The 146th running of the Belmont Stakes will take place this Saturday, and there are a number of horses to watch for that could potentially take down California Chrome.
This is the longest of the Triple Crown races at 1.5 miles, which means that stamina will be more important than ever. California Chrome is a win away from becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did so in 1978.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the top contenders going up against California Chrome as well as viewing information for Saturday's big race.
Where: Belmont Park in Elmont, New York
Date: Saturday, June 7
Time: 6:52 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
After skipping the Preakness Stakes, Commanding Curve is looking to give the rest of the field a run for their money at the Belmont, and considering how good he looked in his last race, the colt may have a legitimate shot.
It took Commanding Curve four races before he finally broke his maiden, but he's showed plenty of improvement since. After pulling off a strong third-place finish at the Louisiana Derby, he was the first horse to finish behind California Chrome at the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer Dallas Stewart is expecting big things from Commanding Curve after a couple of solid workouts heading into this race.
"I've never seen him work any better," Stewart said according to Jennie Reese from the Courier-Journal. "He came back not blowing. That's the thing about him: He never gets tired."
As Mike Welsch from Daily Racing Form points out, Commanding Curve looked to be in good shape after finishing strong on Friday:
Commanding Curve will need that kind of stamina heading into the longest leg of the Triple Crown. He may be able to pull away down the final stretch if he can keep the pace throughout the race.
Ride On Curlin
From one Triple Crown runner-up to another, Ride On Curlin also looks like a legitimate contender in the Belmont after consistent success since since debuting last June.
Ride On Curlin has finished in the money in nine of 11 career races, including two wins. He finished second in the Arkansas Derby before coming in just seventh at Churchill Downs before finishing just behind California Chrome at the Preakness.
Trainer William Gowan had Ride On Curlin run seven furlongs on Sunday and said the horse looked strong, according to Claire Novak of Bloodhorse.com:
I thought he went super. [Beccia] went just like I told him. I told him to go slow the first quarter and he went in :27 seconds, went the last quarter in :24 seconds. It was just what we wanted, mainly just to get some air into him. If I work him a half-mile he may get too speed crazy, so as long as he was going slow, that's all we needed.
This will be the longest race of Ride On Curlin's career, and that could be a factor in how well he finishes. However, the horse had a terrific finish to the Preakness to help him move all the way up to second, showing that he could stay strong while other horses started to fade.
As the son of 2007 Preakness winner Curlin, Ride On Curlin will be looking to prove that he can win a Triple Crown title of his own—even if it is against some of the best competition in horse racing.
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