Before dusk falls upon Belmont Park on Saturday evening, we'll know if the 36-year Triple Crown drought has ended.
Post time for the 2014 Belmont Stakes is at 6:52 p.m. ET, and all eyes will be on California Chrome in the No. 2 gate.
Since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown in 1978, 12 other horses have entered Belmont Park with that very same goal. None were successful.
Will California Chrome be lucky 13? It won't be long until we find out.
Let's take a look at the race's final odds, predict how it's likely to unfold and glance at which horses provide the biggest threat to California Chrome.
2014 Belmont Stakes Odds and Predictions
|2||5||Ride On Curlin||12-1|
|9||10||General a Rod||20-1|
Sean O'Donnell's Predictions
Odds courtesy of BelmontStakes.com.
Threats to California Chrome
Ride On Curlin
Should California Chrome falter at Belmont Park Saturday, Ride On Curlin is likely the horse that will benefit.
With a great deal of endurance and good finishing speed, Ride On Curlin gave California Chrome a run for his money down the final furlong of the Preakness Stakes.
Here's a look back at the race:
Ride On Curlin began that race wide in the No. 10 gate. This time around, his No. 5 post position is far more favorable and can keep him well in the mix down the final stretch.
Wicked Strong may be the best closer in this year's field. He has phenomenal endurance and is capable of producing sprint-like speeds late in the race.
At the Kentucky Derby, he began way outside in the No. 20 gate—a daunting task for any horse. But he was able to make up plenty of ground after running the bulk of the race wide from the rail and weaving his way through traffic to finish fourth.
According to Teresa Genero of Al Jazeera, Team Wicked Strong has its sights set on California Chrome on Saturday:
Starting from the No. 9 gate at Belmont Park should almost seem like a walk in the park after dealing with his post position at Churchill Downs. Expect Wicked Strong to make a strong push at Belmont Park Saturday.
Commanding Curve wasn't exactly a favorite coming in to the Kentucky Derby; however, he absolutely could have been. The high level of speed he was able to produce throughout the entire race was simply impressive.
After a sluggish start, he found himself far off the pace in 18th position. A huge surge throughout the race allowed him to pass 17 horses en route to closing in on California Chrome down the final stretch for a second-place finish.
Here's a look back at the Derby. Be sure to keep a close eye on No. 17:
With a favorable post position in the No. 4 gate at Belmont Park, Commanding Curve has a great opportunity to stun us all once more.