The 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes will be run on Saturday June 11, 2011 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The race is the third leg and longest of the triple crown races. It goes 1 1/2 miles on the main dirt track. Purse $1,000,000.
BELMONT STAKES CONTENDERS – POST POSITIONS
Post #9 – Animal Kingdom – 2/1 odds
The Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up will most likely make the trip. The additional distance gives this colt the edge. He showed in the 1 1/4 miles Derby that he can be patient and make his move down the stretch. The Preakness was his race, but a huge effort despite fast fractions didn’t seem to slow down the winner Shackleford. Trained by Graham Motion.
Post #6 – Nehro – 4/1 odds
This Steve Asmussen trained colt is another that has come on strong as of late. He finished second in the Louisiana Derby at Fairgrounds. He didn’t have enough graded earnings to qualify for the Derby, so they ran him again 3 weeks later in the Arkansas Derby. He again finished second. He had enough now to qualify for the Derby. Where do you think he finished? You got it, second! Smart move to give this colt a break and not run in the Preakness. The added distance should prove to be a positive as he is a late runner. Should be enough speed for him to be flying once again. Let’s see if he can break the second place curse.
Post #12 – Shackleford – 9/2 odds
This colt is getting better with each race. A relative unknown started his rise to fame with a second place finish in the Florida Derby (Dialed In) at odds of 68-1. Since then, he finished a solid fourth in the Kentucky Derby and won the Preakness last time out. The only question now is, will he be able to sustain himself going 1 1/2 miles. That’s a long way to go for a speed horse. Trained by Dale Romans.
Post #10 – Mucho Macho Man – 10/1 odds
I asked the question before Preakness. Is this horse as good as people say he is? He has just one victory aside from his maiden win. That came earlier in 2011 at Fairgrounds in the Risen Star Stakes. He had a decent run in the Kentucky Derby where he got up for third. We thought he was primed for a good Preakness result (many thought he could win), but he disappointed and finished sixth losing by 7 1/2 lengths. He will need his best effort to date if he wants to beat the likes of Animal Kingdom, Shackleford and company. Trained by Kathy Ritvo.
Post #1 – Master of Hounds – 10/1
This Kentucky bred, but European raced colt might make the trip back to the US and run in this race. After losing the United Arab Emirates Derby in Dubai by a nose, he flew to Churchill Downs to run in the Derby. He ran a decent fifth place. Trainer Aiden O’Brien shipped him back to Europe, but did say he would bypass the Preakness and running in the Belmont was a good possibility. Let’s hope he does.
Post #5 – Brilliant Speed – 15/1 odds
This Dynaformer colt bypassed the Preakness after finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby. He made a move from the back of the pack, but did not have enough to make a serious impact. His late move ability might bode well with the additional distance in the Belmont. If he can repeat his last to first effort from the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, he might just get up on the board.
Post #4 – Santiva – 15/1 odds
His sixth place finish in the Derby (missed fifth by a nose) was a good effort considering he ran a flat ninth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes as the 2/1 favorite. He was a model of consistency before that race. He hadn’t been out of the top three up to that race. Highlights in his short career are winning the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes last November, then followed it up with a solid second in the Risen Star Stakes. Trained by Eddie Kenneally.
Post #8 – Prime Cut – 15/1
He finished third last time out against Alternation and Adios Charlie in the Peter Pan. Prior to that, he finished second to Derby Kitten in the Grade 3 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Derby Kitten didn’t fare well in the Kentucky Derby finishing 13th. This will be his first attempt at the Grade 1 level. He would need to run the race of his life to have a chance. Trained by Neil Howard.
Post #3 – Ruler On Ice – 20/1 odds
His only attempt in graded company came in the Sunland Derby (G3) on March 27. He finished a closing third, losing 1 1/2 lengths to Twice the Appeal and Astrology. This isn’t a stellar field, but he would certainly need his best effort ever to try and topple the top 3 (Animal, Shackleford and Nehro).
Post #2 – Stay Thirsty – 20/1 odds
The Grade 3 Gotham winner at Aqueduct on March 5 has been overwhelmed in his last two races against tougher horses. He basically finished seventh and last in the Florida Derby as the only horses he defeated was pulled. He was a non-factor in his 12th place finish in the Derby. Will Todd Pletcher be shutout in the triple crown races?
Post #7 – Monzon – 30/1 odds
This colt’s sire, Thunder Gulch, won the Belmont Stakes back in 1995. This Ignacio Correas trained horse hasn’t showed anything what his sire did. His last effort in the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont Park on May 14 should be thrown out as he was bumped hard out of the gate and was never a factor. He had been off since running 5th in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. His only other graded race was October 10 at Keeneland where he finished 5th in the Bourbob Stakes. Can’t see him doing any damage in this race.
Post #11 – Isn’t He Perfect – 30/1
No, this colt is not perfect. Actually far from it. Not sure why this colt doesn’t drop in to a regular stakes race again and possibly accrue some earnings. He finished 9th in the Preakness, distant 5th in the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes, and another distant 5th in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. I guess they feel they could be one of those few and far between long shots that pull off the incredible upset. Not going to happen.
Animal Kingdom could become the 12th horse in history to win both the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. It’s been 16 years since Thunder Gulch accomplished this feat.
1923: Zev (12th in Preakness)
1931: Twenty Grand (2nd in Preakness)
1939: Johnstown (5th in Preakness)
1942: Shut Out (5th in Preakness)
1950: Middleground (2nd in Preakness)
1956: Needles (2nd in Preakness)
1963: Chateaugay (2nd in Preakness)
1972: Riva Ridge (4th in Preakness)
1976: Bold Forbes (3rd in Preakness)
1984: Swale (7th in Preakness)
1995: Thunder Gulch (3rd in Preakness)
Shackleford could become the 14th horse in history to win both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
1920: Man O’War (Did not run in Derby)
1922: Pillory (Did not run in Derby)
1940: Bimelech (2nd in Derby)
1949: Capot (2nd in Derby)
1953: Native Dancer (2nd in Derby)
1955: Nashua (2nd in Derby)
1967: Damascus (3rd in Derby)
1974: Little Current (5th in Derby)
1988: Risen Star (3rd in Derby)
1991: Hansel (10th in Derby)
1994: Tobassco Cat (6th in Derby)
2001: Point Given (5th in Derby)
2005: Afleet Alex (3rd in Derby)
Stay tuned to this page for more information as we lead up to the Belmont Stakes.