The checklist of issues that makes the Belmont Stakes most difficult as a part of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown is sort of a mile and a half lengthy.
That, after all, is the space of the Grade 1 race set for six:45 p.m. Saturday at Belmont Park. It’s Race 11 on a 13-race card. It should broadcast on NBC. The purse is $1.5 million.
Whereas horsemen and horseplayers will remark typically about its size – not one of the entrants could have run this far of their careers – maybe extra noteworthy is the monitor’s composition. The floor is named “Massive Sandy” as a result of should you’ve ever run on sand, you realize a bit about what it’s going to be like for the horses on this “Take a look at of Champions.”
Expertise on this monitor floor can definitely be a bonus. On Saturday, just one horse could have examined it earlier than – Overtook (20-1), who positioned third within the Peter Pan Stakes on Could 8. That race coated 1 1/8 miles.
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For Belmont Stakes contenders, look to the Peter Pan
The Peter Pan is taken into account the greatest prep for the Belmont Stakes for horses who didn’t run in The Derby or Preakness. The Peter Pan is often contested by 3-year-olds who additionally didn’t compete on the Derby path – additionally known as “late bloomers.”
In 2014, Tonalist gained the Peter Pan as a prep for The Belmont in 2014, though earlier than him it’s good to return to A.P. Indy in 1992 to search out the final horse to win each races (A.P. Indy went on to win the Breeders Cup Basic and earned Horse of the Yr honors).
Sir Winston ran second within the Peter Pan, then gained the Belmont in 2019. Suffice it to say, the Peter Pan is mainly a “native prep” for the Belmont, and generally is a key prep if the Derby contingent operating within the Belmont is just not sturdy. It’s not.
Overtook – with one win in 5 profession begins – may be higher named Overlook. His Beyer pace ranking within the Peter Pan was solely 83, and he doesn’t appear to be a contender. He’ll have Manny Franco aboard for proprietor Mike Repole and coach Todd Pletcher and will solely get within the gate as a part of the eight-horse subject so the New Yorker Repole can have a Belmont runner.
Is Rombauer a Legit Contender?
Preakness winner Rombauer (3-1) ran properly and rallied to seize that Triple Crown win at Pimlico and is a contender. However some say his sturdy end within the stretch was inferior to it regarded visually, because the worn-down entrance runners have been chucking up the sponge.
Rombauer, too, misplaced his jockey Flavien Prat, who will experience Scorching Rod Charlie (7-2). John Velazquez will get the mount on Rombauer for coach Michael McCarthy. Velazquez has twice gained The Belmont and can be driving within the race for the twenty fifth time.
Prat’s agent Brad Pegram mentioned the choice was predetermined. “We dedicated after the Derby to experience the Belmont with Scorching Rod Charlie, after which just a few days later, the chance got here as much as experience Rombauer within the Preakness and we took it,” Pegram mentioned, based on revealed studies.
Ought to Rombauer win the Belmont, he’d be the clear front-runner for 3-year-old Horse of the Yr, mentioned New York Racing Affiliation handicapper Andy Serling.
Setting the Belmont race tempo
The Belmont winner is commonly a horse near the tempo. Scorching Rod Charlie can be both within the lead or, extra doubtless, can be sitting off Rock Your World (9-2) below rider Joel Rosario.
Rock Your World prefers setting the tempo. He was unable to take action within the Derby after being impeded firstly. However he’s in Publish 7, outdoors of Scorching Rod Charlie (Publish 4), which ought to give Rock Your World a bonus.
Recognized Agenda (6-1) – skilled by New York-based Todd Pletcher – is the horse who may doubtlessly rally. He had some site visitors hassle within the Derby, the place he completed ninth. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. once more will get the decision. Observers’ opinions are that Recognized Agenda will “need” the 1.5-mile distance, based mostly on pedigree, paper and visible standpoint. “He by no means seems drained,” one mentioned.
Pletcher has gained the Belmont 3 times, and twice with horses who have been ran in The Derby, then skipped The Preakness, then gained The Belmont (Palace Malice in 2013; and Tapwrit in 2017). Palace Malice paid practically $30 to win. His different was the filly Rags to Riches in 2007.
A Phrase Concerning the Favourite
The morning line favourite is Important High quality (2-1), who positioned fourth on the Kentucky Derby, the one blemish on his six-race resume that features 4 graded-stakes wins.
Important High quality has improved his Beyer Velocity Figures in every of his six begins, culminating along with his first triple-digit quantity when incomes a 100 on the Kentucky Derby in his final outing. Luis Saez will experience for coach Brad Cox, who’s on the lookout for his first Triple Crown win.
Eight of the 18 Belmont Stakes winners from 2000 to 2017 raced within the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness.
Additionally entered are Bourbonic (15-1) with jockey Kendrick Carmouche, drawing the favorable Publish 1 place; and France Go de Ina (30-1) with Ricardo Santana Jr.
Bourbonic was an upset winner within the Grade 2 Wooden Memorial at Aqueduct on April 3. He completed thirteenth within the Kentucky Derby. The horse in submit 1 has gained 24 Belmont titles, by far probably the most of any submit place.
France Go de Ina, a Japanese import, has not had a broadcast work since ending seventh within the Preakness.
No Baffert horse to cope with within the 2021 Belmont Stakes
Saturday’s runners won’t must compete with the likes of one of many winningest horse trainers of all time.
Bob Baffert‘s Kentucky Derby-winning horse Medina Spirit’s break up pattern outcomes got here in on Wednesday morning. The New York Instances introduced in a tweet that the constructive drug take a look at was confirmed. “The colt, skilled by seven-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, stands to change into the second horse within the 147-year historical past of the race to be disqualified for a failed take a look at.”
Baffert had already been suspended from racing in New York and can miss the Belmont Stakes after Medina Spirit examined constructive for betamethasone the day after the Derby. The horse is now at risk of shedding his Derby title.
Will the most recent Baffert drama result in new horse racing rules?
Medina Spirit ran within the Preakness Stakes two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and positioned third. Some say that Baffert discovered a loophole to delay the method.
“He can drag his ft and all of the stewards can do is exhort him to please choose a laboratory so the break up can exit,” Dr. Mary Scollay, govt director of the Racing Treatment and Testing Consortium (RMTC), mentioned. “However there’s no rule that claims should you don’t choose a lab inside 5 enterprise days you waive your proper to the break up or the fee can choose from the accredited laboratories. There’s no provision for that.”
Some count on this delay will result in a brand new regulation — to be recognized, a minimum of informally, because the “Baffert Rule.” Baffert’s lawyer Craig Robertson mentioned his coach is just not dragging his ft, however as an alternative is conducting due diligence concerning the laboratory to decide on.
Baffert remains to be operating in California. On Saturday, Nation Grammer edged Royal Ship by a head to win the Hollywood Gold Cup, giving Baffert his record-tying eighth victory within the Grade 1 race at Santa Anita.
2021 Belmont Stakes horses and odds
||Morning Line Odds
||Important High quality
|| Luis Saez
||Scorching Rod Charlie
||France Go De Ina
||Ricardo Santana Jr.
||Irad Ortiz Jr.
||Rock Your World
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Upcoming horse races for bettors to look out for
Following are a number of the prime races arising in June and July:
- June 26: Mom Goose (G2) Belmont
- July 3: The Suburban (G2) Belmont
- July 17: San Diego Handicap (G2) Del Mar
- July 17: The Haskell (G1) Monmouth Park
- July 17: Diana (G1) Saratoga
- July 24: Coach Membership American Oaks (G1) Saratoga
- July 31: The Bing Crosby (G1) Del Mar
- July 31: The Jim Dandy (G1) Saratoga
- July 31: The Gloria Vanderbilt (G1) Saratoga
- July 31: The Bowling Inexperienced (G2) Saratoga
Lead picture credit score: AP Photograph/Jeff Roberson
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