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THE RACE $1,500,000 Belmont Stakes Belmont Park Race 11 (Saturday, June 6, 2015: (6:50 p.m./ET; 3:50 p.m./PT) Mile-and-one-half (three-year-olds) A year ago, CALIFORNIA CHROME failed to join an exclusive group of 11 superstars that have won the Triple Crown. This year, AMERICAN PHAROAH gets his chance to earn a spot on that prestigious list. Let’s take a look at him as well as the seven other runners who can spoil ‘PHAROAH’s chances for eternal fame and stardom: #1 MUBTAAHIJ dominated the UAE Derby (G2) in Dubai before coming to America and finishing eighth in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Conditioner Michael de Kock sees fit to keep this son of DUBAWI in the States and run him here. He is bred to run a mile-and-a-half and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who knows Belmont Park’s racetrack (and the American style of race riding) well, hops aboard. Expect an improved effort. #2 TALE OF VERVE made a huge jump in class from maiden special weight company to Grade 1 competition in the Preakness (G1) and came with a strong run down the stretch to finish second behind #1 AMERICAN PHAROAH. He may be a good exotics play at a price, but a victory would be a big surprise. #3 MADEFROMLUCKY showed his affinity for Belmont Park when winning the Peter Pan (G2) last month. Like everyone else in here, he stretches out in distance. The simple question is whether he is good enough. A cut below the best, I think. #4 FRAMMENTO was outrun in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and appears overmatched in this spot. The only positive is that he gets big money rider and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. #5 AMERICAN PHAROAH looks to become the twelfth horse to win the Triple Crown. His race to lose. #6 FROSTED lost a lot of ground but closed very well in the Kentucky Derby (G1) to finish fourth. He won the Wood Memorial (G1) prior to that effort in Louisville and this well bred son of TAPIT has shown he can close into either fast (or slow) early fractions. Will be rolling late. #7 KEEN ICE is a horse that may be better with distance and he stretches out an extra quarter mile in this spot. He got into traffic trouble down the stretch of the Kentucky Derby (G1), but closed well when finally finding room to run in the final sixteenth of a mile. #8 MATERIALITY lost all chance in the Kentucky Derby (G1) when breaking poorly. Even though he was forced to run from off the pace that day, he still came with a big run and passed many horses late. His sire, AFLEET ALEX, won the 2005 Belmont Stakes (G1), so his pedigree suggests he will enjoy the added distance. Should not be taken lightly. SELECTIONS 1. #5 AMERICAN PHAROAH – Talented enough to be the next Triple Crown champion. 2. #8 MATERIALITY - Ran a sneaky good race in the Kentucky Derby (G1). 3. #6 FROSTED - Improving every start. LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #1 MUBTAAHIJ - Will enjoy the distance. WAGERING STRATEGY Even though my top selection is AMERICAN PHAROAH, he’ll go off underlaid in the win pool, so I’ll make two win bets on my second choice and longshot value play, then come back with a saver trifecta with AMERICAN PHAROAH on top and my other three choices boxed underneath. BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget) $20 Win: #1 MUBTAAHIJ $18 Win: #8 MATERIALITY $2 Trifecta: #5 AMERICAN PHAROAH over #8 MATERAILTY and #6 FROSTED and #1 MUBTAAHIJ ($12). (Bankroll at -$1,163.30 after Week One Hundred-and-Thirteen Based on $50 Wagers; +$1.00 last newsletter)