News and STORIES

Belmont Stakes - Saturday June 20th 2020

Author: Dominic Plouffe
Published: Friday June 19, 2020

Race Details

  • Distance: 1800m (1⅛ mile)

  • Race Type: Stakes

  • Purse: $1,000,000

  • Surface: Dirt

Race Bias

The bias analysis looks at historical data and determines which type of figures have a better chance of winning.  We analyzed 72 races between the distance of 1 1/16 mile race or longer from Belmont Park to perform the bias analysis.  There are not enough 1⅛ mile races from Belmont to properly do a bias analysis and we to add races of similar distance.

We analyzed the bias on two fronts.  We did an analysis of the speed bias for a race as well as the pace bias.  Details of both are described below.

Speed Bias

The historical races clearly show that the fastest horses in the race have a better chance of winning.  The horses who are deemed to be the fastest, compared to their competitors win at a 35% rate.  Also, horses that are a step below, but still generally faster than their competitors win at a 24% rate.  This means that horses that are fast have a 59% chance of winning.

Horses that are much slower than their competitors only have a 20% chance of winning.  

The general feeling is that you can quickly eliminate horses that are deemed slower from winning and be assured that you made a good decision.  

We believe that the horses that you can eliminate are: (1) Tap It To Win, (3) Max Player and (7) Jungle Runner

The fastest horses in the race are: (2) Sole Volante, (8) Tiz The Law, (6) Fore Left, and (10) Pneumatic

Pace Bias

The pace bias is a bit more complicated than the speed.  As you can see from the chart above, there is a bias towards closers but the bias is not very prominent.  

The bias is as follows:

  • If a horse has the lead and can set the pace to be relatively slow, there’s a decent chance (20%) that horse can win.

  • Horses that follow leaders have very little chance of winning.

  • Similarly, horses that are in the middle (or what we like to call no man's land) will struggle to win.

  • Horses that close seem to take advantage of the horses or leaders tiring at the top of the stretch.  Closers have a 50% chance of winning.

These are the horse that we expect to either lead or be close to the lead at the top of the stretch: (8) Tiz The Law, (6) Fore Left, (9) Dr. Post, (10) Pneumatic, (1) Tap It To Win, (4) Modernist.

These are the horses that we expect will try to stay back and close off the race in the stretch: (2) Sole Volante, (5) Farmington Road.

These are some horses that we think you can eliminate based on their pace figures: (1) Tap It To Win, (9) Dr. Post, (4) Modernist

If you think that a horse can take the lead, set the pace and hold it, there’s a good chance of this horse winning.  If you can’t find one of these horses, we would pick a closer.  The challenge with this race is that there are lots of horses that like to take the lead or be close to the lead.  This means that there will be traffic for the horses to get through before having a clear shot at the finish line.

Bias Summary

  • A horse with speed will win this race, but the pace will dictate the winner.

  • Many horses will try to either take the lead or be close to it at the start of the race. This will push the early pace to be quick.

  • The amount of horses fighting for position at the top of the race will mean that closers will have a good chance of winning this race.  If they can ensure they are not too far back in the corner before the stretch, and if there isn’t too much traffic, watch out for them.

The Horses

(1) Tap It To Win

  • Has not done great in Stake races but perfect on Allowance

  • His last race he was able to outrun his competitors in an impressive way.  If he can recreate that magic then he’ll be contending.

  • He seems to love the first post and he won’t be hampered by the (2) and (3) since they are not quick leaders.

  • His last win was his best effort by far and it was only 2 weeks ago.  It will  be hard to replicate that form with the competition he’ll be facing

DHP Race Grade: C

(2) Sole Volante

  • Fastest horse in the race

  • Likes to stay back and hunt then pounce on the leaders at the top of the stretch.  Fits the bias really well.

  • Very consistent in all races and very impressive stakes record.

  • Has never raced at 1800 meters before, but in all of his races he seemed to be increasing his speed in the stretch.  Races he didn’t win he could have used the extra length to pass the leaders.

  • Based on his pace figures, he’ll be at the back of the race early. He is the fastest and seems to  have the legs to finish it off.  Assuming that the pace isn’t very slow and assuming he doesn’t hit a massive wall of traffic during the stretch, he’ll be a force to reckon with.

DHP Race Grade: A

(3) Max Player

  • Very slow compared to his competitors

  • Likes to stay near the back and improve during the race

  • Has not raced since February

  • Based on his pace figures, he’ll be in no man’s land during the race.  It’ll be hard for him to be in the middle and find a hole to pass through.  Not enough speed to beat the traffic.

  • If he goes fast at the start, he’ll tire too fast.  If he goes slower, he won’t have enough speed.

DHP Race Grade: C

(4) Modernist

  • His speed isn’t great but not the worst

  • His pace is very fast and likes to be close to the lead.  

  • There will be many horses with speed at the top of the race.  That’s going to be a challenge for this horse.  He doesn’t seem to have the pedigree to keep up with the stamina of horses like (8) Tiz The Law

  • He’s a wild card, meaning that if the race brakes apart, there’s an outside chance this horse can win. 

DHP Race Grade: X

(5) Farmington Road

  • Speed is not too bad, upper middle of the pack

  • Pace suggests that this horse will try to stay at the back of the race.

  • He’ll have to contend with (2) Sole Volante during the stretch. That will be a tall order to do, but you never know.

  • The 5 post is a good spot for him.  His last races he started on the far outside and he may not have enjoyed that.  The races that he started nearer to the inside he did much better.  He also won’t be hampered by other horses around him, plus he’ll have a better spot than (2) Sole Volante.

  • The challenge with this horse is that he’s not a natural “winner”.  He’s more likely to want to stay in the pack as opposed to taking the lead. 

  • He’s a long shot but worth putting him into exotics for sure.

DHP Race Grade: B

(6) Fore Left

  • Very good speed

  • Is a leader.  Expect that he’ll try to go to the lead and set the pace

  • Has not raced in many months

  • Has been sporadic with his speed figures and last time out, raced on a turf surface (he did very poorly).  His speed figures may be exaggerated because of that.

  • He started twice from the six spot and didn’t do very well.

  • This may be a horse that will do anything to be on his own.  If he can lead great, he’ll stay at the lead, but if he gets close to other horses he’ll naturally slow down to the back of the race.  

  • He’ll be pushed from the back of the race by some very good horses.  His history doesn’t suggest that he can handle the pressure.

DHP Race Grade: C

(7) Jungle Runner

  • He has the worst speed in the race

  • Pace is in the middle of the pack; no man’s land.

  • This horse will most likely just be an obstacle to other horses in the race.

  • Given his obstacle role, the question we need to ask is if he’ll be in the way of the closers.  

DHP Race Grade: X

(8) Tiz The Law

  • The race favorite

  • Second only to (2) Sole Volante when it comes to speed

  • He loves to lead or be close to the lead.

  • He hasn’t raced in a few months but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to bother him.

  • His bias figures suggest that he won’t win.  Horses that are close to the lead but face lots of pressure from the back don’t seem to have a chance in this race.   That said, this horse has shown that he’s very good in his past races.  He has the strength and stamina to pull off a win, even if his bias figures work against him.

  • If the race bias were leaning towards leaders, he would be the hands down favorite.  But because he’ll face tough competition from the back and because the pace will probably be on the quick side, he’ll have a challenge.

DHP Race Grade: A-

(9) Dr. Post

  • Mid level speed

  • His pace suggests that he’ll try to follow the leaders.  Given that he starts on the outside, that may be a challenge. 

    • Getting to the leaders will tire him out a bit and he’ll be on the outside for the majority of the race.

    • Staying back will get him out of his comfort zone and he’ll have to deal with a decent amount of traffic in the end. 

  • His speed figures tell us that staying back is not great and going to the lead will be too hard for him.

  • Not expected to contend for the win in this race.

DHP Race Grade: C

(10) Pneumatic

  • His speed is very good, upper middle compared to his competitors

  • Loves to be close to the lead

  • This horse has not raced a lot and because of this he’s a bit of a wild card.  Unlike his competitors who have 5 or more races under their belt, he only has 3 races.

  • He’s improved consistently in all races.  I see no reason why that wouldn’t continue in this race.

  • Unlike (9) Dr. Post, he has enough speed to stay close to the leaders even on the outside.  

  • He’ll be one of those horses that will need to race on the outside and in the middle of the track in the stretch.  This means that he’ll be acting as traffic for the closers.

  • If he can keep his pace to a reasonable level during the race, and if the middle of the track lends itself to speed in the stretch, he’ll have something to say by the end of this race.

DHP Race Grade: B


All Stake races of this level are hard to handicap, but given the bias analysis and the horses in this race, the following is the best view of what the top of the stretch may look like.

The (2) Sole Volante, (5) Farmington Road, (8) Tiz The Law and (10) Pneumatic have the best chance of winning this race.

(9) Dr. Post may play the role of ruining this analysis and depending on any scratches he may be worth a second look, but at the moment he will not be part of any win ticket.