Only 1 1/2 miles stand between California Chrome and history.
Will the California-bred colt capture the 2014 Belmont Stakes and finally end the 36-year Triple Crown drought?
That's the question on everyone's mind.
With the 11-horse field finally set and the post positions drawn, the picture of how the race could potentially unfold is beginning to emerge.
Let's take a look at the current Vegas odds and determine how Belmont Park's prestigious race is likely to take shape.
2014 Belmont Stakes Odds and Predictions
|1||5||Ride On Curlin||12-1|
|9||10||General a Rod||20-1|
Sean O'Donnell's Predictions
Odds courtesy of BelmontStakes.com.
Should these results come to fruition, it will mark yet another unfortunate ending for a Triple Crown hopeful.
California Chrome may be the most talented horse in this year's field; however, taking on a lengthy race at Belmont Park could prove to be the colt's undoing.
The Baltimore Sun tweeted its take on the colt's daunting task:
Fatigue, fresh field, 1 1/2-mile distance: California Chrome faces challenges in quest for Triple Crown. http://t.co/aQHLyLntBR— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) May 31, 2014
He's flourished over the first two jewels of the Triple Crown; however, we've seen Commanding Curve and Wicked Strong make up ground on him down the final stretch at the Kentucky Derby, and Ride On Curlin did the same at the Preakness.
With an extra quarter-mile of track to cover on Saturday, he may not have the juice to maintain his lead.
Ride On Curlin is a tremendous closer. We watched him make up a great deal of ground in the Preakness after starting out wide in the No. 10 gate. Starting in the No. 5 post is ideal for this horse, as he'll be able to put himself in better position before surging to the front down the final furlong.
Mike Welsch of the Daily Racing Form noted Ride On Curlin's recent solid workout at Belmont Park:
Ride On Curlin looking much better today galloping in the rain over a wet track, gave rider all he could handle down the stretch— Mike Welsch (@DRFWelsch) June 5, 2014
Wicked Strong is yet another strong closer. Despite starting in the No. 20 gate at the Derby, he weaved his way through traffic en route to a fourth-place finish. Starting from the No. 9 post on Saturday will allow him to show.
Those three horses certainly won't run away with things.
Commanding Curve figures to provide some great chase late in the race. He put on a sparkling performance in the Kentucky Derby, running a blistering pace throughout the race and finishing second.
Here's a look back at the Derby. Keep a keen eye on No. 17:
Tonalist is no stranger to Belmont Park. He ran a tremendous race there earlier this year, dominating the field in the Peter Pan Stakes. As another strong closing horse, he'll be in the mix late on Saturday.
Expect to see a highly contested Belmont Stakes, as many horses should remain in contention late in the race. As it appears right now, we'll have to continue waiting for our next Triple Crown winner, as Ride On Curlin will don the carnation blanket this year.