Belmont Stakes Draw: Justify Is Favorite in Bid for Triple Crown

Belmont Stakes Draw: Justify Is Favorite in Bid for Triple Crown

Belmont Stakes Draw: Justify Is Favorite in Bid for Triple Crown

The field for the 150th Belmont in post position order with jockeys and odds: Justify, Smith, 4-5; Free Drop Billy, Robby Albarado, 30-1; Bravazo, Luis Saez, 8-1; Hofburg, Irad Ortiz Jr., 9-2; Restoring Hope, Geroux, 30-1; Gronkowski, Jose Ortiz, 12-1; Tenfold, Ricardo Santana Jr., 12-1; Vino Rosso, John Velazquez, 8-1; Noble Indy, Javier Castellano, 30-1; Blended Citizen, Kyle Frey, 15-1. A win would make him the 13th Triple Crown victor, the second in four years, and would give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his second Triple Crown victor and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith his first. Baffert, who won the Triple Crown with American Pharoah in 2015, was set to throw out the first pitch. NBC Sports will televise the 1.5-mile race.

His sire, Scat Daddy, a Grade 1-winning juvenile, was known for having a late kick, often winning races from behind.

In the 2010 Kentucky Derby, Baffert had the favorite with Lookin At Lucky, who broke from the No. 1 hole.

As a result, Justify has a perfectly balanced "Classic" dosage index of 3.00. "We'll try him out one more time".

Don't be too anxious about Justify's declining speed figures.

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"There's only limited chances to run in a race like this", Romans said. And when the pace of a race and final speed figure are looked at together, Justify is still the class of the field. Both sat out the Preakness after finishing far back in the Derby.

A total of 23 horses have won the Belmont from the No1 post since records were kept in 1905, making it the winningest post position. That could force the talented colt to expended more energy than desired to get clear of the field and up near the front, a maneuver that has taken its toll on other Belmont entrants.

But location, location, location is the key to the Belmont - on Tuesday, the post positions will be drawn at the New York Mets' CitiField to determine whether the colt just one win away from the greatest glory in horse racing will be shouldered into the rail, where a potentially muddy track's muck will be the deepest, or forced to battle in the thick of the pack.

"I never do like to draw the rail", Baffert said.

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