OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - The final jewel in the Triple Crown - the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes goes down this Saturday June 8 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Some of the best three year olds in the land including the winners of the first two jewels will take to the track and run 1 1/2 miles on Belmont Park's main track in search of the winner's portion of the $1 million purse.
A field of 14 has been confirmed for the final jewel in the Triple Crown including the winners of the first two races on the Triple Crown trail. Post time is 6:36 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 14 entries for this lucrative and prestigious Grade 1 stakes.
Orb - Orb appears prime for a bounce back effort this week after an OK Preakness in which he got lost in the shuffle and fell victim to almost a perfect trip by Oxbow. He still holds victories in the Kentucky Derby by 2 1/4 lengths, the Grade 1 Florida Derby March 30 at Gulfstream, the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes February 23 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score January 26 - his only blemish was the Preakness. With Shug McGaughey training him and Joel Rosario riding Orb, he is still the morning line favorite to bounce back and reclaim his status as the best three year old in the land.
Revolutionary - Todd Pletcher trained colt entered the Kentucky Derby on a three race win streak - a terrific score in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby March 30, a win in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct February 2 and an 8 1/2 length win over Transparent at Aqueduct December 28 over 1 mile. He put up a fight in the Derby and finished an OK third and skipped the Preakness. He is the second choice on the morning line and starts from post 7 right beside Oxbow and two over from Orb who he should be neck-and-neck with throughout.
Oxbow - was an OK sixth in the Derby and won the Preakness at 15-1 odds to put his name on the Belmont radar. But the Preakness represented Oxbow's first win since January. Did he catch lightning in a bottle or did legendary jockey Gary Stevens really make that much of a difference. He had placed in just two of six starts prior to the Preakness with a fifth in the Arkansas Derby, a good second in the Rebel Stakes and then the Grade 2 LeComte Stakes win in January. All eyes will be on Oxbow as the morning line third choice.
Freedom Child - is coming off his biggest effort to date - a win in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes on this track May 11. Trainer Thomas Albertini hopes that Freedom Child is peaking at the right time. Other career results include a tenth in the Wood Memorial, a MSW win in wire-to-wire fashion by 5 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream March, a third, a second and an eighth respectively to start his career. He is the fourth choice on the morning line at 8-1 starts from post 2 and has obviously caught the eye of the oddsmakers based on his Peter Pan result.
Unlimited Budget - very impressive Todd Pletcher trained filly is the co-fourth choice at 8-1 odds for the Belmont. She has five career starts (4 graded stakes) and four impressive wins - the last coming March 30 in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks after a win in the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes also at Fair Grounds February 23. She also won the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct in November. Her only career loss came last time out - an OK third in the Kentucky Oaks May 3. She is poised to give the boys a big run Saturday and Todd Pletcher certainly likes his chances.
Golden Soul - was the only real serious challenger to Orb in the Kentucky Derby where he finished second. This after an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds March 30, a pedestrian sixth in the Grade 2 Risen Star February 23 and a good second in the Grade 2 LeComte Stakes January 19. He opted out of the Preakness but is back to challenge Orb again as the morning line fifth choice at 10-1 odds. He starts from post 14.
Overanalyze - Todd Pletcher colt has a trio of impressive wins on his résumé - the Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park September 30,the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct November 24 and the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park April 13. He also had an OK third as 9-5 favorite in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes October 28 and an ugly fifth in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct March 2. Overanalyze is the sixth choice on the morning line at 12-1 odds mostly because of his disappointing eleventh in the Kentucky Derby. He still has the speed to contend but his lack of consistency has raised a few red flags.
Palace Malice - Todd Pletcher trained colt is also 15-1 on the morning line. He had a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds March 30, and was a nice second in the Blue Grass Stakes April 13 behind Java's War. He finished twelfth in the Kentucky Derby and then he skipped the Preakness. Despite not tasting victory since August 2012, Palace Malice enters with plenty of expectation and optimism after putting in some good work ahead of the Belmont.
Vyjack - won his first four career starts including a pair of graded stakes scores at Aqueduct earlier this year. He then finished third in the Wood Memorial and was eighteenth in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. He had some hype earlier this spring but after an ugly Derby, he last lost a lot of his backers. Vyjack is 20-1 on the morning line and is not expected to be a front runner in the Belmont.
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Incognito - has raced five times in 2013 - the first four at Aqueduct for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and had a two race win streak heading into the Peter Pan last time out - an Allowance Optional Claiming April 13 and a MSW score March 16. He raced to a fifth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan May 11 in his first start in stakes company. He sits at 20-1 on the morning line and will have a tough time cracking the top 3 against a terrific field.
Will Take Charge - was eighth in the Kentucky Derby and seventh in the Preakness after an impressive win in the Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park in March. A lot was expected of this colt for trainer D. Wayne Lukas but he has fallen flat on the biggest stages so far. He will start from post 10 and is 20-1 on the morning line.
Giant Finish - has six career starts for trainer Anthony Dutrow and is coming off a tenth in the Kentucky Derby after an OK third in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes March 23, an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Aqueduct January 17 and a second in the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park February 2 behind General Election. He has two wins, a second and a third place finish in six career starts and is one of three entries at 30-1 on the morning line for the Belmont Stakes.
Midnight Taboo - Todd Pletcher trained colt will be making just his fourth career start in the Preakness. He started his career with a second in a MSW before breaking maiden April 6 at Aqueduct. He is coming off another second last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track May 8. Needless to say, the Belmont Stakes is an enormous step up in competition for this lightly raced colt. Hence the 30-1 odds on the morning line.
Frac Daddy - Kenneth McPeek trained colt has seven career starts with just one win in a Maiden Special Weight by 9 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs in November and three second place finishes - in impressive fashion in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn April 13, at a MSW in his debut in October and a very close second to Uncaptured in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes November 24. He had a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Florida Derby March 30 after an equally disappointing sixth in the Grade 3 Holy Bull January 26 but bounced back nicely in the Arkansas. Last time out was a disappointing sixteenth in the Kentucky Derby. Hopes are that experience on the biggest stage will have done Frac Daddy some good and he improves on his disappointing last race. He breaks from the rail and is 30-1 on the morning line.
|1||Medal Count||Spendthrift Farm||Dale Romans||Robby Albarado||20-1|
|2||California Chrome||Perry Martin,
|Art Sherman||Victor Espinoza||3-5|
|3||Matterhorn||Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners||Todd Pletcher||Joe Bravo||30-1|
|4||Commanding Curve||West Point Thoroughbreds||Dallas Stewart||Shaun Bridgmohan||15-1|
|5||Ride On Curlin||Daniel J. Dougherty||Billy Gowan||John Velazquez||12-1|
|6||Matuszak||George J. Prussin||Bill Mott||Mike Smith||30-1|
|7||Samraat||My Meadowview Farms||Rick Violette||Jose Ortiz||20-1|
|8||Commissioner||WinStar Farm||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano||20-1|
|9||Wicked Strong||Centennial Farms||Jimmy Jerkens||Rajiv Maragh||6-1|
|10||General A Rod||Skychai Racing,
|Mike Maker||Rosie Napravnik||20 -1|
|11||Tonalist||Robert S. Evans||Christophe Clement||Joel Rosario||8 - 1|
|Belmont Stakes Winners|
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