After the post draw for the 2014 Belmont Stakes, all eyes have shifted to Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome as he continues his pursuit of Triple Crown glory.
California Chrome drew the No. 2 post, meaning he will have a great opportunity to start the race fast along the rail and get out to an early lead. With a favorable draw, the Triple Crown hopes have only grown, as he has been given 3-5 odds to emerge victorious.
Here is the starting grid for the 2014 Belmont Stakes and the odds for every horse in the field, courtesy of Belmont Stakes on Twitter.
|Post Pos.||Horse||Pedigree (Sire)||Odds|
|2||California Chrome||Lucky Pulpit||3-5|
|4||Commanding Curve||Master Command||15-1|
|5||Ride On Curlin||Curlin||12-1|
|8||Commissioner||A. P. Indy||20-1|
|9||Wicked Strong||Hard Spun||6-1|
|10||General A Rod||Roman Ruler||20-1|
Source: Belmont Stakes Twitter Account
California Chrome’s Attempt to Make History
Horse racing fans have dreamed of another Triple Crown winner since Affirmed last won in 1978, but there has been no better opportunity to break the streak than this year by the red-hot California Chrome.
Not only did this horse dominate at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, but California Chrome also won the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes, California Cup Derby and King Glorious Stakes.
California Chrome is on an unprecedented six-race winning streak.
For those fans and bettors worried about fatigue from racing the brutal Triple Crown schedule, Mike Welsch of Daily Racing Form and Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News gushed about Chrome’s performance during his final prep run on May 31:
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
With the perfect mix of momentum, the right team surrounding him and the raw talent needed to win the first two legs, California Chrome has a legitimate shot to cement his place in history by winning on the 1.5-mile course at Belmont Park.
Chrome’s trainer, Art Sherman, spoke to Laura Albanese of New York Newsday about his perception of the horse’s chance of winning the Belmont Stakes:
There's no doubt in my mind that he's going to win the Triple Crown. Because I've seen him perform the other two times and his looks this past Saturday tell me this horse is healthy, he's happy. He's gaining weight and putting on muscle. He's ready to go.
The toughest test for this horse will be the length of the course. California Chrome has never run on a track that is 1.5 miles long, and if there is any effect on his body from running so many races in such a short time, there is a chance he could struggle down the stretch.
As seen in his tests at the track over the last week and during his runs in Louisville and Baltimore, this horse is as tough as they come and ready for the chance to steal the show.
Will California Chrome win the 2014 Belmont Stakes?
With a talented jockey like Victor Espinoza guiding the horse safely through traffic, the stage has been set for California Chrome to overcome the stacked field and become the first Triple Crown winner in nearly four decades.
While some may say horses don’t understand the magnitude of the situation, California Chrome will feel the energy surrounding him in Belmont Park and run into the annals of horse racing lore.
Predicted Finish: 2014 Belmont Winner
*Stats via HorseRacingNation.com.