Thursday, June 6, 2013

Belmont Stakes Racing Roundup: Orb Looks To Rebound From Preakness Stakes Loss

© 2013, Calvin L. Carter

A field of fourteen Thoroughbreds has been drawn for the 145th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. Kentucky Derby champion Orb, trying to rebound from his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (G1), will go to the starting gate Saturday as the 3-1 morning-line favorite.

Derby runner up Golden Soul (10-1) and third-place finisher Revolutionary (9-2) are also entered and they will try to earn Classic Champion Thoroughbred honors. Incognito (20-1) and Freedom Child (8-1) are new competitors on the Triple Crown Trail and round out the top five. 

Like an intricate puzzle, the pedigree contains many secrets of what champions are made of and the proprietary key puzzle pieces, the Tesio Index and Ancestral Herd Index, comprise the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile. The Ancestral Herd Index is a new feature I recently added to calculate the profile and that was included because of my study of the late Federico Tesio, a world renowned owner, breeder and trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses who bred closely to the Ancestral Herd. During his lifetime, Tesio bred an incredible 21 Italiano Derby winners.

The profile is tool I use to measure potential and it does not take into account other factors such as the horse’s will to win. Another thing to keep in mind is that horses, for many different reasons, sometimes fail to live up to their potential.


Since the 1970’s, the Bold Ruler and Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herds have produced the most Belmont Stakes winners.

Overall, the Ancestral Herd of Bold Ruler has produced eight Belmont Stakes (G1) winners:  Secretariat (Triple Crown winner, 1973), Bold Forbes (1976), Seattle Slew (Triple Crown winner, 1977), Caveat (1983), Swale, (1984), Risen Star (1988), A.P. Indy (1992) and Rags to Riches (2007).

Runners in this year’s Belmont that are descendants of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd include: Orb, Freedom Child and Incognito.

The Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd has dominated the Belmont Stakes since 1990 and has produced a total of 15 winners: Conquistador Cielo (1982), Hansel (1991), Thunder Gulch (1995), Editor’s Note (1996), Victory Gallop (1998), Lemon Drop Kid (1999), Commendable (2000), Point Given (2001), Empire Maker (2003), Birdstone (2004), Afleet Alex (2005), Jazil (2006), Summer Bird (2009), Drosselmeyer (2010) and Ruler On Ice (2012).

Runners in this year’s Belmont that are descendants of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd include: Unlimited Budget (8-1), Palace Malice (15-1) and Will Take Charge (20-1).


I liked Orb in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) and I like him in the Belmont, too. With wins in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby, Orb is the class of this race and a return to his previous form will make him tough in the Belmont.

A.P. Indy, the grandsire of Orb, won the 1992 Belmont Stakes and sired the 2007 Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches. Orb’s great grandsire is the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.

Unbridled, the damsire of Orb, won the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic and he’s a descendant of the Fappiano branch of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd which is a powerful influence in the pedigree.

Classic Champion Thoroughbred descendants of the Unbridled Ancestral Herd include: Grindstone (1996 Kentucky Derby), Red Bullet (2000 Preakness), Empire Maker (2003 Belmont), Birdstone (2004 Belmont), Mine That Bird (2009 Kentucky Derby) and Summer Bird (2009 Belmont).

Orb’s victory in the Kentucky Derby smashed a 29-year draught since Swale won the Kentucky Derby in 1984. However, in recent years the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd has had better success in producing Belmont Stakes winners and I look for Orb to run a good race.


Revolutionary was my Kentucky Derby pick. I profiled him last December in my 2013 Kentucky Derby Outlook, and his pedigree indicates that he may have classic potential. However, he’s yet to live up to that potential.

Revolutionary is a descendant of the Cherokee Run Ancestral Herd and in my July 3 blog of 2009 I noted the importance of keeping track of colts from that line when they stretch out to route racing.

Over the years, the Cherokee Run line has produced a lot of good middle- distance runners such as War Pass, the sire of Revolutionary. Other good runners from that line include: Yonaguska, Kafwain, Sir Cherokee, During, Chelokee, Zanjero, Recapturetheglory, Musket Man and The Pamplemousse.

In addition, the distaff pedigree of Revolutionary is very strong and the tail-female line is reinforced with the stallions A.P. Indy, Hoist The Flag, Herbager and Court Martial.

Revolutionary’s dam, Runup The Colors, was a graded-stakes winner of the 10-furlong Alabama Stakes (G1). Up The Flagpole, the second dam of Revolutionary, won the 9-furlong Delaware Oaks (G2) and was a Reine-de-Course mare and second dam of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft and Tomisue’s Delight.

Revolutionary’s third dam, The Garden Club, also was a Reine-de-Course mare. His tail-female line descends from the outstanding foundation mare La Troienne (Family 1-x) and her line has produced eight Classic Champion Thoroughbreds: Super Saver (2010), Smarty Jones (2004), Go For Gin (1994), Sea Hero (1993), Prairie Bayou (1993), Easy Goer (1989), Personality (1970) and Bimelech (1940).

Revolutionary is a versatile, tough colt who possesses the will to win – he’s demonstrated that in his come-from-behind victories in the Withers Stakes (G3) and Louisiana Derby (G2). In the stretch of the Louisiana Derby (G2), Mylute briefly took the lead from Revolutionary who dug in and fought back to win by a neck in the final strides.

His maiden win last December was also a key race as it highlighted the talent and versatility of Revolutionary. In that race, unlike his last two races, Revolutionary ran just off the pace, tracking the early leaders until the stretch, then he drew away to an easy 8½-length romp.

The ability of a young colt to win coming home from dead last or just off the pace is the kind of versatility and talent I like to see in a young horse I believe may have classic potential.

Javier Castellano regains the mount on Revolutionary and in previous races they are a perfect two wins in two starts.


Freedom Child and Orb were both sired by Malibu Moon and are descendants of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd. Unlike Orb who races off the pace, Freedom Child’s best success has been when he raced on the lead.

In his fourth start, Freedom Child led from gate to wire and finally broke his maiden by an easy 5¼ lengths. In his next race, he was declared a non-starter in the Wood Memorial when he became tangled in the hands of a gate crew worker. Freedom Child followed up on that fiasco with another gate-to-wire romp in the slop to win the Peter Pan Stakes by 13¼ lengths.

I like it that Freedom Child is engaged early in the race and if he can carry that speed for 12-furlongs, then he could be tough to beat in the Belmont Stakes (G1). His pedigree indicates that 12-furlongs should not be a problem.

His grandsire, A.P. Indy, also won the Peter Pan Stakes en route to victory in the 1992 Belmont Stakes. Deputy Minister, the damsire of Freedom Child, sired the 1997 Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold and he’s also the damsire of the Belmont winners Sarava (2002), Jazil (2006) and Rags to Riches (2007).

It looks like Freedom Child is improving at the right time of year and another move forward will make him competitive in the Belmont Stakes.


Like Orb, Incognito is descendant of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and he has similar breeding to Orb and Freedom Child. Incognito is the best-bred horse in the Belmont field. However, he’s yet to live up to his breeding.

His sire is the Classic Champion Thoroughbred A.P. Indy and his grandsire is the 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. In the distaff pedigree, Incognito’s second damsire is the previously mentioned Classic Champion Thoroughbred, Unbridled, and his damsire, Unbridled’s Song, finished fifth in the 1996 Kentucky Derby – just 3½ lengths shy of victory.

A horse like Incognito is difficult to handicap in classic races. Even though he’s yet to live up to his breeding, his pedigree indicates that, on a given day, he could run a good race. That’s how I picked Da’ Tara to upset Big Brown in the 2008 Belmont Stakes (G1) for a $79 payday on a $2 wager. So, if you’re feeling lucky, you may want to include Incognito in a few small wagers.


          Honorable mention goes to Golden Soul and Unlimited Budget.  I don’t like either of them for the win but they could, perhaps, be a factor in the bottom of the exotic wagers.



Belmont Stakes 145

Post Position, Horse, Odds, Jockey, Trainer

1. Frac Daddy, 30-1, Alan Garcia, Ken McPeek

2. Freedom Child, 8-1, Luis Saez, Tom Albertrani

3. Overanalyze, 12-1, John Valazquez, Todd Pletcher

4. Giant Finish, 30-1, Edgar Prado, Tony Dutrow

5. Orb, 3-1, Joel Rosario, Shug McGaughey

6. Incognito, 20-1, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Kiaran McLaughlin

7. Oxbow, 5-1, Gary Stevens, D. Wayne Lukas

8. Midnight Taboo, 30-1, Garrett Gomez, Todd Pletcher

9. Revolutionary, 9-2, Javier Castellano, Todd Pletcher

10. Will Take Charge, 20-1, Jon Court, D. Wayne Lukas

11. Vyjack, 20-1, Julien Leparoux, Rudy Rodriquez

12. Palace Malice, 15-1, Mike Smith, Todd Pletcher

13. Unlimited Budget, 8-1, Rosie Napravnik, Todd Pletcher

14. Golden Soul, 10-1, Robby Albarado, Dallas Stewart


Anyone who’s followed my blog for any length of time knows that my study of Thoroughbred pedigrees and the late Federico Tesio, a world-renowned owner, breeder and trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses, has had a tremendous impact on my analysis of classic champion prospects. The result of that research is what I call the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile and it is a powerful tool I use to determine if a young colt has to potential to become a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.

In addition, the behavior of the horse or Emotional Conformation is the final piece of the breeding puzzle. Behavior was the key puzzle piece Tesio relied on to breed his numerous champion Thoroughbreds and, during his lifetime, he bred an incredible 21 Italiano Derby winners.

The Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile and the Emotional Conformation of the horse are important tools that have enabled me to pick the classic champions Orb, I’ll Have Another, Animal Kingdom, Pour Moi, Super Saver, Lookin At Lucky, and Summer Bird.


If you would like to get involved in horseracing, please check out my website:

Classic Champion Thoroughbreds is a unique, innovative bloodstock consulting firm, dedicated to helping clients make informed decisions, eliminating doubt and guesswork, in buying and breeding Thoroughbreds.

Classic Champion Thoroughbreds provides its clients with the important information necessary to achieve their goals and realize their dreams of competing at the highest level. Every evaluation includes a detailed pedigree analysis and a Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile of young horses that may be classic racing prospects. Each analysis and profile draws upon the time-tested breeding theories of great Thoroughbred breeders as well as those of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds owner Calvin L. Carter.

(Upon request, clients can receive an Emotional Conformation Profile behavioral analysis of the horses they plan to buy or breed from Kerry Thomas, Founder of the Thomas Herding Technique.)

In the spirit of Federico Tesio, Classic Champion Thoroughbreds serves the needs of its clients – helping them to eliminate the doubt and guesswork in buying and breeding Thoroughbred Champions. Whatever your need, if you already own horses or if you are new and want to get established, please feel free to contact me and Classic Champion Thoroughbreds will work with you to realize your goals and dreams.