As I See It – June 9, 2016

By Matt Dinerman

This is going to be a very exciting week at Emerald Downs. Of course, we’ve got the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, along with 8 other stakes races from Belmont Park. It’s as close to a Breeders Cup card as you’ll find, so for race fans all over the United States, it’s going to be an exciting afternoon filled with top class horse racing!

Here are the top three contenders in The 2016 Belmont Stakes:

EXAGGERATOR is the 9-5 morning line favorite. He beat Nyquist in the Preakness three weeks ago, and sure looks like the class of the field. His sire, Curlin, finished second in this race in 2007, so Exaggerator has the breeding to go the mile and a half Belmont stakes distance.

STRADIVARI is the second choice on the morning line at 5-1. After winning two races by a combined 25 and ¼ lengths, his trainer, top North American trainer Todd Pletcher, thought highly enough of this colt to try him in The Preakness, where he ran a very respectable fourth, considering that was his first try against stakes competition.

DESTIN is the 2nd Todd Pletcher trained runner in this race and is the third choice on the morning line at 6-1. This colt is a full brother to Grade 1 winner and Kentucky stallion Creative Cause, so he is very well bred. By Giant’s Causeway out of the Siberian Summer mare Dream of Summer, he is bred to run all day. Like his stablemate, he is one to keep an eye on.

We open our gates on Saturday at 8 AM. The first race for the Belmont Day card at Belmont Park goes off at 8:45 AM PST. The Belmont Stakes will go off at approximately 3:37 PM, and we’ll show that race to all of the on-track patrons on our giant big screen in the infield! Watch the entire Belmont card from the comfort of Emerald Downs!

Indian Relay Racing also returns to Emerald Downs this weekend! From Friday to Sunday, we will have 3 races a day, with the first Indian Relay going off before our first thoroughbred race. On Friday, the first thoroughbred race will start at approximately 6:45 PM. Saturday and Sunday’s, first post remains unchanged at 2 PM. There is no words to describe this event. Basically, you have one rider and a few horses per team, with a couple other team members holding the horses. Every half mile, the rider hops off one horse and hops on another one as fast as they can. Each race is two laps around the Emerald Downs oval, so a total of 2 miles. The first one to the finish line wins! It is going to be an outstanding, adrenaline filled event.

You don’t want to miss the action! 7 races for our thoroughbreds on Friday night, and 9 races on our Saturday and Sunday cards. I must get to ‘capping. We’ll be back it tomorrow!

***Feel free to e-mail me at for questions, comments, concerns, or anything else that you’d like to chat about or share.***