With 14 horses in the field for the final leg of the Triple Crown—including both winning horses from the first two legs—the 2013 Belmont Stakes is shaping up to be an exciting race.
Orb, Revolutionary and Oxbow opened up as the three top horses after Wednesday's post position draw, and as of Saturday morning, nothing has changed.
The Test of Champions is a brutal mile-and-a-half test of will, endurance and speed. It's by far the longest race of the three Triple Crown events, and only the strongest horses come through with victories.
Below we'll take a closer look at the 14-horse field in Saturday's event, after which we'll look at what's being said about the top horses this morning as they prepare to hit the track later this afternoon.
2013 Belmont Stakes Post Positions and Odds
|1||Frac Daddy||A. Garcia||K. McPeek||30-1|
|2||Freedom Child||L. Saez||T. Albertrani||8-1|
|3||Overanalyze ||J. Velazquez||T. Pletcher||12-1|
|4||Giant Finish||E. Prado||A. Dutrow||30-1|
|5||Orb||J. Rosario||C. McGaughey III||3-1|
|6||Incognito||I. Ortiz Jr.||K. McLaughlin||20-1|
|7||Oxbow||G. Stevens||D.W. Lukas||5-1|
|8||Midnight Taboo||G. Gomez||T. Pletcher||30-1|
|9||Revolutionary||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher||9-2|
|10||Will Take Charge||J. Court||D.W. Lukas||20-1|
|11||Vyjack||J. Leparoux||R. Rodriguez||20-1|
|12||Palace Malice||M. Smith||T. Pletcher||15-1|
|13||Unlimited Budget||R. Napravnik||T. Pletcher||8-1|
|14||Golden Soul||R. Albarado||D. Stewart||10-1|
*Odds and other information courtesy of the race's official site.
Orb (3-1 Odds)
After running in both previous Triple Crown races, Orb has received nothing but green lights ahead of the Belmont.
According to the NYRA, legendary trainer Shug McGaughey has been pleased with Orb's training leading up to the big race:
Orb's worst finish since winning his Maiden Special Weight was his fourth-place finish at the Preakness, with victories in his five other starts. This makes Orb the hottest horse in the field, and nobody will be surprised if McGaughey's colt wins on Saturday.
Revolutionary (9-2 Odds)
A horse that has never finished outside the money, Revolutionary has the pedigree to excel on a long track, according to Joanne Jones of HRTV:
In the horse's previous races, his speed and endurance have been evident. Revolutionary's endurance stems from dam Runup the Colors, and his pure speed comes from sire War Pass.
One big change to note concerning Revolutionary is that Calvin Borel, who was the jockey at the Kentucky Derby, will be replaced by Javier Castellano, according to WinStar Farms.
Castellano won a couple of races atop this horse earlier in the year. The two of them will certainly be in the mix for the wreath of carnations at the end of the race.
Oxbow (5-1 Odds)
Not only is Oxbow coming off a huge wire-to-wire win at the Preakness, but according to Eliza McGraw of the New York Times, this horse has the pedigree to win a longer race like the Belmont:
His ancestors have had plenty of success at Belmont Park: Bold Reasoning set a new track record there for six furlongs when he was 4 years old, and Northern Dancer ran a surprising third in the 1964 Belmont Stakes. But two stars in particular jump out from his bloodline when thoughts turn to winning the Belmont: Man o’ War and Seattle Slew.
The one concern regarding Oxbow is that he didn't perform as well on the wet track at Churchill Downs, finishing in sixth place. The track at Belmont has been soaked the past couple of days, but the weather has cleared up in time for the race.
Depending on how sloppy the track is when the race kicks off later this afternoon, Oxbow could struggle.
That said, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens knows how to get the most out of his horses, as does legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
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