Racing Roundtable: Belmont Stakes weekend recap

June 11th, 2024

This week, the Racing Roundtable looked back on the events of Belmont Stakes weekend at Saratoga. Darin Zoccali, Nick Tammaro, and Vance Hanson discussed Dornoch's Belmont win, the three-year-old championship, Thorpedo Anna's upcoming schedule, and what else caught their eye.

Review some of Vance Hanson's main points below, and check out the video to hear the rest of Vance's thoughts along with Darin and Nick!

Vance Hanson: Regarding the Belmont S. (G1), Dornoch unexpectedly turned in easily his best race of the season but benefited to an extent by Mindframe's relative inexperience and another less-than-ideal trip for race favorite Sierra Leone.

Speaking of Sierra Leone, he'd probably be my lukewarm selection for champion three-year-old if the polls closed today. That's based on his overall consistency: his two pre-Kentucky Derby (G1) wins, his virtual winning run in the Derby itself, and his troubled trip in the Belmont. With that said, he's increasingly looking like a horse that, due to his running style, needs a lot of things to go right for him. He'll need to garner another win or two this season to secure the title.

It was a bit odd to see the connections of Thorpedo Anna do an about-face over the weekend, questioning whether they had made a mistake not running in her the Belmont in the aftermath of her gigantic Acorn (G1) win, and then later deciding that she would not face males in the immediate future. If they think she can become a legitimate Horse of the Year candidate without stepping outside her division, I beg to differ.

Cogburn was one of the absolute stars of Belmont weekend when sizzling to a record-setting win in the Jaipur (G1). I didn't think it was possible, but he ran 5 1/2 furlongs over the grass in under 1:00. He looks like a once-in-a-decade or once-in-a-generation talent at what he does best — sprinting on the grass — and he would certainly fit well on the world stage if allowed to travel abroad next season.