California Chrome continues his pursuit of the coveted Triple Crown at the 2014 Belmont Stakes.
The California-bred colt won't have it easy, as a longer race and a very strong field pose significant threats to his run at history.
This comes as no surprise. After all, since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown in 1978, 12 horses have entered the Belmont Stakes with the same ambition—none were successful.
Could the 13th time be the charm?
As we wait to see if California Chrome can end the 36-year drought, our attention shifts quickly to the post-position draw.
A favorable draw can increase the success rate for any horse; however, an unlucky starting position can be severely detrimental for even the strongest competitors.
Let's take a look at how to watch the upcoming draw and go over a brief history of post positions at Belmont Park.
2014 Belmont Stakes Post-Position Draw
Date: Wednesday, June 4
Time: 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m,
Live Stream: BelmontStakes.com
|California Chrome||Art Sherman||Victor Espinoza|
|Commanding Curve||Dallas Stewart||Shaun Bridgmohan|
|Commissioner||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano|
|General a Rod||Mike Maker||Rosie Napravnik|
|Kid Cruz||Linda Rice||undecided|
|Matuszak||Bill Mott||Mike Smith|
|Medal Count||Dale L. Romans||Robby Albarado|
|Ride On Curlin||Billy Gowan||John Velazquez|
|Samraat||Rick Violette||Jose Ortiz|
|Social Inclusion||Manny Azpurua||undecided|
|Tonalist||Christophe Clement||Joel Rosario|
|Wicked Strong||Jimmy Jerkens||Rajiv Maragh|
Belmont Stakes Post History
Certain post positions have been rather favorable over years past; however, trends have been gearing toward other starting gates recently. Here's a look at the number of winners from each starting position at Belmont Park:
The first post position has seen the most success by a great margin over the history of the Belmont Stakes.
Generally, starting so far inside poses a severe threat of being caught against the rail, leading to a loss of speed, momentum and position early in the race.
That hasn't been quite the case at Belmont Park. However, a new trend has emerged in recent years, as Empire Maker was the last horse to win from the No. 1 post in 2003.
The trend is moving outward.
Over the last seven years, three winners have started in the No. 7 position and two of the last three winners have come from the No. 3 post.
Moving further outside, Palace Malice won the Belmont Stakes last year from way outside at the No. 12 gate. Although, as ESPN radio host RJ Bell noted before Palace Malice's win, that hasn't exactly been common:
Last 30 years, only TWO Belmont winners have had a double digit post position.— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) June 8, 2013
The draw promises to bring plenty of intrigue and anxiety, as owners, trainers and jockeys await their horses' respective fates.
It's all a matter of luck at the post-position draw, and California Chrome has had plenty of it after earning favorable starting positions in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
Will his luck continue at Belmont Park, or has it run out?
We'll find out Thursday.