Belmont Stakes 2012 Post Positions: Morning-Line Odds for Entire Lineup
The post time for the race is 6:40 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by NBC as part of their coverage that starts at 4:30 p.m.
The new favorites will be Dullahan and Union Rags, who finished third and seventh behind him five weeks ago in the Derby, and Paynter, who finished fourth behind I'll Have Another at the Santa Anita Derby.
Optimizer is the only other horse in the field to have run in both the Derby and the Preakness.
The new shooters will be Street Life, Unstoppable U, Atigun, Ravelo's Boy, Five Sixteen, Guyana Star Dweej and My Adonis.
Let's take a quick look at all the participants, their connections, post positions and morning-line odds.
1. Street Life (8-1)
Jockey: Jose Lezcano
Trainer: Chad C. Brown
Owner: Magnolia Racing Stable LLC and Hidden Brook Farm
Last Three Beyers: 93-86-86
Workouts: June 3: five furlongs - 1:01.0, May 26: four furlongs - 47.8
He flattened out on on the stretch of his only G1 stakes race (Wood Memorial) and was beaten by 7.75 lengths. But he bounced back with an improved race on his last start at the G2 Peter Pan with blinkers on.
He has not shown he can run with the big boys but showed promise on his last race. He should run closer to the pace saving ground and try to make a move starting on the far turn.
2. Unstoppable U (20-1)
Jockey: Junior Alvarado
Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
Owner: Magdalena Racing (Susan McPeek) and Mojallali Stables, Inc.
Last Three Beyers: 82-80-x
Workouts: June 3: five furlongs - 1:03.0, May 26: five furlongs - 59.2, May 19: four furlongs - 49.0
He is the speed of the race, and his post position means his goal will be to go to the front and hope everybody else forgets about him and goes on to wire the field.
It'll be a tall task even for a very good-looking colt that will make his third career start at the 1.5-mile third leg of the Triple Crown.
3. Union Rags (3-1)
Jockey: John R. Velazquez
Trainer: Michael R. Matz
Owner: Chadds Ford Stable
Last Three Beyers: 90-93-95
Workouts: June 3: five furlongs - 59.0, May 24: five furlongs - 1:01.0
The former pre-Derby favorite is looking for some redemption after a couple of troubled starts on the Florida Derby (third) and the Kentucky Derby (seventh) that prompted a jockey change.
His connections are just hoping for a clean trip for the standout colt so he can show what he really can do. His new rider, John Velazquez, will look to steer him on the clear once they hit the back side and make his move ahead of Dullahan on the far turn.
He certainly has the ability to get the job done, but the question is whether he can go do it at 1.5 miles.
4. Atigun (15-1)
Jockey: Julien R. Leparoux
Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
Owner: Shortleaf Stable, Inc.
Last Three Beyers: 89-89-76
Workouts: June 3 four furlongs - 48.4, May 26: four furlongs - 46.6, May 19: four furlongs - 50.2
This colt still has to answer the class test. He has been beaten soundly on his graded stakes races, but has shown superiority to the lower-tier contenders on his three wins.
He is a one-move horse who should go settle in the back of the pack and wait for the right moment to unleash his dash to the front.
While he has been excellent with his workouts, it still remains to be seen if he is good enough to challenge at the end.
5. Dullahan (9-5)
Breeder: Javier J. Castellano
Trainer: Dale L. Romans
Owner: Donegal Racing
Last Three Beyers: 98-98-89
Workouts: June 3: four furlongs - 45.8, May 26: one mile - 1:43.0, May 19: five furlongs - 1:00.2
This horse has been the most impressive one in the morning preps for the race. His impressive work on Sunday has everyone buzzing about him being the Triple Crown spoiler.
Expect jockey Javier Castellano to place Dullahan on the clear right behind the front pack and start moving slowly to the front on the big far turn before turning him loose on the stretch.
The only question on him is since he has been a standout on synthetic and turf, will he adapt to The Big Sandy? Those horses are better suited for the Churchill Downs dirt track.
His workout seems to validate that he has.
6. Ravelo's Boy (30-1)
Jockey: Alex O. Solis
Trainer: Manuel J. Azpurua
Owner: Korina Stable
Last Three Beyers: 78-80-66
Workouts: June 3: six furlongs - 1:11.8, May 27: seven furlongs - 1:28.2, May 24: four furlongs - 46.6, May 20: five furlongs - 1:01.0, May 12: five furlongs - 1:01.0, May 5: five furlongs - 58.8
Never mind that this colt already has a daunting task ahead of him running with the best class of horses he has ever face.
He will try to make up and improvement of almost 30 Beyer points coming off a three-month layoff at a distance of 1.5 miles on the third leg of the Triple Crown. Simple, right?
On the positive side for him, he has been blazing in his workouts. Unfortunately for him all of them were at Calder before shipping to Belmont.
He is a late runner so expect to see him, if at all, contending in the home stretch.
7. Five Sixteen (30-1)
Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Trainer: Dominick A. Schettino
Owner: MeB Racing Stables LLC
Last Three Beyers: 78-78-67
Workouts: June 1: five furlongs - 1:00.8, May 24: five furlongs - 1:00.8, May 12: five furlongs - 59.0, April 30: five furlongs - 1:01.8
This is a runner that just broke his maiden two races ago and has still to run on a graded stakes race.
His workouts have not been impressive and neither have been any of his past performances. Even with Rosie Napravnik aboard, it's hard to make a case for this horse.
He is a midpack runner that might been seen in the first half of the race and should start to run off the radar on the far turn.
8. Guyana Star Dweej (30-1)
Jockey: Kent J. Desormeaux
Trainer: Doodnauth Shivmangal
Owner: Shivmangal Racing Stable, LLC
Last Three Beyers: 70-84-83
Workouts: June 4: four furlongs - 49.0, May 30: four furlongs - 50.0
He has not looked good at all on his workouts, and on the one on June 4, he was outrun by his work partner, Shkspeare Shaliyah, running his opening quarter in 22.42 and finishing with a paltry 26.88 on the second quarter.
He broke his maiden just two races ago, so four of his five career second-place finishes were against maiden horses.
Like many others in this race, this horse is thoroughly outmatched and outclassed here.
9. Paynter (7-2)
Jockey: Mike E. Smith
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC
Last Three Beyers: 106-100-89
Workouts: June 3: seven furlongs - 1:25.0, May 27: five furlongs - 59.2
This Bob Baffert trainee was the one at the beginning of the year expected to be in the Derby; instead it was stablemate Bodemeister, who grabbed all the headlines along with I'll Have Another.
But fast forward to the present and he is here in the Belmont Stakes, coming off a career best effort with his 106 Beyer figure on a $50,000 allowance race on Preakness day at Pimlico.
Expect jockey Mike Smith to forwardly place him second in the early going using Unstoppable U as the target for Paynter.
While he is coming into his own and improving with every race, he has a thin foundation compared to some of the other top contenders.
So he must make his move ahead of them and be able to hold them off on the long Belmont stretch if he is to win on Saturday.
10. Optimizer (15-1)
Jockey: Corey S. Nakatani
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Bluegrass Hall LLC
Last Three Beyers: 85-83-74
Workouts: May 31: five furlongs - 1:00.6
This horse has yet to prove he is able to run with the top horses on this race.
Starting at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile he has raced in four G1 stakes and has been beaten by 11, 20.5, 12 and 15.5 lengths.
He showed promise last year, but this year his only good race was where he had his best career Beyer (91) at the Rebel Stakes where he finished second after mowing down the competition down the stretch.
He is the only true horse in the race bred to run 1.5 miles and that could be his best asset, but he will need some honest pace and the top horses to fall off some on their performances for him to win.
11. I'll Have Another (Scratched)
The favorite at this year's Belmont Stakes was shockingly pulled from the race following a tendon injury.
Trainer Doug O'Neill announced the news on the Dan Patrick Show. The show's Twitter posted the following:
Doug O'Neill: "I'll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont."— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) June 8, 2012
O'Neill explained that the horse's left front tendon was swollen, indicating tendonitis, via Richard Rosenblatt of the Associated Press, courtesy of Yahoo News.
The horse had a chance to win the first Triple Crown since Affirmed accomplished the feet in 1978.
Now, I'll Have Another will become the 12th horse in the past 34 years to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but fall short of the Triple Crown.
12. My Adonis (15-1)
Jockey: Ramon A. Dominguez
Trainer: Kelly J. Breen
Owner: George and Lori Hall
Last Three Beyers: 85-83-90
Workouts: May 27: five furlongs - 59.8
The surprising late entry for the owner and trainer of last year's Belmont winner adds plenty of intrigue to the race.
His best race to date (95 Beyer) was the third place to Algorithms and Hansen on the slop at the Holy Bull.
But his last two races leave us with too many questions regarding his chances to win. On his last race at the Canonero II, he was taken out of his comfort zone to the lead and he faltered badly at the end.
His performances dictate he is better suited for one-turn races but has plenty of pedigree suggesting he will do well at 12 furlongs.
Two-time Eclipse award winning jockey Ramon Dominguez gets the call and that alone makes him worth a look.
Due to his far outside post and the short run to the turn, expect Dominguez to run him off the pace and maybe middle of the pack. But he will move him up in the back stretch and go from there.
Even with all this going for him, he must make a huge move forward to win here.