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This year, the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, celebrating its 150th renewal, will again have a horse going for the Triple Crown, with Justify winning both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. He will attempt to become only the second undefeated horse, Seattle Slew being the first, to win the Triple Crown. Only two other horses from the Preakness, Bravazo and Tenfold, entered to take him on in the Belmont along with four back from the Derby and three just now joining the Triple Crown battle.
Baffert said of Justify's chances out of post 1, "I never do like to draw the rail, but my horses seem to live in it. But I just feel that -- I think most importantly is that the horse is doing well, and last year, I mean, the last time I went through this, American Pharoah, he stepped back right when they opened, and he was actually -- didn't leave with them, and I got lucky that he got away from there. You can have a great hole, but if you don't leave there, you're still going to be in trouble. We have it, we can't change it, so we're just -- you just deal with it."
Lukas said of Bravazo, "I think it would be a really big mistake to feel that maybe Justify isn't on his game. I think he's really on his game. My horse is on his game. He's playing well. He's doing well. The 3 horse, not bad. I think he's a good gate horse. We'll be okay. We'll lead you out of it, and Bob and I will go on with it."
Todd Pletcher said of Vino Rosso and Noble Indy (post 9, 30-1) said, "We didn't feel like it was hugely important where we drew. Both of them run towards the outside, which is fine. I think Noble Indy is going to need to show a little bit of speed and get into the flow of the race, and Vino Rosso, we're expecting him to hopefully find a good rhythm, and he doesn't mind being on the outside, so you don't want to lose too much ground around there, but post position-wise, I think it's fine. I don't know, Bob may be a little nervous about drawing the 1 if he doesn't break great, but so far the horse has been perfect, so it's hard to find any weaknesses."
Dale Romans, trainer of Free Drop Billy (post 2, 30-1) said, "The 2 post is a lot better in the Belmont than it is in the Kentucky Derby, and the horse is doing super. But I do want to point out there, Bob Baffert is only 25 percent when going for Triple Crowns."
Live television coverage will be provided from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and 4:00-7:00 p.m. on NBC, with post time for the Belmont Stakes carded as Race 11, going to post at 6:46 p.m. All times are Eastern time zone. Free past performances are available here from BRISnet.
Be sure to click the link on each horse's name to view full info, stats, and a photo.
|1||Justify||Bob Baffert||3.00||Mike Smith||4-5|
|2||Free Drop Billy||Dale Romans||1.74 *||Robby Albarado||30-1|
|3||Bravazo||D. Wayne Lukas||2.75||Luis Saez||8-1|
|4||Hofburg||Bill Mott||2.78||Irad Ortiz Jr.||9-2|
|5||Restoring Hope||Bob Baffert||1.72||Florent Geroux||30-1|
|6||Gronkowski||Chad Brown||3.00||Jose Ortiz||12-1|
|7||Tenfold||Steve Asmussen||3.00||Ricardo Santana Jr.||12-1|
|8||Vino Rosso||Todd Pletcher||3.57||John Velazquez||8-1|
|9||Noble Indy||Todd Pletcher||3.00||Javier Castellano||30-1|
|10||Blended Citizen||Doug O'Neill||3.00 *||Kyle Frey||30-1|
Triple Crown quick links:
Triple Crown Index
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