2012 Belmont Stakes Predictions
ELMONT, NY (The Spread) – With I’ll Have Another scratched from Saturday’s race, which contender will emerge victorious in the 2012 Belmont Stakes?
Trainer Doug O’Neill announced on Friday morning that Triple Crown contender I’ll Have Another wouldn’t race today at Belmont Park due to a leg injury. In fact, I’ll Have Another’s racing career is over after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He becomes the first contender in the history of horse racing not to run in the Belmont with the Triple Crown on the line.
So which contender will come out on top today? Below are our predictions for the 2012 Belmont Stakes.
WIN: Dullahan (9/5)
Yes, Dullahan is the favorite now that I’ll Have Another has been scratched. But know that we actually predicted Dullahan to win the Kentucky Derby (he finished third) so we were high on him even before I’ll Have Another was scratched. Granted, Dullahan isn’t the value at 9/5 that he was when he was 8/1 to win the Derby. But he’s only finished outside the money twice in his nine-race career and he’s run well against graded stakes. He won the Grade I Blue Grass on April 14, as well as the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity on October 8 of last year. Assuming he doesn’t get into trouble early on, it’s almost a given that he’ll challenge for the lead at some point, it’s just a matter if he can finish strong.
PLACE: Union Rags (11/5)
Union Rags failed to impress at the Kentucky Derby (he finished seventh) but he was an early favorite to win at Churchill Downs. Thus, look for him to challenge for one of the money spots, if not the top spot at Belmont Park today. Before finishing seventh in the Derby, he won the Grade II Fountain of Youth on February 26 and finished a respectable third at the Grade I Florida Derby. He also won the Grade I Champagne back in October of last year, as well as the Grade II Saratoga Special on August 15. Look for Union Rags to challenge for one of the top three spots today.
SHOW: Unstoppable U (21/1)
Consider this as our long-shot sleeper of the day. Unstoppable U has only raced twice in his career but he won both outings, placing first in a Maiden Special Weight in March and first in an Allowance on April 27. Ken McPeek is Unstoppable U’s trainer, which carries some meaning around Belmont Park. Sarava pulled off the biggest upset in the history of the Belmont back in 2002, ending War Emblem’s Triple Crown bid in the process. Sarava was a 70/1 long shot and was trained by McPeek, who will now look to pull off a smaller upset today with Unstoppable U.