Trainers are hours away from knowing where their horses will begin their 2014 Belmont Stakes journey.
Post positions will be drawn today. And they could sway odds. Since 1905, 23 Belmont champions have started in post position No. 1, eight more than any other position.
Here's how to watch the influential pre-race event, as well the latest news out of Elmont, New York.
When: Wednesday, June 4 at 11 a.m. ET
Where: HRTV, TVG
Live Stream: BelmontStakes.com
Odds Shark updated its pre-post position draw Belmont odds on Tuesday, and 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champ California Chrome remains a heavy favorite. He now sits at 11-10.
Horse racing experts Mike Welsch and David Grening of Daily Racing Form raved about California Chrome's performance in practice, supporting the high odds:
California Chrome looks super in final Belmont prep cruises 4F in :47.47 with monster gallop out, :59.59, 1:12.76, 1:26.34 up mile 1:40.92— Mike Welsch (@DRFWelsch) May 31, 2014
Hard to go against California Chrome after watching that work.— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 31, 2014
According to Odds Shark, the top contenders to knock off California Chrome are Ride On Curlin at 11-2, Commanding Curve at 15-2, Tonalist at 15-2 and Wicked Strong at 17-2. Ride On Curlin finished second in the Preakness, Commanding Curve finished second in the Derby and Tonalist won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park in May.
Social Inclusion sat not far behind at 20-1 odds. He entered the Preakness as a top threat to California Chrome. But TVG's Darin Zoccali reported that Social Inclusion has dropped out of the Belmont:
Just announced that Social Inclusion will run in the Woody Stephens and not The @BelmontStakes - Takes a ton of speed out of the race.— Darin Zoccali (@atTheTrack7) June 4, 2014
This news comes after Tim Wilkin of the Albany Times Union reported that Kid Cruz also dropped out:
Trainer Linda Rice said Tuesday that Kid Cruz, 8th in Preakness, won't run in Belmont— Tim Wilkin (@tjwilkin) June 3, 2014
Also deciding to not participate in Saturday's events are storm clouds. (That actually sounds like a horse name, doesn't it?):
Last week, weather reports predicted a chance of rain. That could've been problematic for California Chrome (just like the throat blister behind his pre-Preakness cough), who's never raced on a wet track.
And his odds continue to soar.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report and editor at Wade-O Radio.