The Jim Dandy headlines a dandy of a card…
There can be no doubt that Tacitus ran the biggest figure when 2nd in the Belmont. No handicapper I have head did not think he was several lengths the best, but non-the-less he was beaten to the wire by Sir Winston. This reminds us all, the best horse doesn’t always win – and must always keep that in mind. For those of you who are new to our great game, there is a thing called “track bias”, it happens for different reasons, but to make my comments simple and direct… the RAIL on Belmont Day was faster than the running lines away from the rail. So horses who ran on the Rail, would beat horses that were not running on the rail, if all things were relatively. Sometimes the bias is surprisingly strong. And in that case, the horses on the rail will almost always beat the horses to the outside… almost no matter what. Tacitus was one of 2 horses that made up ground in the stretch from a very wide trip. Horses removed from the rail, just one path, didn’t fair well either – interstingly enough, but there were 2 horses who had that trip on Belmont day… TAX and MITOLE.
This becomes important, because Tacitus, Tax, War of Will and Mitole and Firenze Fire all had their last race on Belmont Day (June 8) and all had various trips while none raced on the favorable rail. Mitole and Tax were both pace factors and one off the rail, both ran their number and are easily readable. Firenze Fire had a more difficult trip than Mitole, coming out of the same race, but Mitole’s trip was not easy or helped by the bias! Tax and War of Will and Tacitus are a difficult comparison, but there is no doubt the Tacitus lost the most ground and took the worst of it for the entire 1 1/2 mile trip. Keep this in mind when comparing Tacitus and Tax – as they have faced off a number times now – Tacitus is much better suited by going beyond 1 1/4 mile, while TAX is clearly stretched beyond 1 1/4. In fact, I would call out trainer Danny Gargan fro having run him in the Belmont – at a totally unsuitable distance – but that is just my opinion.
War of Will, was obviously a bit out of sorts in The Belmont, so I am inclined to toss that race – it wasn’t good enough to evaluate as a positive – again that’s just my opinion. When looking at War of Will, I still think he is superior on the Turf and if they ever are wise enough to give up this journey on the dirt and move this fabulous runner back to the TURF – I think they may well have a champion. But he is never my fav on the DIRT.
Here is my recommendation, get your JJPPs and take a big shot at Saratoga tomorrow. Keep in mind we have 5 noted Pop Out Key’s in the Saratoga 12 race card for Saturday.
(Del Mar is very playable as well!)
Saratoga – Power Page Classic and Power Page PLUS
Del Mar – Power Page Classic and Power Page PLUS