Analyzing today's 117th running of the Belmont Stakes should be easy. Previous form says the winner will be either Tank's Prospect or Chief's Crown.
However, a close look at past performances reveals that both those capable colts are beatable, and I'm going with a long shot, Cutlass Reality.
Eternal Prince, with Richard Migliore aboard, should have the lead for the first mile in about 1:36. Approaching the stretch turn, Chief's Crown ought to be in high gear under Angel Cordero and will be battling for the lead with less than a quarter-mile to go.
In the run to the wire, it will be anybody's race. Chief's Crown will be in front, running gamely, with Cutlass Reality, Tank's Prospect, Important Business and Fast Account closing in.
At the wire, I believe it will be Cutlass Reality, after a patient ride by Donald MacBeth, winning the most prestigious of the Triple Crown races in about 2:28 4/5.
Cutlass Reality, a colt that will go off at a possible 50 to 1, has been tiring at shorter distances, but he is a grandson of Damascus, one of the greatest horses to race in this country. I believe Cutlass Reality is best suited to handle the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Belmont.
Important Business, my second choice, ran for a claiming tag not too long ago. Still, the reason Spend a Buck looked so good before the Kentucky Derby is because he handled an improved colt like Important Business so easily in the Garden State Stakes.
Tank's Prospect always has shown that on his best days he can beat Chief's Crown in a long race, so he is the third pick.
Chief's Crown, the 2-year-old champion and a truly steady performer, is picked to finish fourth.