Belmont Stakes 149 is this Saturday, June 10.
When last I left you, I was not excited about the crop of three year olds running through the American classics. That hasn’t changed. But there are a few developments since.
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming won’t contest the Belmont Stakes.
Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing won’t contest the Belmont Stakes.
Preakness Stakes runner up Classic Empire was to run in the Belmont Stakes, but has developed another abscess in the same hoof that affected him in the Holy Bull Stakes earlier this year. Scratched. So Lookin’ At Lee will be the ONLY colt to run in all three Triple Crown races. Enough said.
Here’s the field, by post position for the Belmont:
- Twisted Tom
- J Boys Echo
- Hollywood Handsome
- Lookin’ At Lee
- Irish War Cry
- Senior Investment
I have nothing else to offer about the field overall. Twisted Tom won the Frederico Tesio Stakes at Pimilico and is trained by Preakness-winning trainer Chad Brown. Meantime was second in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont and Hollywood Handsome was fifth in the Illinois Derby.
Epicharis interests me. He was undefeated in his native Japan and second to Thunder Snow in the UAE Derby. Before you snicker at the thought of him finishing behind Kentucky Derby cutup Thunder Snow consider that Thunder Snow just finished second to the very well thought of Churchill in the Irish 2000 Guineas May 27th. A grandson of Sunday Silence, Epicharis also has accomplished distance/stamina sires Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells, both sons of 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner and premier stallion Northern Dancer, in his pedigree. Since his second place finish in the UAE Derby, his connections have pointed him to the Belmont. Lani finished third in the Belmont last year; if ever there was a year for a Japanese horse to break through in the Classics, this is it.
Post time is 6:30 Saturday; NBC’s coverage begins at 5:00.