OffTrackBetting.com - All eyes will be on Belmont Park in Elmont, New York this Saturday, June 11 when the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes will be run. Some of the best three year olds around will take to Belmont Park's dirt track and race 1 1/2 miles searching for the winner's share of the $1.5 million purse and the honor of calling themselves a Belmont Stakes champion.
A field of 13 will give it a go in the Belmont Stakes - race 11 on Belmont Park's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 6:37 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 13 combatants for the Final Leg of the 2016 Triple Crown.
2016 Belmont Stakes Race Preview at Belmont Park
Exaggerator 9-5 - Keith Desormeaux trained colt has five wins, three runner-ups and a third place finish in 11 career starts. He arrives on the heels of his biggest win to date - by 3 1/4 lengths in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes May 21. Before that was a good second behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby, a terrific win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 9, an OK third in the competitive Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 12 and a runner-up finish behind Nyquist in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15. He's also posted a terrific win with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21, a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a respectable second in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October and a nice win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. Exaggerator has been very competitive so far and off his biggest career effort will be the one to catch Saturday. Kent Desormeaux rides from post 11.
Stradivari 5-1 - lightly raced Todd Pletcher trained colt has won two of his four career starts and made his stakes debut last time out finishing a respectable fourth in the Preakness Stakes. In the lead-up to that race was an incredible 14 length Allowance score at Keeneland April 17, a maiden win by 11 lengths at Gulfstream Park in December and a fourth in his debut in November. Stradivari didn't look out of place in his step up and hopes to make a splash Saturday. John Velazquez has the mount on the second betting choice from post 5.
Destin 6-1 - has six career starts for Todd Pletcher with three wins and a second place finish. He enters off an OK sixth in the Kentucky Derby which followed a terrific two race win streak - the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12 and by 2 1/4 lengths in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes February 13. Before that was his only other off-the-board finish - a fourth in the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds January 16, a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream December 18 and a maiden score at first asking - back in October. Destin has been good so far and will be after his third graded stakes score in his last four starts- with Javier Castellano aboard the third betting choice from gate 2.
Cherry Wine 8-1 - Dale Romans trained colt nine eight career starts with two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was a very nice runner-up finish behind Exaggerator in the Preakness Stakes after an OK third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 9, a fourth in his stakes debut - the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 19 and two straight wins including a six length Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream Park January 9. Cherry Wine has been competitive so far, hopes for his third win in six starts and will be chasing his first stakes score Saturday. Corey Lanerie gets the call from post 3.
Creator 10-1 - Steve Asmussen trained colt has placed in seven of nine career starts - two wins, four seconds and a third place finish. He arrives off a disappointing thirteenth in the Kentucky Derby which followed a career-defining win - the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 16 and a third in his stakes debut - the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes March 19 - both results at Oaklawn Park. Creator had been trending upward before last time out and will be after a bounce back effort Saturday. Irad Ortiz is scheduled to ride from the outside post 13.
Suddenbreakingnews 10-1 - Donnie Von Hemel trained gelding has placed in seven of nine career starts - three wins and four runner-up finishes. Last time out was an OK fifth in the Kentucky Derby May 7 after a respectable second in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 16 and his only other off-the-board finish in the Grade 1 Rebel Stakes. Before that was a career-highlight win in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes February 15. He also won his stakes debut - the minor Clever Trevor Stakes at Remington Park in November. Suddenbreakingnews has been in decent form overall and will have Mike Smith in charge from gate 4.
Governor Malibu 12-1 - has placed in all seven career starts for trainer Christophe Clement - two wins, four seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a respectable second in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes on this track May 14 after a second after being DQ's from first in the minor Federisco Tesio Stakes at Laurel Park April 9, a good win in the minor Gander Stakes at Aqueduct in February and a maiden score in November. He has been in every race so far and hopes to make a statement in his biggest race to date. Joel Rosario has been tabbed to ride from the rail.
Brody's Cause 20-1 - will race for the eighth time for trainer Dale Romans having recorded three wins and a third place finish. Last time out was a disappointing seventh in the Kentucky Derby in May which followed a career best effort - a win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 9 and another seventh as favorite in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12. He's also had a third as favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile behind Nyquist and Swipe, a terrific win in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity and a maiden score in September. Brody's Cause has been a tad inconsistent so far and chases his biggest win to date Saturday. Luis Saez has been tabbed to ride from gate 12.
Lani 20-1 - Japanese bred Mikio Matsunaga trained colt was decent at home in recording two wins and a second place finish in five starts but arrived on the radar with a win in the Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan March 26. He has raced both legs of the Triple Crown so far - a fifth last time out in the Preakness followed a somewhat predictable ninth in the Kentucky Derby. Lani hopes to make a little noise Saturday and get his first North American win with Tutaka Take in the irons from gate 10.
Trojan Nation 30-1 - Peter Gallagher trained colt has yet to post victory in his career but does have a runner-up finish and three thirds place in seven starts. He enters off a sixteenth place finish in the Kentucky Derby which followed a good second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 9 and a pair of third place finishes - both MSW at Aqueduct with the last one coming March 5. He looked good two starts back and hopes to rediscover that form Saturday. Aaron Gryder gets the call from post 9.
Gettysburg 30-1 - Todd Pletcher trained colt has a win, a second and two third place finishes in seven career starts. Last time out was a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here May 26 after a fifth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 16, a second in the minor Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes in March and another fifth in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay in February. He looks for his first stakes score Saturday and enters in so-so form. Paco Lopez will be in the saddle from gate 6.
Forever d'Oro 30-1 - Dallas Stewart trained colt has just three career starts with one win. He broke maiden last time out on this track May 29 after a pair of off-the-board finishes to start his career. Forever d'Oro steps into stakes company for the first time Saturday - a huge leap for this lightly raced colt. Hopes are that he won't be out of place when he leaves from gate 8 with Jose Ortiz in the reins.
Seeking The Soul 30-1 - has a win and a second place finish in three career starts for trainer Dallas Stewart. He makes his stakes debut Saturday off a maiden score at Churchill Downs May 29 after a fifth and a second to start his career. Seeking The Soul takes a major leap up in competition in OK form. Florent Geroux will be in the saddle.
2016 Belmont Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 11 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:37 PM.
||Donnie Von Hemel
||Seeking the Soul
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.