The three horses that filled out the superfecta (top 4) in the Derby, Commanding Curve, Danza and Wicked Strong are also likely for the race as is Samraat, who ran fifth in the Derby.

Todd Pletcher, who trains Danza, also has two other horses from his deep stable on the list of contenders: Commissioner and Intense Holiday.

A newcomer to the Triple Crown series is Tonalist. Trained by Christophe Clement, the son of Tapit, rolled to victory in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont on May 10. With a win over the track, he’ll look to pull off a Peter Pan/Belmont double, duplicating the feat of A.P. Indy in 1992.

So, yes, the competition will be stiff. The pressure is high, though who knows if a horse cares about pressure? The expectations are huge. The hopes have been festering for 36 years.

And the length of the race might ruin it all.

You can talk about nasal strips or a stronger field of competition or fresher competition or anything else you like.

In the end, all that will matter is if California Chrome can conquer the longer distance. He's the most talented horse headed to New York no matter which other horses go. Whether he'll be the most talented horse for the entirety of the track is another matter altogether.