HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, June 10, 2023 – Will the winner of today’s Belmont join the other 40 winners that earned entry into the Hall of Fame the champion’s test? Too much? Probably.
What about becoming the 69th three-year-old champion? Pretty fair chance., that. And the 37th Horse of the Year? That depends on who wins the sophomore title, for openers.
Does history ask too much of today’s field? Probably so, but what they are a good colts, with a chance to become even better.
Tapit Trice, National Treasure, Angel of Empire and Forte, already a champion, have had their moments this year, but possibly no bigger moment than at 7:05 pm EDT.
This field has been analyzed to death this week and now it’s time to choose your angles. We’re sticking with out Derby choice, Tapit Trice. We thought in May he was the best of his generation. He didn’t prove it in May, maybe he’s a June horse.
Our reasons? Haven’t seen a horse overcome race dynamics as impressively as this guy—and he did it twice. His penultimate breeze was a thing of beauty, 5 furlongs in 1:00 1/5, galloping out three-quarters in 1:12 2/5, gliding over Big Sandy throughout.
Tapit Trice is handier than many think. Watch the Tampa Derby and note the mid-race move to get within hailing distance. He dropped back on the turn, as he doesn’t run turns particularly well. But Belmont’s turns are so sweeping he shouldn’t be compromised on Long Island.
And, of course, he’s one of four Tapit’s in here, a sire that’s synonymous with the Belmont. Angel of Empire always fires his best shot, the distance is not an issue, and he appears the most dependable competitor in the group.
The 7-day layup and the 12-furlong trip and significant hurdles for the juvenile champion to overcome. The price shots we will use in the verticals and both “other Cox” runners; Hit Show and Tapit Shoes, especially the former.
Arcangelo, is picking up eight pounds and is up in trip but the only other runner boasting a win over today’s surface. The Preakness winner can get a chare of this if Johnny can get National Treasure into a good rhythm. We don’t believe he’s a need the lead type.
Let’s call it: 1. Tapit Trice. 2. Angel of Empire. 3. Hit Show. 4. Tapit Shoes. 5. Arcangelo.
The ABC’s of the Late Pick 4, listed in order of preference:
G1 MET MILE Race 10
A’s: 1-Cody’s Wish (7-5), 6-Zandon (5-1)
B’s: 5-Charge It (6-1), 9-White Abarrio (10-1)
C’s: 3-Dr. Schivel (10-1), 7-Repo Rocks (4-1)
G1 MANHATTAN STAKES Race 11
A’s: 8-Up To The Mark (8-5), 3-Warren Point (5-1)
B’s: 6-Red Knight (8-1)
C’s: Ottoman Fleet (5-2)
GI TEST OF THE CHAMPION Race 12
A’s: 2-Tapit Trice (3-1), 8-Angel of Empire (7-2)
B’s: 7-Hit Show (10-1)
C’s: 3-Arcangelo (8-1), 1-Tapit Shoes (20-1), 4-National Treasure (5-1)
ALLOWANCES Race 13
A’s: 10-Shpilkes (8-1), 12-Excursionniste (12-1)
B’s: 5-Sell Something (8-1), 1-Spirit of St. Louis (5-2)
C’s: 2-Let’s Go Big Blue (4-1), 3-Clear Conscience (5-1)