Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Belmont Stakes Has 13 Entries

The Belmont Stakes has lowered ticket prices for this Saturday's third leg of the Triple Crown races, due to the fact that Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist is not running due to illness.  Since Exaggerator won the Preakness, folks were looking forward to the mile-and-a-half contest between the two winners.  Nyquist spiked a fever a couple of days after the Preakness, and has just begun returning to the training track.  But twelve other horses have decided to face Exaggerator on the track called Big Sandy, and the Graveyard of Champions. (Not that a lot of horses have died on the track, but wonderful winning horses have had their biggest defeats here - Secretariat and Man o'War, for example.)
   Of the colts running in the third race of the American Triple Crown series, only Exaggerator and Lani  will have competed in all three Classic races.  Exaggerator finished second in the Kentucky Derby, and won the Preakness; Lani ran ninth in the Derby and fifth at Pimlico.  Stradivari  (fourth) and Cherry Wine (second) are the colts to run in the Preakness and the Belmont, and not in the Derby.  Five other starters in the Kentucky Derby have decided to race in the Belmont, having skipped the Preakness:  Creator (thirteenth in the Derby), Suddenbreakingnews (fifth), Destin (sixth), Brody's Cause (seventh), and Trojan Nation (sixteenth).
   Of the 13 colts running, 5 are grey or roan, 1 is chestnut, and the rest (7) are bays and browns.  All of the colts were bred in Kentucky, except the chestnut Governor Malibu, who is New York bred.  Lani is still the single internationally raced colt, having raced in Japan and the UAE.  Several sires have two colts running - Giant's Causeway has Destin and Brody's Cause; Medaglio d'Oro has Stradivari and Forever d'Oro; and Tapit has Lani and Creator.   Several trainers have two horses entered, also:  Todd Pletcher has Destin and Stradivari; Dale Romans has Cherry Wine and Brody's Cause; Dallas Stewart has Seeking the Soul and Forever d'Oro; and Steve Asmussen has Creator and Gettysburg.
   Following are the post positions, the horse's name, their coat color, the name of their sire, and their opening betting odds:
1.    Governor Malibu  (ch)  Malibu Moon           12 to 1
2.    Destin  (grey/roan)   Giant's Causeway            6 to 1
3.    Cherry Wine  (grey/roan)   Paddy O'Prado      8 to 1
4.    Suddenbreakingnews  (bay)   Mineshaft        10 to 1
5.    Stradivari  (bay)   Medaglia d'Oro                   5 to 1
6.    Gettysburg (grey/roan)   Pioneer of the Nile  30 to 1
7.    Seeking the Soul (bay)  Perfect Soul (Ire)     30 to 1
8.    Forever d'Oro   (bay)  Madaglio d'Oro           30 to 1
9.    Trojan Nation    (bay)   Street Song (Ire)       30 to 1
10.  Lani  (grey/roan)    Tapit                                20 to 1
11.  Exaggerator   (bay) Curlin                               9 to 5
12.  Brody's Cause  (bay)   Giant's Causeway      20 to 1
13.  Creator  (grey/roan)    Tapit                           10 to 1

Lani is the only colt to have raced one 1/2 miles before - and he won that race impressively.  I'd like to see Exaggerator win.  With all the newcomers, and the horses who took a break since the Derby, I'm not sure who else I 'd bet on....  It'll come down to the horses' demeanor's Saturday afternoon....

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