The race offers 50-20-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers. That 50-point bonanza to the winner means whoever crosses the wire first is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky […]
Star-Sudded Field Comes Together For The 2014 Met Mile
Twelve horses will be lining up to take a shot at upsetting 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice on Saturday in the Met Mile, one of six Grade I races on this year’s Belmont undercard.
One of the strongest fields in recent memory is expected to break from the gate on Saturday for the running of the $1 million Grade I Metropolitan Handicap, for horses three and up going a flat mile on the Belmont main track. More commonly known as the Met Mile, the race is part of an outstanding undercard for the Belmont Stakes, and has drawn a group of thoroughbred superstars, including 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, listed as the 8-5 morning line choice, who will break from the #1 post and carry high weight of 124 pounds.
Belmont Stakes champ undefeated so far this season
So far for 2014, the Todd Pletcher trained Palace Malice has been perfect in winning all three of his starts, most recently demolishing a small field in the Grade III Westchester Stakes by more than nine lengths at Belmont Park. In a well-traveled spring campaign, he also won the Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap in February, and followed that up with a 4 3/4 length win in the New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds. Second in that one was Normandy Invasion, who is listed as the 5-1 second choice for the Met Mile. After running fourth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, Normandy Invasion was off for almost a year to recuperate from injury, but he seems fully recovered after winning an allowance event at Gulfstream in February.
Front-end speed will try to hold off late-running 'Malice
Of the upset possibilities, the speedy Goldencents (10-1) was the winner of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, a race that went a long way to restoring his reputation after a disappointing try on the 2013 Triple Crown trail, where he was 17th in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness Stakes. The Met Mile will be his first start since last November, when he was seventh in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. In with a good chance to hit the board is Clearly Now (10-1), who has finished in the money in 12 of 13 career starts, most recently running third in both the Grade I Carter Handicap and the Grade II Churchill Downs Handicap, a race won by Central Banker, also in the Met Mile field as the 8-1 third ML choice.
The field is set for the 2019 Preakness Stakes, and looking at the 13 rivals on paper is enough to make any serious handicapper's mouth water. There's simply a ton of betting value here.
Post positions have been drawn, and the oddsmakers have instilled Omaha Beach as the morning line favorite for the running of the 145th Kentucky Derby. The race goes Saturday, May 4th, with 20 runners set to battle 1 1/4 miles on the Churchill Downs dirt track, chasing a purse of $3 million and the first leg of the US Triple Crown.
The defending champ is back in the field for the 2016 Arlington Million on Saturday, but he's being overshadowed by a strong group of foreign invaders.