The wait is over. Darley Stable's Bernardini, who hasn't run since his brilliant victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), finally gets back to the races in Saturday's Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II), in which he will face five opponents.
After missing his mount aboard Bluegrass Cat in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with a broken shoulder blade, John Velazquez is looking forward to riding the colt in the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Saturday.
There are nine -- count 'em, nine -- horses who can win Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and it wouldn't come as a major surprise. What that means is that you can safely disregard the experts, speed figures, or any other handicapping tool and just hope the horse or horses you choose are in top shape to go a mile and a half.
Under the watchful eye of trainer Bob Baffert, Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender Bob and John and Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup (gr. II) favorite Too Much Bling both galloped easily over the muddy Belmont Park track Thursday morning.
Team Valor Stables' Oh So Awesome, who began his career in France, worked four furlongs in :48 3/5 over a wet training track at Belmont Park Wednesday in his final preparation for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
With each failed Triple Crown attempt comes an outcry from racing fans and horsemen that the structure of the Triple Crown needs changing. If it is the horses' safety and longevity that is the impetus for their comments, then no one can take issue with them. If, however, it is based on the fact that we have gone 28 years without a Triple Crown winner and racing desperately needs a horse to finally win all three races, that's a different matter.
Jazil, who dead-heated for fourth in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is scheduled to breeze a half-mile Monday morning in preparation for the June 10 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He was one of several probable starters that are expected to work Monday.
Trainer Danny Peitz kept a close eye on Robert and Lawana Low's Steppenwolfer as the colt cooled out from a sparkling six-furlong work of 1:10 1/5 on the training track Friday. Saturday morning Peitz reported nothing out of the ordinary with the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender.
With heavy rain and a wet track expected over the next couple of days, trainer Danny Peitz sent Robert and Lawana Low's Steppenwolfer to the training track for a quick six-furlong breeze Friday morning in preparation for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 10.
Team Valor Stable's Oh So Awesome breezed seven furlongs on Belmont Park's fast main track Thursday morning in 1:27 4/5 as he prepared for the 138th running of the Belmont Stakes on June 10.
Steppenwolfer and Jazil, the third and fourth-place finishers in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum Brands (gr. I), both worked over a fast main track at Belmont Park Saturday morning in preparation for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 10.
Yes, there still is another leg of the Triple Crown to be run. Although the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 10 has lost its star appeal with the absence of Barbaro and Bernardini, it is still a classic, and a grueling one at that, and should at least be a competitive race, offering interesting possibilities for bettors.
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