Belmont Stakes 2013: Breaking Down New Horses That Could Run in New York

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Belmont Stakes 2013: Breaking Down New Horses That Could Run in New York
Photo: ESPN.com

After dark horse Oxbow stunned Kentucky Derby winner Orb and the rest of the field at the 2013 Preakness Stakes, we look ahead to the Belmont Stakes, slated to roar out of the gates on June 8 in Elmont, New York.

The competition has already started to emerge for the third leg of the Triple Crown this year. Bob Baffert is reportedly choosing between two horses. Todd Pletcher will be trotting out a horse that has won four of five career starts.

Here's a look at some potential contenders who haven't raced in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes this year. 

 

Freedom Child

Trainer: Thomas Albertrani

Jockey: Luis Saez

Freedom Child has three top-three finishes in four races this year, including two wins. After winning his maiden in March, he finished 10th at the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes, only to bounce back with a victory at the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes.

Not only did Freedom Child respond poorly to a Grade 1 race, he's only won at 1 1/8 miles, making his transition to 1 1/2 miles uncertain.

Right now, based on his work in the past, I can't call him a front-runner, but that could change if he works well at the distance before the race.

 

Unlimited Budget

Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Unlimited Budget has won four of her five career races, but the step up to the Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks in May resulted in a third-place finish.

Still, placing in your first attempt at a Grade 1 challenge isn't bad.

Her sire, Street Sense, never raced at 1 1/2 miles, but he did win at 1 1/14 miles (2007 Grade 1 Travers Stakes). Her dam, Unlimited Pleasure, never won a stakes race.

Unlimited Budget has yet to win past 1 1/8 miles. A bit of a long shot, but it's not out of the question that the horse surprises.

 

Code West

Photo: BloodHorse.com.

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Rosie Napravnik

Bob Baffert will reportedly choose between Code West and Power Broker for the Belmont Stakes this year, according to BelmontStakes.com.

Code West is coming off just his second career victory in nine starts (an allowance win at Pimlico). The horse placed second at the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes in February (1 1/16 miles) and sixth at the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in March (1 1/8 miles).

But, while Code West has yet to win at a distance greater than 1 1/16 miles, his pedigree does suggest he could surprise at the Belmont Stakes. Code West's sire, Lemon Drop Kid, won the 1999 Belmont Stakes.

 

Power Broker

Photo: ESPN.com

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Rosie Napravnik

There's not a whole lot to be excited about when it comes to Power Broker, except for the fact that the horse won his allowance at Churchill Downs this year.

Power Broker has yet to win past 1 1/16 miles and his sire, Pulpit, never won past 1 1/8 miles (finishing fourth in his test at the classic distance at the 1997 Kentucky Derby).  His dam, Shop Again, was a sprinter who only won four races in 21 career starts.

 

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