Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Talented field has trainers fired up

NEW YORK — Even without a Triple Crown on the line, the 143rd Belmont Stakes may indeed be the "Test of the Champion."

The final leg of the Triple Crown today features not only the rubber match between Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford, but the top seven finishers from the Derby for the first time as well.

"Why did everyone pick this year to come back?" wondered a smiling Graham Motion, who trains Animal Kingdom.

After watching his Derby winner gallop around the 1½-mile main track at Belmont Park on Friday morning, Motion declared his colt in "great form" and up to the challenge of taking on a slew of rivals for the third time in five weeks.

"To have seven horses come back from the Derby, and to have the winner of the Preakness and Derby, what more can you want?" Motion said. "Everyone wants to see a Triple Crown winner, but ultimately this is the test of champions and I think this really is going to be that test."

Animal Kingdom is the 2-1 favorite in a field of 12 3-year-olds as he attempts to become the 12th horse to complete a Derby-Belmont double. The last to succeed was Thunder Gulch in 1995.

Derby runnerup Nehro is the second choice at 4-1, with Shackleford next at 9-2 as he tries to become the 19th horse to take the Preakness and Belmont.

Ahmed Zayat, who owns Nehro, can't wait to see what happens. Of course, he's hoping his colt will shed his bridesmaid reputation after second-place finishes in the Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky derbies.

"This race will be something special," he said. "It's another Derby at the test of champions."

The matchup of a Derby winner against a Preakness winner in the 1½-mile Belmont doesn't occur often. This will be the 22nd time it happens and first since 2005, when Preakness winner Afleet Alex defeated Derby winner Giacomo. Preakness winners have won 10 times, Derby winners five times.

Short of a Triple Crown bid, "this is going to be one of the most exciting Belmonts I can remember," Shackleford's trainer Dale Romans said.

Mucho Macho Man joins Animal Kingdom and Shackleford as the only horses to run in all three Triple Crown races this year.

Belmont Stakes

PP Horse jockey trainerOdds

1. Master of Hounds Garrett Gomez Aidan O'Brien 10-1

2. Stay Thirsty Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 20-1

3. Ruler On Ice Jose Valdivia Kelly Breen 20-1

4. Santiva Shaun Bridgmohan Eddie Kenneally 15-1

5. Brilliant Speed Joel Rosario Tom Albertrani 15-1

6. Nehro Corey Nakatani Steven Asmussen 4-1

7. Monzon Jose Lezcano Ignacio Correas 30-1

8. Prime Cut Edgar Prado Neil Howard 15-1

9. Animal Kingdom John Velazquez Graham Motion 2-1

10. Mucho Macho Man Ramon Dominguez Kathy Ritvo 10-1

11. Isn't He Perfect Rajiv Maragh Doodnauth 30-1

Shivmangal

12. Shackleford Jesus Castanon Dale Romans 9-2

.FAST FACTS

143rd Belmont Stakes

Today, 6:30 post time, Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y. TV/radio: Ch. 8; 1010-AM

Talented field has trainers fired up 06/10/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 10, 2011 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.