There are still two days to go until the post draw for the 151st Belmont Stakes, but barring a late entry, it looks like a field of 10 may go into the gates on Saturday.
Belmont probables include:
- War of Will – The unlucky Kentucky Derby entrant and Preakness winner will look to create even more controversy. A Belmont win will have everyone asking, “What if Maximum Security hadn’t gotten in his way?” The argument may never end.
- Tacitus – The gray colt who finished third in the Derby will look to be Tapit’s fourth son to win the Belmont Stakes, which will tie a record with the great Lexington with the most winners. A five-week layoff should help Tacitus as well.
- Master Fencer – Despite an odd workout last week in which he seemed to step awkwardly during a lackadaisical workout, his handlers say he is in good shape. The sixth-place finisher who came to the Derby by way of Japan could be the bettors’ third choice come Saturday.
- Bourbon War – Once the subject of a lot of Derby buzz in the late winter, his 8th place finish in the Preakness seems to have tempered that buzz. But the late finisher could benefit from a quick pace, and is another Tapit colt who could give the great sire that fourth win.
- Sir Winston – This Awesome Again colt came from last to finish second in the Peter Pan Stakes, usually a good Belmont prep. But that’s about all he’s done.
- Intrepid Heart – Another Tapit colt, he finished third in the Peter Pan despite stumbling at the start. He’s lightly raced, though, having started only three times, with two wins.
- Everfast – A second-place finisher in the Preakness, Everfast is looking good for getting on the board in the Belmont – except that he’s only won once in 11 starts, finishing off the board in seven of those races.
- Spinoff – Everybody’s dark horse in the Derby was a huge disappointment, finishing 18th. He did finish second in the Lousiana Derby, and has the nice long layoff between the Derby and the Belmont.
- Tax – Tax ran well in every race he was entered in – except the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 14th. Look for him at the front, and if he sets a leisurely pace, he may be around for the end.
- Joevia – The long shot in the race, this son of Shanghai Bobby will look to battle Tax for the lead. If these two get into a speed duel, look for a Tacitus or Bourbon War to make a move in the long homestretch.