The 2014 Belmont Stakes is one of the biggest horse races of the year, and the third leg of the Triple Crown is garnering even more attention after the post positions were drawn Wednesday morning.
The Belmont Stakes shared the official draw results and where Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion California Chrome will start the race on Twitter:
Here are the 2014 Belmont Stakes post positions, updated odds, picks and predictions for Saturday’s big race.
|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
Horses That Can Beat California Chrome
After a second-place finish in the 2014 Kentucky Derby, one of the biggest contenders to win the Belmont Stakes this year is Commanding Curve. With the rest needed to make a run at the victory, California Chrome has been put on notice.
As Mike Welsch of Daily Racing Form reported, Commanding Curve looked strong during a jog with California Chrome Wednesday morning:
Commanding Curve doing well, jogs a mile, gallops 1 1/4 as he and the other CC, California Chrome train simultaneously.— Mike Welsch (@DRFWelsch) June 4, 2014
While trainer Dallas Stewart and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan will put the horse in a great position to be victorious, Commanding Curve will have to get out of the gates fast and avoid traffic.
California Chrome is one of the best closers in recent memory, and Commanding Curve must get out toward the front of the pack early to avoid working through traffic and make a push for the lead within the last half-mile.
If California Chrome continues to run his hardest down the stretch, as he did in each of his last six races, Commanding Curve must time his run to the finish line perfectly to contend for the win. Easier said than done, though, as Commanding Curve found out at the Kentucky Derby.
One of the horses not getting the mainstream publicity that he deserves is the winner of the 2014 Peter Pan Stakes, Tonalist. This horse may not have the experience the others in this field do, but his two victories on 1 1/8-mile courses prove he could be a horse that thrives at longer distances.
While running the Belmont Stakes will be a trial by fire for Tonalist, trainer Christophe Clement has faith that his horse will have the stamina and endurance needed to run down the pack and contend for a victory Saturday.
Clement told Jack Shinar of Bloodhorse, via ESPN, about his horse’s victory at the Peter Pan Stakes:
You could see he was striding very well. What impressed me was the last eighth of a mile, when he opened up again. I thought he was fit. I was very worried about the wet track. I don't breeze my horses on the wet track so that was a complete question mark. He answered that pretty nicely.
Starting on the outside post at No. 11 will not be the ideal spot to run from, but Tonalist has the strength out of the gate to get away from traffic early. Even if he gets bogged down behind the leaders, he still has the stamina to stay in the hunt.
With little experience on longer tracks, the hope from his team is that Tonalist will find an extra gear during the last half-mile stretch and steal the victory. California Chrome must be aware of where Tonalist is running as he approaches the finish line.
*Stats via HorseRacingNation.com.