We will start with our famous weekend recap; today is the Belmont Oaks Recap turn. We made some big predictions for both the Belmont Derby and the Belmont Oaks. Those races have now been run and the results are in, so let’s see how those predictions turned out.

Bolshoi Ballet Wins By Over a Length in the Belmont Derby

We predicted a big win for Bolshoi Ballet in the Belmont Derby, and the Irish horse did not disappoint. We also told you to watch out for Tokyo Gold and Hard Love, and while the latter finished a disappointing 7th in the end, Tokyo Gold earned a solid second at an impressive 15/1.

Hard Love pushed into the lead early on and set what turned out to be a slow pace through early fractions of 24.61 and 51.34. Cellist and Safe Conduct settled behind the frontrunner, followed by Du Jour, Sainthood, and Hidden Enemy.

As the pace quickened; Bolshoi Ballet moved from the back of the pack, with jockey Ryan Moore stalking the leaders through a fraction of 1.17.26.

Hard Love began to fade as the pack swept into the final stretch; with Bolshoi Ballet and Cellist making their moves. The latter seemed to be having the best of things into the final furlong; but Tokyo Gold and Bolshoi Ballet took over, with the latter eventually winning by 1 ¼ lengths.

The final race time was 2:04.42.

The win is Bolshoi Ballet’s third of 2021 and its biggest by far; taking it to career earnings of over $600,000. Tokyo Gold, who finished a neck ahead of third-place Cellist, put in a very good performance and both of these horses are worth keeping an eye on in the future.

  1. Bolshoi Ballet – 7/5
  2. Tokyo Gold – 15/1
  3. Cellist – 12/1

Better Late Than Never for Santa Barbara in the Belmont Oaks

Many predicted that the Belmont Oaks would be a double for Ireland, Aidan O’Brien, and Ryan Moore; with Bolshoi Ballet’s stablemate Santa Barbara looking like the strongest horse in the field.

In the end, they were right; and we just wish that we had been confident enough to back the Irish winner as well. Instead, we went for Cirona as an outside bet, only for the GB horse to finish a disappointing 7th.

Santa Barbara settled into the middle of the pack during the early running; with Con Lima strolling to an early lead and looking very comfortable through fractions of 24.71 and 51.31. Spanish Loveaffair rode behind the leader while Higher Truth pressed up against the rails and stayed in touch.

Not much changed as the horses recorded a third fractional time of 1:16.40, at which point Santa Barbara remained in touch back in 5th.

As the pack moved around the final bend, setting a time of 1:40.76, Con Lima held onto a comfortable lead and it didn’t seem like there was enough of a challenge to threaten that lead.

Santa Barbara had a lot of work to do and a lot of running to find, but it managed to do just that. The Irish horse finished incredibly late to beat the fading Con Lima by half a length, with the fast-finishing Higher Truth a nose back in third. The final race time was 2:03.76.

It was an impressive and unlikely finish from Santa Barbara, and one that’s deserving of the massive $375,000 first-place prize money.

  1. Santa Barbara – 1-1
  2. Con Lima – 5/1
  3. Higher Truth – 12/1

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