Crown and with Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom having finished second in the Preakness, there will be yet another year without a Triple Crown winner. This should give punters a hint regarding the key to betting on the Belmont which is that the Belmont winner almost never runs his third Triple Crown race there. It pays to be fresh in what for American horse is a marathon 1 ½ miles classic and so the winner is usually one who has skipped one of the first two races.
This immediately eliminates Animal Kingdom despite his progressive profile and the fact that he is still unexposed on dirt and Mucho Macho Man who now has a very exposed look about him after failing to impress in both the Derby and Preakness. He seems a paceless sort who may get a more positive ride from Ramon Dominguez who replaces Rajiv Maragh.
The most likely winner is NEHRO who was victimized by the draw at Churchill Downs and forced to race more prominently than he would like and wide throughout. That was only his 6th lifetime start and he is expected to benefit from a more patient ride this time behind likely pacesetter Shackleford before producing a withering last quarter run to the wire.

Jamaica Derby
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, this year’s Derby has a very open look to it as ante-post favourite Big Man Boyu has serious stamina doubts. The short list contains more certain stayers Caridad, Cold Ground (has a profile similar to 1972 winner Balladier), Erasmo, Jet Setter and Hermoso Amigo.
One at a time:
Caridad – the best stayer in the field who closed the last quarter of the Oaks in 27.4. By comparison, Erasmo’s Governor General’s last quarter (corrected for 57kg) was 29.0 (behind him, Cold Ground closed in 29/1 and Jet Setter in 28/3). But the first mile of the Governor’s Cup was run in a torrid 1:41.1 while the Oaks went in a pedestrian 1:42.4. Caridad will be closing best of all but will have to take a more prominent position than has been the case in her races if she is to defeat the classier contenders
Erasmo – One of the classiest in the line-up. Lots of praise is given to Big Man Boyu for finishing 2nd to foreigner Raise a Ruckus (and rightfully so) but Erasmo’s win over foreigner Ashes to Ashes on February 26 in a very fast time was much more visually pleasing and he is the one sure to relish the underfoot conditions should the track turn up sloppy. He was 7l behind the favourite in the 2,000 Guineas but is taken to outstay him over this 12f trip.
Cold Ground – Improving by leaps and bounds and recorded a cracking 6f gallop at exercise on Monday. He was forced very wide in the Governor’s Cup and, with Dane Nelson taking over for Paul Francis, will get a safer trip. This is a classic winner in the making with the profile of late blooming Derby winners like Balladier (1972); D’s A Legend (1985) and Dorval (1995). A massively dangerous contender
Jet Setter – A revelation since trying two turns and was staying on best of all in the Governor’s Cup. The eye-catching jockey switch from apprentice Richie Mairs to a super confident Shane Ellis is likely to unlock even more from the tank and he has a 4l win over Big Man Boyu on his resume. Another with a huge chance.
Hermoso Amigo – Got it all wrong on a wet track on Governor’s Cup Day and will be missing again if the track is sloppy tomorrow. However, on a sound surface, he will be making a bold bid from the front although the likes of Sweet Trail and Luscious will make life hard for him from a wide draw. Reluctantly swerved at this stage due to the volatile weather.

The three to concentrate on are Caridad, COLD GROUND and Jet Setter and, COLD GROUND is taken to show the necessary improvement and assured stamina to win the blue riband. Caridad is the biggest danger. Jet Setter and Erasmo are also expected to figure in the closest finish to a Derby since Lucky Ole Sun won in a blanket finish in 1979.
Punters looking for a good old fashioned gamble can take a plunge on the ENGLISH RACING BET OF THE DAY which is DESERT LAW (York, 3.15; Race 12 # 7 on the UBA Programme) who is sure to turn the tables on recent conqueror Majestic Myles before going on to bigger and better things.
Get in early and often!!
Good Luck!



  1. Roger Says:

    I see the beast is the house, both horses are coming from the 6th hole.

    locally, maybe I say so that your Derby pick is not too far of the Mark and as my amigo a 3 horse exacta box should have you drinking Hermoso’s!!


  2. roger malek Says:

    Master of the Hounds for the Belmont Stakes!

    Good Luck,


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