The 2014 Belmont Stakes is where history will inevitably be made.
California Chrome can become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, or he can join the list of horses to win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown before faltering at Belmont. Which one will it be?
Now that the post positions have been drawn, we all have a much better idea of how the race will shake out. Post positions are crucial at Belmont, as a poor position can easily ruin the chances of contention for even the best of horses. Here is how the draw sorted out the field:
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Belmont Stakes Draw Broadcast
The Belmont Stakes is sure to be an exciting race, a race in which we will be anticipating history after every furlong. Below, you'll find the latest Vegas odds, as well as my own personal predictions for the race.
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Belmont Stakes Draw Broadcast
There are three horses everyone needs to keep an eye on in the Belmont Stakes—California Chrome, Ride On Curlin and Wicked Strong.
The reasons to watch Chrome are obvious. The colt will win the Triple Crown with a first-place finish at Belmont. He's also worth watching because of how jockey Victor Espinoza rides him. Espinoza is brilliant with Chrome, enacting what has proven to be a foolproof strategy through the first two jewels of the crown.
Which horse wins the Belmont Stakes?
I don't think there's a single horse in this field that can defeat Chrome right now. He and Espinoza will be Triple Crown winners after Saturday's action.
Second place will likely go to Ride On Curlin. The colt has gone through jockey after jockey in his past five races, running with a different jockey atop of him in each one. This time around, John Velazquez will be looking to lead him to victory.
Calvin Borel and Joel Rosario, the jockeys for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, respectively, were unable to deliver a win to owner Daniel Dougherty. Velazquez, who has two career wins at the Belmont Stakes, will look to take down Chrome.
Ride On Curlin has been running very well in workouts, so all signs point to a good race. Here's a video the NYRA captured of the colt:
A run like that will lead to great results at Belmont.
Finally, Wicked Strong will come in third. This horse skipped the Preakness after failing to win the Derby. This layoff hasn't hurt him, though, as trainer Jimmy Jerkens has been keeping the horse busy. As a result, his workout times have been pretty fast, via Frank Angst of ESPN.com:
In two breezes at the training track to date since the Derby, Wicked Strong worked five furlongs in 1:01.84 May 18, eighth fastest of 20 moves at the distance that day; and one mile in 1:39.59 May 25 in the only work at the distance that day. Jerkens, who is stabled away from the main track at Belmont and typically uses the training track, was pleased with the one-mile work in which Wicked Strong galloped out 1 ⅛ miles in 1:54.
I don't think Wicked Strong will be able to catch Chrome or even Ride On Curlin, but the horse is equipped to finish in the money.