Belmont Stakes 2012 Post Positions: Complete Review of Positioning for Saturday
I'll Have Another's No. 11 post puts him on the far side of the track, which will make it difficult for him to get out in front and win the Triple Crown.
New York will be on its feet as I'll Have Another runs the one-and-a-half mile race for history, and this race could all come down to the post positions.
*Note: All odds courtesy Belmont Stakes Twitter feed
Post Postition 1: Street Life
Breeder: Mueller Thoroughbred Stable, Ltd.
Trainer: Chad C. Brown
Owner: Magnolia Racing Stable LLC and Hidden Brook Farm
The Belmont Stakes is the first Triple Crown Street Life is competing in this year, and he drew the inside rail position.
Street Life has only raced three times this year, with his only victory coming on March 17 at Broad Brush. In his last race, the Peter Pan, he finished third.
Street Life is well-suited for the Belmont Stakes, and he is one of the top contenders in the field. His 12-1 odds are the fifth-best in the field, and I wouldn't be surprised if he sneaks into the top three.
Post Position 2: Unstoppable U
Breeder: Mojallali Stables, Inc.
Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
Owner: Magdalena Racing (Susan McPeek) and Mojallali Stables, Inc.
Unstoppable U is another horse who hasn't raced in a Triple Crown race this year, but he has won both of the races he has appeared in, with those races being the Maiden and Optional Claimer.
While he has been very successful so far, he has not run a race that is longer than one mile yet, and the lengthy Belmont Stakes will surely pose problems for him.
One of the worst horses in the field this year, Unstoppable U doesn't have much of a chance despite drawing an inside post.
Post Position 3: Union Rags
Breeder: Phyllis M. Wyeth
Trainer: Michael R. Matz
Owner: Chadds Ford Stable
Union Rags is one of the best horses in the field to begin with, and drawing an inside post will only help him.
Union Rags has had back-to-back bad races. He was supposed to run away with the Florida Derby, but a bad ride from jockey Julien Leparoux had him finishing third in the field. Then, in the Kentucky Derby he was supposed to finish well, but he ended up coming in seventh.
He hasn't run since the Kentucky Derby, but the time off should be good for him. He also drew an inside post position, which will only help him. His 6-1 odds are the third-best in the field, but with such a good positions he has a great chance of stopping I'll Have Another's bid at the Triple Crown.
Post Position 4: Atigun
Breeder: Brereton C. Jones
Trainer: Kenneth G. McPeek
Owner: Shortleaf Stable, Inc.
Atigun started the year off with a victory at the Optional Claimer, but since then he has struggled. He has finished 11th and fifth in his last two races.
Atigun has been racing on long tracks, which will help him prepare for the Belmont Stakes, but he has yet to prove that he can actually compete on Saturday.
He, like Unstoppable U, has 30-1 odds, which are among the worst in the field. Unlike Ustoppable U, Atigun has been racing on long tracks. However, he has not been successful against big-time competition just yet.
Post Position 5: Dullahan
Breeder: Phil Needham, Judy Needham & Bena Halecky
Trainer: Dale L. Romans
Owner: Donegal Racing
Probably the biggest threat to I'll Have Another's Triple Crown bid, Dullahan is one of the best racing horses in the world at this point in time.
As arguably the best closer in the field, and having Bodemeister not running in the Belmont Stakes, the duty of stopping I'll Have Another falls onto the shoulders of Dullahan.
Dullahan and Union Rags are similar in the fact that neither has raced since the Kentucky Derby. However, Dullahan did well, finishing third behind I'll Have Another and Bodemeister.
He has the best chance of winning the Belmont Stakes outside of I'll Have Another, and we could very well see Dullahan spoil history on Saturday.
Post Position 6: Ravelo's Boy
Breeder: Diamond A Racing Corp.
Trainer: Manuel J. Azpurua
Owner: Korina Stable
Ravelo's Boy is the worst horse that we've previewed so far, and he has next to no chance of winning—or even showing—at the Belmont Stakes.
He has been preparing on long tracks and has a middle position, which will both help him. However, he simply is not the type of horse who can have the type of success needed to win a Triple Crown race.
At 50-1, he is tied for the worst odds in the field, and with good reason.
Post Position 7: Five Sixteen
Breeder: Machmer Hall
Trainer: Dominick A. Schettino
Owner: MeB Racing Stables LLC
Five Sixteen has run three prep races in order to prepare for the Belmont Stakes, and this is the first Triple Crown race he will be a part of in 2012.
He improved greatly from one race to the next, taking off 5.4 seconds in two races of equal length before taking some time off to prepare.
Five Sixteen improved, but he is still nowhere near where he needs to be, He is considered one of the worst horses in the field of 12, and his 50-1 odds prove that.
Post Position 8: Guyana Star Dweej
Breeder: Lavin Bloodstock & Leroy S. Close
Trainer: Doodnauth Shivmangal
Owner: Shivmangal Racing Stable, LLC
Guyana Star Dweej is another one of the horses in the field who has next to no shot of winning the race, but it will be good for the three-year-old horse to gain experience. He was going to run in the Preakness, but was forced to pull out after hurting himself three days before the race.
Guyana Star Dweej is not in a good position, and it doesn't help that it was decided that Kent Desormeaux would be his jockey for the race until very recently. Other teams have been set for a while, but these two seem to be a last-minute fixture.
He is not going to be doing much in the Belmont Stakes, so don't expect any miracles from him on Saturday.
Post Position 9: Paynter
Breeder: Diamond A Racing Corp.
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC
Paynter is one of the best contenders in the field, and he is a darkhorse to upset I'll Have Another in two days.
He hasn't raced in a Triple Crown race yet, which is why he is a relative unknown to most sports fans who only watch horse racing occasionally. However, he is the best player outside of the big three of I'll Have Another, Dullahan and Union Rags.
He has had four races this year, winning in two (one was a long race, one was short). He is running well and could very well challenge for a victory in the Belmont Stakes.
Post Position 10: Optimizer
Breeder: Bluegrass Hall, LLC
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Owner: Bluegrass Hall LLC
Optimizer has already taken part in a Triple Crown race, running in the Kentucky Derby. However, he came in 11th and didn't show much.
He is a very streaky horse who is all over the map when it comes to placement, but you can expect that he will be nothing but mediocre at the Belmont Stakes.
An outside post position hurts him, and the fact that he hasn't so much as showed since March shows that he is in a bit of a slump.
Post Position 11: I'll Have Another
Breeder: Harvey Clarke
Trainer: Doug F. O'Neill
Owner: J. Paul Reddam
The big man on campus in the horse racing world, I'll Have Another is chasing history. He is looking to win the Triple Crown for the first time in 34 years, and he is the overwhelming favorite with 4-5 odds.
No horse has been doing nearly as well as him, as I'll Have Another has won four straight races with incredible times.
He is incredibly consistent, and keeping up this trend should result in a Triple Crown. However, he drew an outside post, which hurts him. While he is clearly the favorite, he would have had much better odds with an inside post.
Post Position 12: My Adonis
Breeder: K and G Stables
Trainer: Kelly J. Breen
Owner: George and Lori Hall
My Adonis has had four prep races to prepare for the Belmont Stakes. He has done well, showing in three of the four, but he has yet to win.
He almost ran in the Kentucky Derby, but did not. This year he has not faced as good of competition was he will be facing in two days' time.
He is a middle-of-the-pack horse who drew the outside rail, and starting so far behind and being unable to pass most horses is going to hurt him.