Out of the finest group of 3 year olds we have seen in a while, American Pharoah is special. Not often do 2year old stars become 3year old stars – they are often caught and surpassed by the “late bloomers”. But American Pharoah – horse of the year at 2 is now on his way to making history and I can’t stop humming “walk like an Egyptian”.
The Projected Belmont field in my order of picks:
1. AMERICAN PHARAOH- He has the most fluid, effortless stride you will ever see-no wasted motion-he floats across the Track. He showed he has heart in the Derby when pressed-he found a way to win. Can he go the distance? I hope so and I am on my way to New York for a chance to see history made. Third race in 5 weeks.
2.MATERIALITY – Strong power horse – had a horrible trip in the Derby and still ended up 6th and closing hard. Bred for distance. Rested
3. FROSTED-Talented horse, 4th in the Derby with a troubled trip. A favorite of mine -very competitive. Rested
4.MUBTAAHIJ-This European import did not fare well in the Derby- his first start in the US. But he is bred for distance and has had a little more time to acclimate, a change in jockeys – Irad Ortiz Jr. who is familiar with the Belmont’s big sweeping track may improve his chances. Rested
5.TALE OF VERVE- He shocked all (except his trainer) with his 2nd place finish in the Preakness. My hat is off to Dallas Steward for believing in his horse and giving him the opportunity to prove himself. Dallas says his horse has needed distance and it will be interesting to see how he does with a 1½ miles. Did not run Derby just Preakness.
6. KEEN ICE- His sire Curlin won the Preakness and was 2nd in the Belmont (one of the best races I have seen – head to head stretch run with filly Rags to Riches), so he is bred for the distance. Rested.
7. MADEFROMLUCKY- Coming off a win in the Peter Pan Stakes-last year Tonalist went from Peter Pan winner to a Belmont winner- it can be done.
8. FRAMMENTO- Improving colt did not show much in his 11th place finish in the Derby, but Trainer Nick Zito has a way of getting long shots in the winners circle at Belmont. Rested.
This field has the making of a great race – my fingers are crossed. GO PHAROAH!