Belmont Stakes Picks and Predictions
| WATCH OUT FOR ZITO! |
By Bob Acton of Sportingbet USA – now SuperBook.com –
Afleet Alex was named the 6-5 favorite for the 137th runningof the Belmont Stakes this coming Saturday and after his incredibleperformance in the Preakness, the line is certainly a correctone. With over 1,000 lemonade stands set up around the worldthis weekend, the foundation established by eight-year old AlexanderScott of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, is certain to reap some seriousfinancial benefits.
Scott was 8 when she died last August after fighting an aggressiveform of childhood cancer almost since birth. Her story made nationalnews and her legacy lives on thanks to Zacney and his horse, whohave teamed with the Scotts to bring a greater awareness — andincreased donations — to the lemonade stand. “I thought it wasa really good story and I wanted to be part of it,” said Zacney,who donated money even before Afleet Alex turned pro.
Jay and Liz Scott never heard of Zacney or hishorse and were surprised last fall when this stranger called themto offer a percentage of Afleet Alex’s earnings from a top-threefinish.
“Chuck told us the horse is pretty good. Wejust had no idea how good,” said Jay Scott, Alex’s father.
Of course it’s silly to compare a horse enjoyingits greatest success to a girl who died of cancer, but there weresome similarities in the way they battled through adversity.
The horse had to be hand fed with a beer bottleof milk shortly after birth, and overcame a lung infection. Hisbreeder has terminal cancer, and says the horse is helping himsurvive.
Alex, diagnosed shortly before her first birthdaywith neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer, wasleft paralyzed from the chest down after her first surgery. Whendoctors said Alex would never walk again, Jay Scott said his daughterworked to sit up without assistance and eventually walked withoutthe aid of braces.
“They were very determined,” Jay Scott said.“They showed lots of courage after a tough start.”
But Alex still couldn’t feel her legs, leavingher with an awkward gait. When Liz Scott saw the courageous coltavert tragedy in the Preakness, she told her husband how muchit reminded her of Alex.
“It was a lot like how Alex used to run, howshe’d lose it and keep going,” Jay Scott said.
Last year the entire racing world was caughtup in a similar predicament as Smarty Jones captured the heartsof us all and along came New York based trainer Nick Zito to ruinthe party for us all with Birdstone.
This year Zito is 0-8 with Triple Crown horses,but does brings in a freshened-up horse in Andromedas Hero whowas lightly regarded in the Derby and finished eighth. Zito usuallyenters his horses where they can win and trust me the Hero willbring his A game Saturday.
Bet the exacta 9-7 and back it up witha win ticket on the #7 horse!