It'll be a star spangled day for sure at Belmont Park on Saturday, as the Sport of Kings celebrates Independence Day with a pair of huge Grade 1 races on the turf.
The main showcase piece will be the 1 1/4 mile Belmont Derby Invitational, with a spot in the Breeders' Cup up for grabs.
All too often we see oddsmakers react to what they just saw out of ponies, but here in the Belmont Derby Invitational, we know there likely won't be anyone standing out above the rest of the pack.
Divisidero, a colt with three wins in four starts, is very likely to be amongst the favorites. Trying to find any odds-on types of favorites though, will be really tough to do, especially if you are going to bet this race offshore and disregard the mutuels, which will force a coupling of the two Chad Brown horses.
Consequently, huge-priced longshots won't be on the board either on Saturday in Belmont's showcase.
FAVORITE TO FOLLOW
Takeover Target has never run in a race like this in his career, but he is going to still be amongst the favorites at the Belmont Derby Invitational as well alongside Divisidero and Bolo.
Divisidero will probably get the slight nod over Takeover Target in this race according to the oddsmakers, but we think that is going to be unfounded. Takeover Target was the favorite at the Pennine Ridge Handicap in his last race, but he was second best by just a neck.
Remember that when you get Takeover Target, you're also going to get Startup Nation as well, as the NYRA requires that you couple together your horses who have the same ownership and training. In this case, Brown will saddle both horses for Klaravich Stables.
UNDERDOG TO WATCH
Bolo ran in the Kentucky Derby this year with little success, but we wonder whether he is just a better equipped horse to run on the grass instead of the dirt.
The three-year old finished twelfth in the Derby, but when you go back and look at his history, he does have three wins in his four turf races. Granted, this is the first time that he is going to be running up against tremendous colts at this level on the grass, but after storming from start to finish at Santa Anita in an allowance race at the end of May, we think he is ready to challenge the top turfers in the world here at Belmont Park.
ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
Divisidero might have gotten the best of both Takeover Target and Startup Nation at the Pennine Ridge Handicap, but we think that this is the day the two Brown horses will get back on top.
It's tough to handicap this race out until the posts are drawn and the field is totally set, but we know those Brown horses will be tough to beat. Though our preference of the two is clearly Takeover Target, Startup Nation is no slouch either. Remember that we are only about nine months away from this pony being the third favorite at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf race against a similar field.
Play Startup Nation & Takeover Target to win the Belmont Derby Invitational
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