’s Upset Watch: Belmont Breakout Candidate


Madefromlucky (chestnut) worked with Carpe Diem on May 21. (Photo by NYRA/Susie Raisher)

American Pharoah is the deserving favorite heading into the Belmont Stakes on June 6 at Belmont Park after winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown and is 3-5 on the morning line.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is racing against history looking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed completed the sweep in 1978.

Frosted, 5-to-1 on the morning line, and Materiality, perhaps 6-to-1, are the two most likely horses bettors will back to upset American Pharoah, but could a horse he has already defeated twice pull off a surprise?

Madefromlucky lost to American Pharoah in the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby by a combined margin of 15 ¼ lengths (read Predicteform’s Arkansas Derby Analysis). Taking a page from last year’s Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, trainer Todd Pletcher opted not to race Madefromlucky in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes. You can read Predicteform’s 2014 Belmont Stakes Analysis, which accurately predicted Tonalist to upset California Chrome.

Instead, Madefromlucky ran in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes and won, just like Tonalist did prior to his Belmont Stakes win last year. As seen from the chart below, Madefromlucky has similar Final and Four Furlong figures to Tonalist entering the last leg of the Triple Crown (about two points off for each). Furthermore, both horses were coming off positive Form Cycle Patterns, Tonalist and his NPT (New Pace Top), while Madefromlucky is currently sitting on a SOFT Pattern (with a previous NPT).

Madefromlucky is positioned as a breakout candidate in our Value Plays. A breakout runner is a horse that is expected to improve significantly from previous races based on pace and form. These are generally undervalued horses. Madefromlucky is 12-1 on the Belmont Stakes morning line.

All eyes in the sports world are focused on American Pharoah and his run for the history books, but don’t be surprised if history repeats itself.

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