Wow. It has been a very busy week on the thoroughbred horse racing scene. With the Belmont Stakes, the most difficult and final leg of horse racing’s hallowed Triple Crown, going June 9, a late piece of sad news scratches the favorite. There evidently will not be an end to the 34 year Triple Crown drought, as favorite I’ll Have Another pulled out of not just this race, but of racing altogether. The 144th edition of the Belmont Stakes is losing a huge draw in the thoroughbred that has already won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year, and thoroughbred racing is losing an exciting horse.
I’ll Have Another owner J Paul Reddam, along with the horse’s trainer Doug O’Neill, announced yesterday that the three year old horse that captivated us all with two last second come from behind Triple Crown wins this year has tendonitis and is retiring. Not generally a career-ending injury, Reddam said that in the best interest of the horse, he is retiring him. But that just means some other horse will now become the Belmont favorite, and the rest of the field has to be happy to see a major competitor taken off the boards, though certainly not in this manner. Let’s take a look at the possible winners.
Dullahan is probably the favorite to win now that I’ll Have Another won’t have another win. Owned by Iowa based Donegal Racing, Dullahan looked like he had a shot to win the Preakness, before “you know who” pulled off yet another last minute victory. And right up there as a possible winner tomorrow will be Union Rags, who began his career with three straight wins, and actually won here at Belmont Park last October in the Champagne Stakes.
A little bit of trivia for the Belmont today. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert lives in nearby La Cañada Flintridge, in a home built by contractor Dave Paynter. Baffert was so impressed with the job that Paynter’s construction company did on his home, he named one of his horses after him. Baffert’s Paynter will probably be right there in the hunt, and he runs out of the 9 slot. Paynter is 2-0-1 in 4 career races, and is ridden by jockey Mike Smith. And of all the horses running at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York Saturday, Street Life is in the most favorable position, running out of the number 1 slot. One thing to consider at this storied racetrack is the number of winners who have come from the number 1 stall. 23 times out of the last 106 Belmont Stakes the eventual winner of the race started there.
My Adonis will be running from the outside post position, and tends to hang in the middle of the pack until late in the race. Vegas odds on Optimizer and Atigun will probably allow for a rather handsome payday if either one of those underdog horses wins, and the same can be said for Unstoppable U, Guyana Star Dweej, Five Sixteen and Ravelos Boy. Those are the 11 horses who will have a chance at winning this year’s Belmont Stakes Triple Crown thoroughbred horse race, and with the overwhelming favorite now a scratch, it seems to be anybody’s race.
Get in your last minute wagers on the Belmont Stakes at Bovada Sports!