Nest Hatches New Plot to Steal Belmont For the Girls

Although no official decision has been made yet regarding Nest’s status in the Belmont Stakes, all signs appear to suggest she will join stablemate Mo Donegal in an attempt to accomplish something even Rags to Riches didn’t do, which is to defeat the Kentucky Derby winner in the Test of the Champions. ~ Steve Haskin

Nest Hatches New Plot to Steal Belmont For the Girls

By Steve Haskin

Photo courtesy of Ryan Coady


It was 15 years ago when Rags to Riches became the first filly in 102 years to win the Belmont Stakes and only the third in the history of the race. Could Nest duplicate that feat if her connections decide to run? Obviously we don’t know how she stacks up against these colts, but we do know the remarkable similarities between her and Rags to Riches, and the ironic fact that Nest is a daughter of Curlin, who was beaten a head by Rags to Riches in the Belmont.

Nest’s sire, Curlin, is out of a Deputy Minister mare.
Rags to Riches is out of a Deputy Minister mare.

Nest has Triple Crown winners Secretariat and Seattle Slew in her 3rd and 4th generation.
Rags to Riches has Triple Crown winners Secretariat and Seattle Slew in her 2nd and 3rd generation.

Nest is out of an A.P. Indy mare.
Rags to Riches is by A.P. Indy.

Nest’s female family is from the Bold Ruler line through his son Boldnesian.
Rags to Riches’ male family is from the Bold Ruler line through his son Boldnesian.

Nest’s tail-female family traces to Alibhai though Your Hostess, granddam of Majestic Prince, winner of the first two legs of the Triple Crown.
Rags to Riches’ tail-female family traces to Alibhai through Traffic Judge, winner of the first two legs of the Handicap Triple Crown.

Nest would go into the Belmont Stakes off four career victories.
Rags to Riches went into the Belmont Stakes off four career victories.

Nest is coming into the race off the Kentucky Oaks, in which she ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49 4/5.
Rags to Riches came into the race off the Kentucky Oaks, in which she ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49 4/5.

Nest’s Dosage Index is 3.00.
Rags to Riches’ Dosage Index is 3.00.

Nest won the Ashland Stakes before running in the Kentucky Oaks.
Rags to Riches’ second dam Blush With Pride won the Ashland Stakes before running in the Kentucky Oaks.

And of course, Nest is trained by Todd Pletcher.
Rags to Riches was trained by Todd Pletcher.

As for Nest’s stamina credentials, three of her four great-grandsires sired a Belmont Stakes winner and the other sired a Kentucky Derby winner. Her sire and broodmare sire both won the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Three of the last five fillies to run in the Belmont Stakes have finished first (Rags to Riches), second (Genuine Risk), and third (My Flag). Many believe Genuine Risk would have won had she not been stuck down on the rail in the mud most of the race and between horses with nowhere to go and forced to make an early move.

Looking at her second-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks, she broke a bit flat-footed and fell back before getting to the rail and making an early move down the backstretch from eighth, about eight lengths off the pace, to third, two lengths back. But the two leaders were directly in front of her and Irad Ortiz had to sit and wait while Secret Oath made a sweeping move to take the lead and open up by two lengths. When Nest finally swung wide, losing ground, and got clear, Secret Oath was still clear and in complete control. Nest continued to close well and seemed to be getting stronger the farther she went.

So, will Nest give it a go? Can she beat these colts and join Rags to Riches in the history books? Stay tuned.


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142 Responses to “Nest Hatches New Plot to Steal Belmont For the Girls”

  1. SoloSolo says:

    Nest was gallant and courageous, never gave up. She stumbled, got stuck behind horses a bit—- might she have won? Did she not get as good a trip as Mo? I choose to think so, from my heart if not my head. What a filly!

    • William Witt says:

      Another mitigating factor for Nest besides the stumble at the start occurred in the stretch when Ortiz flanked to his outside by his brother and Mo Donegal and running up on the leaders, We the People and SLS, had to wait for Irad to make his move at the leaders before he could pull the filly out and around that duo and set her down for the finish. Hemmed in, Jose lost momentum and a number of lengths because he could not move in tandem with Irad at the leaders. Up until that point the brothers had been running nearly side by side down the backstretch. If they could have passed the leaders in tandem, it could likely have been a head bobbing finish and the filly might have prevailed although I’d have felt better about her chances if she was outside the eventual winner as Rags to Riches was in her victory over Curlin as the race riding Johnny V pinned the favored colt closely against the rail.

  2. William Witt says:

    Close, Steve, but no cigar. Like to see what would have happened if – deja vu – Nest had not stumbled at the start like Pletcher’s last filly entrant in the Belmont. However, if she won it, beating the favorite as Rags to Riches did Curlin there would have been no losing trainer of the favored colt saying to all within hearing “I can’t believe she beat him” with Pletcher this go around training both the filly and the favored colt.

  3. Lynda King says:

    Ethereal Road will miss the Belmont due to a quarter crack. There’s 8 contenders as of right now. Howling Time is also skipping the Belmont

  4. TommyMc says:

    The Belmont post position draw is at 11am on Tuesday morning. Nine “definites” and Howling Time is still a “maybe”.

    • TommyMc says:

      Monday morning news: Ethereal Road and Howling Time are both out of the Belmont. Ethereal Road with a quarter crack and
      Howling Time being redirected to the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs. I think that The Belmont could be down to only 8 starters. We’ll find out by noon.

  5. TommyMc says:

    I was looking at the possibles/probables for next Saturday’s races at Belmont. In the G2 Brooklyn at a mile and a half on the dirt, Marathon Ace Lone Rock may faceoff against Max Player, Warrant, and Fearless among others. Interesting. A specialist against better horses, but, at shorter distances.

    • TommyMc says:

      Jackie’s Warrior is listed at a “probable” for Friday’s True North at 6 1/2 Furlongs and as a “possible” for Saturday’s Met Mile. I mean no offense when I say that “Jackie” better run on Friday. But, I’d be telling a fib if I said that I wasn’t hoping to see him run in The Met Mile. The more Stars, the merrier IMO.

      • TommyMc says:

        Speaking of The Met Mile, one of the more improbable winners of that race(IMO) was Mor Spirit in 2017 when he ran an “off the charts” race. I thought that I had Mor Spirit correctly pegged as a “plodder”. I still don’t know where that race came from. I’ll mention that Sharp Azteca ran 2nd that day and leave it at that.
        Mor Spirit followed up that “mind-blowing” Met Mile win by running up the track as the favorite in The Breeders Cup Dirt Mile at
        Del Mar in the Fall of 2017. I’ll remind people that Battle of Midway beat Sharp Azteca that day and again leave it at that.

        • Matthew W says:

          I, too thought Mor Spirit was a plodder….
          I, too was surprised in his 7 length win….Belmont…like the 9 furlong Hollywood Park dirt course was conducive to huge win margins….I’m hearing 4, maybe 5 entrants. ..headed by Speaker Corner and The Freak..

          • TommyMc says:

            We could see something very “special”.

          • Davids says:

            The worry for Flightline is his flight to New York not the Met Mile. Should that go well, it’s a bet on how far.

            • Matthew W says:

              An old clicker friend who does a lot more than clock, these days.. told me this AM he’s working lights out!..

              • Matthew W says:


              • Davids says:

                Yes, I saw the workout times, read where John Sadler sounded extremely confident and that the longer the better. The hardest part must be to restrain the desire of Flightline to fly. Awe inspiring performances.

                • Matthew W says:

                  I was right there at top of stretch, Baby Yoda had been tucked inside and his rider was patient, he swings him off rail and has dead aim, but Flightline just spurted clear IMPRESSIVELY—

  6. Lynda King says:

    Vadeni, ridden by Christophe Soumillion has won the French Derby. Owned and bred by the Aga Kahn, the 3 year old colt is by Churchill out of Vaderana.
    Worth mentioning I think that Churchill is by Galileo out of Storm Cat daughter, Meow and Vaderana’s great grand dam was by Gone West.
    I continue to be amazed by the influence Secretariat has to this day (through his daughters) on both dirt and turf both here in the United States and abroad.

    • Davids says:

      Vadeni wins the Prix du Jockey Club and is now just behind Desert Crown, Emily Upjohn for the Arc but do not dismiss Al Hakeem he was flashing home late after having a difficult post. There’s quite a lot of racing before October to contemplate.

      • Lynda King says:

        LOL, I will never live long enough to get my head around all these International races though I am reasonably versed on Aiden’s horses.

        • Davids says:

          Lynda, just search for Group Races on Wikipedia. Then down the bottom of the page they have links to all the various countries. Flat and jumps races. You can just print out the lists and go through the Group 1s down. Soon you’ll know the preps for the Group 1s the world over.

  7. Nelson Maan says:

    Favored Desert Crown (Nathaniel) won the Epsom Derby comfortably remaining undefeated in 3 starts.

    Nods to Davids who commented on Sir Michael Stout being bound to win his sixth Derby with Desert Crown twelve years after his last with Workforce.

    75-to-1 longshot Hoo Ya Mal (Territories) took second with Judmonte’s Westover (Frankel) in third after losing momentum coming down the hill. His Jockey was visible disillusioned by the hiccup of a “gap closing before he could get in”.

    A son of KY Jockey Club and Gotham winner, El Kabeir, named Masekele grabbed fourth place at odds of 79 to 1.

    The second favourite Stone Age had a beautiful trip but could not sustain his run late weakening to finish 6th. The son of Galileo was visibly affected by the heat…

    Amazing how the $1-Tri paid $5,120 with the odds-on favorite winning the Epsom Derby (In Memory Of Lester Piggott).

    That is the beauty of first-class races: quality breeds not only thrilling spectacles but also good payouts…!

    • Davids says:

      Yes Nelson, Desert Crown was traveling so comfortably throughout that the result appeared inevitable. Considering how inexperienced Desert Crown is, the future, come October, looks very bright. Emily Upjohn vs Desert Crown clash should be a corker.

      Michael Stoute is such a patient trainer and his skill to get the best out of Zilzal was extraordinary. On to Chantilly…

    • EddieF says:

      Two starts before the Derby. Wow. And he was the favorite! Has there been a trend in the UK toward fewer starts as there has been in the U.S.?

      • Matthew W says:

        I think the trend started in UK…..

        • Davids says:

          It’s very normal for Epsom Derby ‘potentials’ to have a very limited 2 year old race record. Lammtarra, as an example, had just the one start at 2, a win. No preps due to illness he won the Epsom Derby, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. 4 for 4.

  8. TommyMc says:

    Light rain has entered the forecast for next Saturday at Belmont. Probably no big deal. Still a week away. Plenty of time for things to improve.

    • EddieF says:

      You know the old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 10,000 times, you must be a meteorologist.

  9. EddieF says:

    In the past 20 years of the Belmont Stakes (not including the out-of-sequence 9f edition of 2020), 5 favorites, or 25%, have won. In the past 50 years, 15 favorites, or 30%, have won. Of those 15 winners, only one went off at odds higher than $1.60-1: Risen Star was $2.10-1 in 1988. I expect Mo Donegal’s odds will be higher than 2-1.

    On the other end of the odds spectrum, 10 Belmont winners in the past 20 runnings (50%) went off at odds of 9-1 or higher. So perhaps the win bet should be on Barber Road, Ethereal Road, Skippylongstocking, or Golden Glider.

    • Matthew W says:

      Skippy gonna sit the trip! Just off the pace….grabs lead on far turn and trues to stave off Nest and Mo Donegal!…

  10. Davids says:

    After the Epsom Derby dust has settled we cross the channel on Sunday to visit the most beautiful racetrack in the world, Chantilly, for the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby).

    Jean-Claude Rouget has a handful of favored runners here but it is not the Aga Khan’s Vadeni who seems destined to win but the Siyouni colt, Al Hakeem. The weather looks perfect as well, so if you have nothing planned…

    • Lynda King says:

      Davids, I have seen photos. Looks like a painting!

      • Steve Haskin says:

        We were there in the morning. Walking around course past the chateau and moat with people walking their dogs and seeing deer on the racecourse is as idyllic as it gets. That huge ornate structure you see on the backstretch was built as a stable by the track owner, who believed he was going to be reincarnated as a horse and he wanted to live in the same luxury as a horse as he did as a human.

        • Steve Haskin says:

          The track is built on the edge of a forest which you walk through to get to the quaint town of Chantilly. On the other side of the track are all the gallops which are separated by woods. A series of 3-mile long straightaways…grass, dirt, artificial, steeplechase, wood chips and thats not even the big main gallop

        • EddieF says:

          I wonder if his wish came true.

        • Ms Blacktype says:

          Another track to put on the bucket list. So romantic!

          • Lynda King says:

            Ms B, so hope you get to go soon. Have a friend who is England for the Platinum Jubilee and she is staying through the Royal Ascot. She travels to Ireland and to England several times a year and shares so many great photos.
            One of The Queen’s horses, Steal A March, won a hurdles race today. Not like winning the Epsom Derby of course, but she has to be delighted that he won during her celebration weekend.

        • Lynda King says:

          Lovely description Steve.
          Did you take photos that you could share sometime?

        • oldentimes1958 says:

          The lovely racecourse and stable were featured in a black-and-white Longines commercial that ran a couple of years ago. The chateau also houses The Museum of the Horse, which I recommend. My wife and I were there for the Arc in 2016, when Longchamps was being renovated.

  11. TommyMc says:

    A few minutes ago on FS2 they were talking about The Met Mile to be run on Belmont Day. They showed Speaker’s Corner’s and Flightline’s last races. Such beautiful horses. Speaker’s Corner is razor sharp and should benefit if Jackie’s Warrior doesn’t enter the race. Caddo River has joined the list of “probables” for the race. No disrespect, but I think that Caddo River IS a bit of a “head case”. I don’t think that he likes being inside of horses. Just a personal opinion. Very talented though. As “freakishly fast” as Flightline has been, it’s going to be very difficult for me to play him off of the 5 1/2 month layoff in this situation against top competition on a new track and at a new distance. If I can afford it, I’ll probably take the cowardly way out and use 3(Aloha West, Flightline, & Speaker’s Corner) in multi-race wagers. That way I can enjoy the race.

    • TommyMc says:

      I see that Bill Mott, one of my favorite trainers, is up to 20% for the year. It helps when you have 2 horses that win each and every time that you send them to the track. I’m speaking of Olympiad and Speaker’s Corner. A couple of “Barn Aces” indeed.

      • TommyMc says:

        Olympiad is a son of Speightstown that has won at a mile and an eighth. He did that 2 races back in the Gr 2 New Orleans Classic at Fairgrounds. 7-furlongs to a mile and a sixteenth seem to be his forte. Olympiad has won 4 in a row, 5 of 6, and 6 of 8. 6 of 9 overall. If Bill Mott doesn’t give him a break, Olympiad could be a “play against” in his next race after a very hard race on Oaks Day in the Gr 2 Alysheba when he re-rallied in the stretch to defeat Happy Saver. But, Mr. Mott is as sharp as they come. He’ll probably give him a little rest. Let’s see if he shows up somewhere on that Belmont Day card.

    • Matthew W says:

      Caddo River recently ran huge….

  12. Since Lil E. Tee says:

    This might turn out to be the lowest tv rating in the history of the Belmont Stakes. The field is that unappealing/bad.

    Wish Smile Happy was running. Think he was made for this race.

    • Davids says:

      Looks like a great card to me. If Joe And Joanna Public don’t watch the Belmont Stakes Day of racing then more fool them.

      • Lynda King says:

        Hello Davids.
        I agree, I think the card is great one as well.
        My 3 favorites to win the race are Rich Strike, We The People and Nest.
        I have been watching as much of the Platinum Jubilee celebration as I can.

        • Davids says:

          Yes Lynda, it’s hard not to become entranced with all the flags, pomp and ceremony. Here in Melbourne, we’re having unseasonably frigid weather. Tonight, I’m off to see Kunstkamer, with howling winds. Lol.

          • Lynda King says:

            Davids, I have always enjoyed watching the Trooping of the Color and this year it was especially beautiful.
            Saw a photo earlier of her visit to Clairborne Farm in 1984. She wanted to see Round Table whose dam, Knight’s Daughter had been bred by her father, King George Vl.

            • Davids says:

              Lynda, do you watch “The Crown”? In season 3, The Queen visits Kentucky.

              • Lynda King says:

                Hi Davids, yes I have been watching “The Crown” and recall that episode when she visits America. The producers, writers etc have taken a lot of “literary license” in the series. in that episode there was an insinuation that Her Majesty had an affair with the man who managed the Royal stable (cannot recall his name).
                Did you watch the concert last evening?
                Andrea Bocelli just took my breath away when he sang ‘Nessun Dorma’. Queen with Adam Lambert was really good as well. And the tea with Paddington Bear was just adorable.

                • Davids says:

                  No Lynda, unfortunately not, it’s on in the wee hours of the morning here. The Queen’s racing manager in The Crown is Lord Porchester (who would eventually go on to become Henry Herbert, the 7th Earl of Carnarvon). His family’s residence is Highclere Castle, which is also known as the ‘real-life’ Downton Abbey.
                  There’s a bit of trivia. Ha ha

    • EddieF says:

      It’s a good betting race with some nice horses. In terms of quality, the 2017 edition had neither the Derby winner or the Preakness winner — that’s not appealing as a TC climax.

    • Nelson Maan says:

      A Profile-raising feature for the Belmont Stakes is the presence of the Derby winner and, as boosted by Steve in this article, a filly attempting to make history.

      Nine (9) Stakes (8 Grade Is) in one afternoon is always a feast for the fans. The Met Mile promises to be one for the ages…!

      TV rating will piggy back on those great races in the card as Davids hinted.

      If 11 or 12 horses are entered in the Belmont Stakes it would become a good betting race as well…

    • Liam says:

      Since Lil E. Tee – The true tell is the total mutual handle at the end of the Belmont day card. I’m just hoping for fast and firm conditions.

  13. Davids says:

    Whether Nest will be effective at 12f is up in the air at this stage but over the pond at Epsom this Friday the Oaks will be run and these fillies will definitely be dynamic at 12f.

    Frankie Dettori will be on the ‘Gosdens’ trained Emily Upjohn, who appears to have the measure of her competition but only time will tell. Allez!! Frankie.

    • Nelson Maan says:

      Dettori won last year’s Oak with Snowfall for A. P. O’Brien and looks favored to repeat with Emily …

      Godolphin’s With the Moonlight is primed for a good performance. The daughter of Frankel showed a world of improvement as a 3-year-old… best value in the race…

      Fantastic Epsom racing festival complementing Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations…!

      • Davids says:

        Hi Nelson, yes it would have been wonderful had The Queen been able to attend. Perhaps, she will be able to attend Royal Ascot. Do you like anyone in the Epsom Derby? For me, Desert Crown and Stone Age appear to have it between them.

        • Nelson Maan says:

          Desert Crown and Stone Age are indeed the leading contenders…

          Stone Age was really impressive in the (10f) Derby Trial at Leopardstown for one of the most powerful ownerships in the world (Brant/Magnier/Tabor/Smith/Westerberg). The beautiful son of Galileo can relax while going fast early and still gallop strongly through the finish line… so he will be equally effective at a 1½ Mile. Galileo will be improving his own record of five winners of the Derby should Stone Age win tomorrow.

          And Aidan O’Brien is going for his ninth (9th) Epsom Derby win and his fourth Oak-Derby double. Below are these famous duets:
          2020 Love, Serpentine
          2012 Was, Camelot
          2001 Imagine, Galileo

          All O’Brien’s wins were with the same ownership.

          I plan on keying Stone Age (3-1) with the following challengers:

          Changingoftheguard (7-1)/Desert Crown(8-5)/Nations Pride (6-1)/Piz Badile (10-1)/Westover(15-1)

          Nations Pride was supplemented after his final workout satisfied his connections.

          Donnacha O’Brien is expecting a huge ride by Dettori on Piz Badile.

          Happy Epsom Derby day!

          • Davids says:

            It’s been a dozen years or so since Michael Stoute won the Epsom Derby. The mind and heart are with Desert Crown, let’s share the spoils around.

            • Lynda King says:

              Just interesting pedigree tidbits.

              Stone Age goes back through his dam to Sham and Alydar.
              Chaningoftheguard to Secretariat.
              Star of India to Dr Fager
              Nations Pride to Sir Gaylord (Somethingroyal)
              Piz Badile – Gone West
              Westover – a who’s who in American horse racing from the Iron Horse era.

        • Matthew W says:

          I saw a picture of Desert Crown…WHAT IS that thing of his face, where a shadow roll would be?…

          • Lynda King says:

            MatthewW, I did not see the photo but from what you have described it is a figure 8 bridle that is commonly used on racehorses, eventing horses etc. Usually it is seen on racehorses in Ireland, England. Basically its function is to allow the horse to breath better because the nose band on the bridle does not go over the nose.
            The shadow roll you mention is commonly used by American racehorse trainers, especially by Bob Baffert with the purpose of keeping the horse focused on what is in front of them.
            If you look at a photo of Secretariat, you can see that he was raced with what is call a D-ring snaffle and of course his blinkers.
            Most American thoroughbreds today have a lot of hardware in their mouths and usually tongue tie downs as well.
            Not trying to be ugly but have heard people who adopt OTTBS say that quite often their mouths are ruined and they have to spend a lot of time softening up their mouths.

    • Lynda King says:

      Saw that Tuesday won by a nose. Happy for the connections of her dam, Lillie Langtry. (Read she was covered by Frankel for 2022 foal. That foal should be awesome).
      Sure we will see Emily again soon. That was a real squeaker.

      • Matthew W says:

        The Honorable Judge Roy Bean approves of this post!

      • Davids says:

        Yes Lynda, good luck to Tuesday and her connections. Aidan O’Brien is such a lovely person you’re always happy when he wins and that’s often. Emily Upjohn was definitely unlucky but she is now the early favorite for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Luck is the essential quality that ebbs and flows in racing but some can harness it better than others.

  14. JohnnyG says:

    We The People looked very good winning the Peter Pan stakes, but I wonder, is he improving or loose on the lead on a sloppy track?
    I’ve been a fan of Mo Donegal, and can he get the right trip, and stay closer to the pace?
    These are concerns I have now. Creative Minister is lightly raced, but I’m not sure he wanted more ground from his Preakness race where he finished 3’rd.
    Kuchar is a little interesting, at a big price, out of Uncle Mo, he won a 1 1/4 at CD, owned by Winstar, but he definitely would have to get faster. Shaping up as a good race. I have more questions, than answers now, but it’s still early.

    • Matthew W says:

      Here’s the Caveat about We the People (Caveat being a Belmont winner, and he overcame much trouble….)…they rolled down the track cushion right before the Peter Pan, he broke running, several brook poorly….and he won easily, as horses do over that kind of surface.. not saying he can’t win but the price won’t entice me …

  15. TommyMc says:

    Five Stakes races at Belmont on Friday, June 10th and nine Stakes races on Saturday, June 11th (Belmont Day). If I remember correctly, they had a few 2-day wagers from that Friday card to Belmont Day last year. I heard one person say that they will draw post positions for The Belmont on Tuesday. I’m not 100% sure if that’s correct. We’ll see.

    • TommyMc says:

      At first, I thought that Mo Donegal and We the People were standouts and I was leaning towards “Mo”. But, Steve Haskin got me looking at Nest. In my opinion, Nest has the best breeding in the prospective field for the Mile and a Half(Curlin from an A P Indy mare). I will have an exacta Key Box: Nest W/ Mo Donegal & We the People.

      Too early to be formulating wagers for Belmont Day? Yes, probably. Can’t help myself.

      • EddieF says:

        It’s always too early until entries are taken. But we can still have fun! Which of the probables can keep up with We the People in the early stages of the Belmont Stakes? I don’t see one. Both of the closers Mo Donegal and Barber Road made up 4 lengths in the Derby stretch, with BR finishing just a length behind MD. Yet MD will likely be the favorite in the Belmont (5-2?), while BR will be double digits (12-1?).

        • TommyMc says:

          That’s a very good point about Barber Road being 4X the odds of Mo Donegal. Barber Road is kind of an “old school” horse. He’s been racing steadily since his debut on August 3rd at Colonial Downs of all places. Nine races in 10 months. He’s a very reliable horse to hit the trifecta. Top 3 in 7 of his 9 races. Top 4 in 8 of the 9. All he does is bring home checks for his owners. I can’t fault his 6th in The Derby which I consider the toughest race in the Country. He always makes his run. He would seem to be a “must use” on trifecta and superfecta tickets. A Barber Road Win shouldn’t shock anyone. His 2nd to Cyberknife when he beat Secret Oath in The Arkansas Derby shows his quality.

          • TommyMc says:

            We the People has been very good when things go his way. In the Arkansas Derby, jockey Flavien Prat got him trapped
            5-wide going into the first turn and had to backoff. We the People seemed to get “rank” after that and really didn’t do much running the last 3 or 4 furlongs. I’ve seen 2 different analysts refer to him as a “head case” after that race. It’s been said that he was also “acting up” before that race. It looked to me that the horse didn’t like not being up on the pace. The
            Rodolphe Brisset trainee should have no problem making the lead or his preferred position right off of the leader. And his Peter Pan win gives him a race over the track. Even without Early Voting, Epicenter, Zandon, and the Florida horses, the 2022 Belmont is an interesting race. Of course, Derby winner Rich Strike gets a chance to validate his victory on the first Saturday in May. To prove that all he needed was some more distance and that he isn’t “pace dependent”. All we need is “fast & firm” for a great day of racing.

            • EddieF says:

              First-time Belmont Stakes trainers, like Brissett, win this race more often than I thought. Cox, Casse, Matz, Breen, Ice, McLaughlin, and Ritchey won this century.

        • Liam says:

          I like EddieF’s angle regarding Barber Road. I know it’s early, but like you said, it’s fun…. how about an exacta box with the 2 horses who broke their maiden in a 30k claiming race?

          • EddieF says:

            That would be a nice payout…without the first two favorites. Two former claimers first and second. I’ll bet that’s never happened.

            • Matthew W says:

              A week before the Belmont ai read Mo Donegal is 5/2, at offshore odds…..3-1 on We The People….9/2 Rich Strike I’ll try to beat all three!..

  16. SoloSolo says:

    Nelson Maan mentioned in a previous comment the archives of Steve’s Hangin’ with Haskin columns over on Bloodhorse. If you haven’t checked them out–do so. As expected, they are a treasure trove of all great horses, past and present. It’s been a pleasure for me to re-visit the archives. One that caught my eye, which I had not read is “Rachel-Zenyatta Rivalry ends in a Dead Heat.” And of course Steve’s headlines are so clever. Go up to the right hand corner of the BH front page and in the question box type Hangin with Haskin. GO NEST!

    • SoloSolo says:

      I forgot to mention: the Rachel/Zenyatta article is dated August 10, 2016 found on page 9 of the archives. What a trip down memory lane.

      • Steve Haskin says:

        So glad you enjoyed going back in time and reliving all those great horses and great races. Thank you. That part of me is still back at Bloodhorse.

  17. Nelson Maan says:

    I would like to share some stats I keep about Todd Pletcher’s horses in the Belmont Stakes.

    Year…Horse ……….. placing

    2000 Impeachment 6
    2001 Invisible Ink 5
    2004 Purge 9 (last)
    2006 Bluegrass Cat 2 \ Sunriver 3 \
    2007 Rags to Riches (filly) 1
    2008 Ready’s Echo 3 (dead heat)
    2009 Dunkirk 2
    2010 Interactif 7
    2011 Stay Thirsty 2
    2013 Palace Malice 1 \Revolutionary 5\Unlimited Budget(filly) 6\ Overanalyze 7\Midnight Taboo 12
    2014 Commissioner 2 \ Matterhorn 8 \
    2015 Madefromlucky 6 \ Materiality 8 (last) \
    2016 Destin 2 \ Stradivari 5 \
    2017 Tapwrit 1 \ Patch 3 \
    2018 Vino Rosso 4 \ Noble Indy 10 (last) \
    2019 Spinoff 6 \ Intrepid Heart 8 \
    2020 Dr. Post 2 \ Farmington Road 8 \ (June 20 at 9 furlongs)
    2021 Known Agenda 4 \ Bourbonic 5 \ Overtook 7

    As you can see, Pletcher’s numbers in the Belmont Stakes are better than those for his Derby record. aSLO, His five entries in the 2013 Belmont might be a record (TBC)…

    • EddieF says:

      Nelson, the 5 entries in 2013 was a record at the time, and I’m pretty sure it still is.

      TP’s win percentage in the 2013 Belmont (20%) was so much better than his career win percentage in the Belmont (9%). 😉

      Five is a significant number in Belmont history. Woody Stephens won five consecutive runnings of the Belmont Stakes, a record that may NEVER be broken.

      • Nelson Maan says:

        Thanks for the reply EddieF. I thought you would find interesting the following stats I found at mybelmontbetsdotcom/trainers-most-wins

        James Rowe (8)
        George Kinney (1883)
        Panique (1884)
        Commando (1901)
        Delhi (1904)
        Peter Pan (1907)
        Colin (1908)
        Sweep (1910)
        Prince Eugene(1913)

        Sam Hildreth (7)
        Jean Bereaud (1899)
        Joe Madden (1909)
        Friar Rock (1916)
        Hourless (1917)
        Grey Lag (1921)
        Zev (1923)
        Mad Play (1924)

        “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons (6)
        Gallant Fox (1930)
        Faireno (1932)
        Omaha (1935)
        Granville (1936)
        Johnstown (1939)
        Nashua (1955)
        “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons
        dominated the Belmont
        Stakes in the 1930s with
        5 victories.

        Woody Stephens (5)
        Conquistador Cielo (1982)
        Caveat (1983)
        Swale (1984)
        Creme Fraiche (1985)
        Danzig Connection (1986)
        Woody Stephens won five Belmont Stakes in a row from 1982-1986.

        Max Hirsch (4)
        Vito (1928)
        Assault (1946)
        Middleground (1950)
        High Gun (1954)
        Trainer Max Hirsch.

        D. Wayne Lukas (4)
        Tabasco Cat (1994)
        Thunder Gulch (1995)
        Editor’s Note (1996)
        Commendable (2000)

        It is curious that Ben Jones got only two Belmont winners (one in the name of his son) out of his 11 Derby victors. HoF James Rowe is the winningest Belmont S. winner and his son won the 1931 edition. Three of the 8 were inducted in the Hall of Fame (Commando, Colin and Peter Pan).

        D. Wayne Lukas has a shot a fifth Belmont with Ethereal Road….

        • EddieF says:

          Eight wins by Rowe…that’s impressive, but I won’t say that it can’t be beaten. BTW, Rowe won two earlier Belmonts as a jockey! 😮 If Lukas wins with Ethereal Road, he needs only three more to tie. LOL.

        • Nelson Maan says:

          **Correction: Ben Jones with two Belmont winners out of his 11 Derby STARTERS and 6 Derby victors

    • Mike Relva says:

      Well Nelson looks like RS is running!

  18. Mike Relva says:

    A reader said he believed RS would skip Bel. Never believed he would. Amazing!