Commentary

Picking the Belmont Stakes

Updated: June 9, 2012, 3:22 PM ET
By Jay Cronley | Special to ESPN.com

The Belmont field is good on top, sorry the rest of the way down.

1. Street Life (12-1): Wooden in the Wood Memorial, flightier in Peter Pan, way late.

2. Unstoppable U (30-1): Deserves kinder, gentler third race.

3. Union Rags (6-1): Will probably find a bird to run into.

4. Atigun (30-1): Beat farm animals in Arkansas.

5. Dullahan (5-1): No wins on dirt.

6. Ravelo's Boy (50-1): Requires numerous miracles.

7. Five Sixteen (50-1): Fits Delta Downs better.

8. Guywna Star Dweej (50-1): Bred to trot all day.

9. Paynter (8-1): Has theft in mind.

10. Optimizer (20-1): Not easily embarrassed.

11. I'll Have Another (4-5): SCRATCHED

12. My Adonis (20-1): Fills gate.

Picks

A friend of mine had a horse that kept almost winning.

It ran just well enough to put together a portfolio of legitimate excuses: hayseed ride, bumped, cornered, weathered.

I bet it and bet it until I could take no more punishment. The first time I didn't bet it, it won and paid $50.

We all have our list of things that can't be permitted to happen again.

This Belmont Stakes has two hot trendy horses. Trendy horses are overly obvious plays that usually skin the suckers. Given the lousiness of the bottom of this field, the two touristy plays must be given consideration this time around. The trendy horses are Dullahan and Paynter; Dullahan having excelled on everything but dirt, Paynter having hung up high-flying Beyers. One inflated by an off track, one in a poor allowance field in Maryland. Of the two, Paynter would appear to be the better play, because it could be clear early by a substantial margin.

1. Union Rags
2. Paynter
3. Dullahan
4. Street Life

Write to Jay at jaycronley@yahoo.com.