At the Gate - Wednesday
June 19, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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The Royal Ascot meeting started off with a thud as Animal Kingdom ended his career with a disappointing 11th place finish in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) yesterday.
The Graham Motion trainee won the 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) and the 2013 Dubai World Cup (G1). One of his most impressive efforts came in defeat when he ran a game second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) last fall behind eventual Horse of the Year Wise Dan.
He was trying to become the first American trained runner to win the historic Queen Anne, a race won last year by Frankel.
Under jockey John Velazquez he was forwardly placed in the early going but had no punch, fading to finish far behind the winner Declaration of War for trainer Aidan O’Brien.
Barry Irwin, president of Team Valor, who owns Animal Kingdom, had this to say on Facebook after the race:
“Animal Kingdom left his race in the paddock at Royal Ascot today when he lost his focus after becoming studdish. I wrote a blog for tomorrow's TDN, which more fully explains what happened. Horrible way for him to end his career, but it happened, I saw it with my own two eyes and the horse spent his last 15 minutes in the paddock on 5 legs. Not what we wanted to see. As one of our partners said to me "Sex in the work place is never a good idea."
Motion tweeted this out to his followers last night: “AK is back in his stall tonight doing well. There was no fairy tail (sic) ending but no one said racing was meant to be easy. We've had a great run.”
Click here to purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Wednesday.
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:05 ET)
3 Ainteasybeinggreen 8-5
4 Carolinian 5-2
5 I'm Gonna Flip 6-1
6 Irish Sweepstakes 12-1
Analysis: Ainteasybeinggreen makes her debut for the Ward barn that is always tough in juvenile races and it has been no exception this year. The barn is 11 for his last 26 with two year old firsters going back the past three months. This gal is by Bring the Heat out of a Freud mare, her first foal to race. The works look quick and this gal will be tough.
Carolinian was a decent second in her debut behind a six length winner. She comes back with blinkers here for her second start for the Contessa barn. This gal is out of a stakes placed Always a Classic mare that has dropped three winners, top earner Cabriole ($144,924). With the hood added this gal figures to be right in the mix early.
WIN: #3 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 7 OClm $62,500N1X (4:13 ET)
3 Strong Impact 4-1
6 Border Song 6-1
10 Spring to the Sky 5-2
1 Speightcity 12-1
Analysis: Strong Impact makes his first start since running sixth last out on the inner track at this level. The winner of the race was Pleaseandthankyou, who came back to beat Alw-12 optional claimers again in his next outing. The gelding has done his best work on grass in his career and won at this condition over the grass here last fall. The barn is 17% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
Border Song was beaten just a head a nose two back in his U.S. debut at Keeneland and then misfired last out in his local debut as the beaten chalk, weakening to finish seventh. He showed plenty of promise winning his first two career starts in France and looks primed for a top effort here third off the bench for the Clement barn. I'm going to toss the last out effort and if he runs back to his outing two back off the bench he fits well in this spot.
WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 1,3,6,10
TRI: 3,6 / 1,3,6,10 / 1,3,6,10,11
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #6 Irish Sweepstakes 12-1
R2: #6 Fevered Kiss 8-1
R6: #8 Rangey 10-1
R6: #2 Sam’s Buck 10-1
R6: #6 J W Blue 8-1
R7: #1 Speightcity 12-1
R8: #3 Holy Endeavor 10-1
R9: #8 Baal Perazim 20-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.
Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.
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