Posts Tagged ‘Master of Hounds’

Belmont Stakes 2011 Recap: The Iceman Cometh

Ruler On Ice continued the three-year-old graded stakes upset trend with a surprising tally over Stay Thirsty and Brilliant Speed in the 2011 Belmont Stakes.

Ruler On Ice

Belmont Stakes hero Ruler On Ice - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The sloppy Belmont Park oval was favoring early-pressing speed throughout the day and the top two Belmont Stakes finishers made their presence felt throughout.

Ruler On Ice has returned to his Monmouth Park base with the Haskell a logical target. His stablemate Pants On Fire goes in Saturday’s Pegasus at the Jersey Shore and also has an eye on the Haskell.

Stay Thirsty and Brilliant Speed will likely spend the summer at Saratoga with the Jim Dandy and Travers on their radar screens.

Belmont Stakes 4th place finisher Nehro came out of the race with a small bone chip in his right front ankle and will have surgery on June 15.

Shackleford set the Belmont pace but came up empty late in a 5th place finish. He could not quite handle the marathon distance and should be much more effective in a race like the Haskell.

Animal Kingdom clipped heels and jockey John Velazquez lost his irons in a disastrous beginning. The Derby hero ended up a better than appears 6th and will target the big summer races (Haskell, Travers).

The rest were far back including the disappointing Master of Hounds, Mucho Macho Man, and Santiva. The latter reportedly did not handle the wet going.

This year’s Triple Crown series was a wild ride of upsets and the 3-year-old title is up for grabs. What surprises are in store for the second half of the year? I can’t wait to find out…stay tuned!






2011 Belmont Stakes Preview: Master of Hounds

International traveler Master of Hounds has been to Ireland, Great Britain, Dubai, and the United States (twice) in the past year and he will return to North America for the 2011 Belmont Stakes.

Master of Hounds

Belmont Stakes hopeful Master of Hounds - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Master of Hounds made four turf starts in Ireland last summer including a seven furlong maiden win at Tipperary in July. A three month layoff followed and he resurfaced in Great Britain with a show finish in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at a flat mile.

His first trip to the US was in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and he finished a troubled 6th to end his 2-year-old season.

The Aidan O’Brien trainee shipped to Dubai for his 3-year-old bow in March and he missed by a nose in the UAE Derby. That strong effort was enough for his connections to return to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.

Master of Hounds weaved his way through traffic to finish a respectable 5th under the Twin Spires on May 7 and jockey Garrett Gomez urged his connections to return for the Belmont Stakes.

The son of Kingmambo, out of Sadler’s Wells mare Silk And Scarlet, has Belmont Stakes pedigree power but remains eligible for an entry level allowance spot and three trips to the US in seven months, along with journeys to/from Ireland, Great Britain, and Dubai, could leave him with a serious case of jet lag.





2011 Preakness Wrap + Early Belmont Stakes Preview

The Triple Crown trail upsets continued as the 2011 Preakness went to Kentucky Derby 4th place finisher Shackleford. You can read the entire story at Horse Racing Nation.


Will Shackleford run in the Belmont Stakes? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shackleford pressed solid fractions and was waiting for someone to go by but there were no takers so he happily took down top honors. Animal Kingdom rallied to land the place and Astrology finished a respectable 3rd. Dialed In clunked up for 4th and disappointing 6th place finisher Mucho Macho Man had early trouble, raced wide, and reportedly threw a shoe again.

As of now, it appears as though 14-horses are under consideration for the2011 Belmont Stakes. This evenly matched group of 3-year-olds take turns beating each other and we will probably see another upset in the Test of Champions.

Pedigree means everything in the Belmont Stakes and a horse like Shackleford could be in deep water because he does his best work on or near a fast pace and that strategy won’t work at twelve furlongs.

Likely Belmont starter Santiva has the right grinding style for Big Sandy and Stay Thirsty is bred to run all day.

Master of Hounds and Nehro are logical Belmont Stakes contenders. The former has the pedigree power but has been in Dubai, Ireland, the United States and back this year and could have serious jet lag if he returns to the US. The latter remains eligible for an entry level spot and has a case of seconditis.

Animal Kingdom will probably get the trip and has a strong kick when the pace is slow. How much energy does he have in reserve following back-to-back strong efforts in Kentucky and Maryland?

I will be posting profiles of all Belmont Stakes contenders in the coming weeks…stay tuned!