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Kentucky Derby Contenders
A field of 12 will face the starter in the 144th running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday June 8, the final leg of the Triple Crown. Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another drew post 11 and is the 4-5 favorite on the morning line for his bid to become the 12th ever Triple Crown winner. Back for a rematch is Kentucky Derby third place finisher Dullahan, who drew post 5 and is the second choice at 5-1. Also back from the Kentucky Derby is Union Rags who will break from post 3 at odds of 6-1.
I'll Have Another's trainer Doug O'Neill seemed happy with how his horse is coming along. He said, "He's doing great. He's continued to gallop good, his energy's been good, his appetite's been strong, and he's handled this whole journey as good as you could possibly ask a horse. He hasn't lost a bit of his flesh at all, his coat continues to shine and look great, so we couldn't ask for him to be coming in to this any better."
Jerry Crawford, managing partner of Donegal Stable who owns second choice Dullahan said, "I don't think I'll Have Another, as much attention as he has gotten, has really gotten his full due yet, and the reason is that Ahmed Zayat's horse, Bodemeister, has just been spectacular in both races, and yet I'll Have Another has managed to find a way to beat him in both races. Ahmed and I talked with Paul [Reddam] earlier today and told him we're going to do everything we can to keep him from being a Triple Crown winner, but after what he has already done, and if he gets it done Saturday, he'll not only be a worthy Triple Crown winner, he will have exceeded all possible expectations."
Trainer Michael Matz said of Union Rags drawing post 3: "If I had my choice I would have picked a little further out. I think the horse has enough speed to be in a decent position." His owner Phyllis Wyeth said, "Obviously, we have been a little disappointed, but we still feel Union Rags hasn't run his race. We had some problems in the Derby ... But we still think he can do really, really well, and we've switched jockeys to Johnny [Velazquez], and he just had a really nice work."
The Belmont Stakes will be the 11th of 13 races going off at 6:40pm ET and will be telecast nationally on NBC from 4:30-7:00pm, with coverage of the undercard on NBC Sports Network from 3-4:30pm. NBC Sports Network will also carry post-race coverage from 7-7:30pm.
Below are the horses entered for the 2012 Belmont Stakes with post positions and morning line odds. Be sure to click the link on each horse's name to view full info, stats, and a photo. Free past performances are available from Daily Racing Form.
Update: Sadly, we will not get to see I'll Have Another try to become the 12th Triple Crown winner tomorrow in the Belmont Stakes. According to his owner, he had some heat in one of his legs yesterday and after he jogged today they did a scan and found a tendon injury that will keep him on the sidelines. The morning line has been adjusted now after the scratch.
Triple Crown quick links:
|1||Street Life||Chad Brown||3.00||Jose Lezcano||8-1|
|2||Unstoppable U||Ken McPeek||3.00||Junior Alvarado||20-1|
|3||Union Rags||Michael Matz||2.14 *||John Velazquez||3-1|
|4||Atigun||Ken McPeek||2.33||Julien Leparoux||15-1|
|5||Dullahan||Dale Romans||4.20||Javier Castellano||9-5|
|6||Ravelo's Boy||Manuel Azpurua||3.00||Alex Solis||30-1|
|7||Five Sixteen||Dominick Schettino||2.33||Rosie Napravnik||30-1|
|8||Guyana Star Dweej||Doodnauth Shivmangal||3.00||Kent Desormeaux||30-1|
|9||Paynter||Bob Baffert||2.50||Mike Smith||7-2|
|10||Optimizer||D. Wayne Lukas||3.24||Corey Nakatani||15-1|
|scratch||I'll Have Another||Doug O'Neill||2.11||Mario Gutierrez||scratch|
|12||My Adonis||Kelly Breen||2.67||Ramon Dominguez||15-1|
Triple Crown Index
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