by Real Clear Life/Sports
(with a nod to Woodford Reserve)
May 9, 2018
If you’re planning on betting the Belmont Stakes today, root for Justify and the Triple Crown with your heart, but don’t bet it with your wallet.
At least that was the consensus around the track on Friday, when RealClearLife headed out to to the Hempstead Turnpike with Woodford Reserve, a crew of NYC bartenders and a couple of experienced horseplayers packing laptops, racing programs, and flasks (probably).
Basically, the overall feeling is Justify has a good shot to win, but, if you review the tape from the Derby and the Preakness, he was tired by the end of both. Given that the 1.5-mile Stakes is longer than those races, Justify may struggle to transition from mid-distance to marathon.
So, where exactly did we come by this line of thinking? By keeping our ears open in all ears of the race track during our Friday visit, including:
The Winner’s Circle
The Stewards’ Station
The Video Review Room
The Grandstand Bowels
and The Track Itself
The overall feeling in these areas was, if you aren’t going to throw down on the favorite, you’ll probably be best served betting on Hofburg (9-2), Bravazo (8-1), or Tenfold (12-1). Better yet, pair any of those horses in an Exacto with Justify and box it – allowing either horse to finish in first or second and vice versa – and you’ll be sitting pretty.
Also, all apologies to the New England Patriots tight end, but under no circumstances is it worth throwing some silver, or green, on Gronkowski.
So that’s what all the players behind the scenes at Belmont were saying on Friday, but perhaps their tune will change today if the weather does. Even if it does, this tune is staying the same – and you’ll probably hear it tomorrow.
So bet carefully and if you feel like going against the grain, go with Hofburg, Bravazo or Tenfold. And no Gronkowski.
As promised, here’s a cocktail for Saturday … and one for Sunday as well if you so choose.
And remember, win or lose, all horseplayers die broke.
1.5 oz Woodford Reserve
2 oz Lemonade
1 oz Pomegranate Juice
Shake vigorously with ice and serve in a rocks glass with ice.
1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
2 oz Lemonade
1 oz Cranberry
Serve with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.