Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Longshots

Belmont Bombs

Andrew Beyer mentions something that’s been on my mind as I start thinking about how to play this year’s Belmont Stakes:

Forget about handicapping; if you bet every starter in every Belmont Stakes for the last 15 years you’d have almost doubled your money.

Last year, I looked at the win payouts for each of the Triple Crown races and the five Grade 1 Kentucky Derby preps over a decade, and the Belmont was the race that offered the greatest opportunity:

Only one favorite has won the Belmont Stakes in the past 10 years, and that was Afleet Alex in 2005. Handicappers look for longshots in the Derby, but the Belmont has delivered a higher average price ($43.61) and a healthy ROI in recent years — if you had bet $2 to win on all 110 Belmont starters since 2002, you would have almost doubled your money.

There’s a lot to like about I’ll Have Another on Saturday, but the Belmont is the classic race to look for an upset with a rewarding payoff.

At 15-1, It’s Tea Time

Blind Luck is the dominant favorite in the Kentucky Oaks, which drew a full field of 14, but I’m hoping for a ‘Tea Time’ upset. So is trainer Rusty Arnold:

In recent weeks, however, Arnold has been in rare form, telling anyone who bothers to ask that a filly named It’s Tea Time is approaching the 136th Kentucky Oaks in such fantastic shape that he wouldn’t be surprised if she were to upset the likes of Blind Luck and the other top-class fillies who will clash Friday at Churchill Downs in the Grade 1, $500,000 classic.

I like the confidence of the usually reticent Arnold. But even more, I like the improving filly’s runner-up finish last month in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, in which she narrowly missed beating Evening Jewel:

Derby Roses

Making the coveted blanket.

Worn by this longshot.

Tip from Beyond the Grave

Filed under How About That?

Danny Shea, 66, knew he would not live to see the [Grand National] as he was terminally ill with cancer, but made sure his wife and family bet on 100-1 Mon Mome, winning £20,310 at the bookies.

The offshore rigger, who died of kidney cancer five months ago, had a gut feeling that the horse would win after he was impressed by it’s performance in last year’s event.

Said Shea’s amazed widow of her late husband’s longshot score, “He was generally pretty useless at picking winners.”

The race (beware, many falls, Mon Mome may have won partly by attrition):

The flap after? Over tactlessness and teeth.