The Belmont already lost expected favorite Classic Empire on Wednesday because of an abscess in his right front hoof.
There are 12 3-year-olds entered in the 11/2-mile Belmont with the lukewarm favorite being the Graham Motion-trained Irish War Cry, who is 7-2. The minimum bet on a trifecta in NY is.50 (24 combos x.50), so you can play that one for $12 if you choose. It does come with questions about a Japanese horse with a sore foot.
In a sport where history tends to repeat itself, a Pletcher horse got another dream trip, just as he did in Louisville with Always Dreaming on the First Saturday in May. We were hoping he had enough left when it came to crunch time.
Epicharis walked around his barn on Thursday, two days after he had his last serious workout.
The 2017 Belmont Stakes was an interesting race from the onset. He earned $800,000 for his owners, Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta, and with a record of 4-1-0 from eight starts, has earned $1,143,902, nearly as much as his purchase price of $1.2 million at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton yearling sales in Saratoga Springs, New York. The winner's share of the purse is $800,000 (88,236,744 yen).
One other horse that is worth keeping an eye on is Gormley. By contrast, his mentor D. Wayne Lukas, 81, has 14 and Bob Baffert, 64 has 12 Triple Crown race wins. "I think he's got a good chance".
In the absence of Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing, Preakness second Classic Empire will line up as favorite Saturday but the Derby fourth will have his work cut out to defy history and triumph after such a heavy schedule.
During the race, long shot Hollywood Handsome ran up on rivals' heels in the run down the home stretch the first time.
With a mixed field consisting of Derby threats and eager newcomers, this race could go may ways. "He should stay the trip".
A victory would earn Epicharis a $1 million bonus from NYRA, which worked to lure a horse from Japan.
Motion was not planning on a front-running attempt from Irish War Cry. It's a bit longer than both the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby, adding an element of anything can happen.
The colt is scheduled to ship back to Japan on June 15 at 4 a.m. He cleared quarantine last weekend.
A year ago, a gray Todd Pletcher-trained colt was the pursued.
Years ago, West Coast racing was for those afraid to compete with the superior trainers and horses in NY.
"I can honestly say this was not my original plan".
The three year old division has taken significant hits due to the absence of top talent in the Triple Crown races, but there is still quality horses left in play and the Belmont never seems to disappoint.
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