The most salient news Tuesday came from the rival barn of Todd Pletcher, who confirmed that Louisiana Derby victor and Belmont long shot Noble Indy (30-1, 25-1) will have the blinkers taken off for Saturday's race, three weeks after a lamentable 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
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For Baffert, victory for Justify would see him become the second trainer ever to have two Triple Crown horses to his name. And when the pace of a race and final speed figure are looked at together, Justify is still the class of the field.
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Of the 35 horses that have been eligible for the Triple Crown after winning the first two legs, 12 have succeeded.
The post time for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes is 6.46pm ET.
This is the only horse who matters on Saturday.
After walking around the barn for a half-hour or so, the rangy chestnut colt was given a sponge bath and bedded down in the same stall used by 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah, also trained by Baffert. With six facilities in Kentucky, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, New Vocations serves over 40 racetracks, working directly with owners and trainers in need of equine aftercare options. The last Triple Crown victor was American Pharoah in 2015, and he also was trained by Baffert. The Preakness will take place at Pimlico in 2019, but Stronach Group COO Tim Ritvo would prefer the race to move to Laurel Park at some point in the future. "Maybe when he got sick and missed the Kentucky Derby, for some reason it gave him extra powers, and now that he recovered he might be even faster".
Blended Citizen won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in early May. "Plus, he's run five races in a very short period of time". Justify will start from Post 1 on Saturday.
It is hard to ignore how implausible it seems that a colt with only five career races since February could complete one of the most difficult feats in racing. Ortiz won the 2016 aboard Creator.
Baffert is not a fan of the inside post for his horses, no matter what the race. Geroux has never ridden a Belmont victor. Every race Bob won, it was like he won it.
Chad Brown is considered horse racing's next great trainer - if the two Eclipse Awards in his possession, basically "trainer of the year" trophies, haven't shown that he's there already.
Hofburg followed Justify in the morning line at 9-2. Asmussen was the trainer for 2016 Belmont victor Creator, and Espinoza won the race in 2015 on American Pharaoh.
Vino Rosso did win the Wood Memorial in April, but his disappointing finish at the Kentucky Derby makes him a risky bet this weekend. The colt is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by John Velazquez. Velazquez has won it twice, last in 2012 aboard Union Rags.
Justify stays undefeated at the Kentucky Derby, breaking the 136-year-old Curse of Apollo. However, Noble Indy did win the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in March. It was his first win over a dirt surface in a ten race career run primarily over turf. Castellano is yet to. None of them won the Belmont Stakes.