Post One the One to Have in Belmont
by Dan Liebman
Date Posted: 6/4/2008 12:39:08 PM
Last Updated: 6/4/2008 12:47:00 PM

Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) from the outside post position. If he is to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner, he will have to win the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) from the inside post position.

At the post draw for the Belmont, Big Brown, owned by IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr., was the last name pulled from the entry box. There was only one pill remaining and it contained No. 1. Ten horses were entered for the 12-furlong race.

"It does take away some from what you can do," jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rides Big Brown, said following the draw. "You still have to ride your horse and watch how the other riders rider their horses."

It should be noted that the inside post has produced, by far, more winners than any other post in the Belmont.

Since 1905, there have been 23 winners to break from the inside post. The others posts and the number of winners are: 2 (11); 3 (13); 4 (9); 5 (13); 6 (7); 7 (12); 8 (6); 9 (4); 10 (2); and 11 (2).

The most recent winner from the 1 post was Empire Maker, who won the Belmont in 2003. That might be a good omen for Big Brown, who is housed in the same barn. Empire Maker was trained by Bobby Frankel, in whose barn trainer Rick Dutrow chose to stable Big Brown while at Belmont Park.

If Big Brown is victorious in the Belmont, he will become the sixth Triple Crown winner to win the final leg of the Triple Crown from the inside post

Of the 11 horses that have won the Triple Crown, Sir Barton broke from post 1 in a three-horse field (1919); Gallant Fox broke from post 1 in a four-horse field (1930); Omaha broke from post 3 in a five-horse field (1935); War Admiral broke from post 7 in a seven-horse field (1937); Whirlaway broke from post 3 in a four-horse field (1941); Count Fleet broke from post 2 in a three-horse field (1943); Assault broke from post 1 in a seven-horse field (1946); Citation broke from post 1 in an eight-horse field; Secretariat broke from post 1 in a five-horse field; Seattle Slew broke from post 5 in an eight-horse field (1977); and Affirmed broke from post 3 in a five-horse field (1978).

Six times since 1997 horse won the Derby and Preakness (gr. I) but lost the Belmont. None of those six horses broke from post 1: Silver Charm, post 2, 1997; Real Quiet, post 7, 1998; Charismatic, post 4 (1999); War Emblem, post 9 (2002); Funny Cide, post 4 (2003); and Smarty Jones  , post 9 (2004).

Big Brown, undefeated in five starts, has won once from the inside post, breaking his maiden at Saratoga last fall from the No. 1 post in a turf contest. The son of Boundary broke from post six in the Preakness.



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