Glen Kozak, the vice president of facilities and racing surfaces for the New York Racing Association, says he’s “pretty confident we’ll be wet-fast” by the Belmont post time of 6:36 p.m., and “if we get real lucky we’ll be fast.”
Ruler On Ice posted a huge upset in the Belmont Stakes, taking the lead from Preakness winner Shackleford in the stretch and winning the final leg of the Triple Crown.
The final leg of the Triple Crown features not only the rubber match between Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford on Saturday, but the top seven finishers from the Derby for the first time as well.
Uncle Mo couldn’t make it, so owner Mike Repole will instead race Stay Thirsty as his horse in the 143rd Belmont Stakes. “Growing up in New York, and going to Aqueduct and Belmont 100 times before I was 17, this is what it’s about,” he said.
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom was made the 2-1 favorite for the Belmont Stakes, with Preakness winner Shackleford the third choice.
Nothing like a little Triple Crown trash talk a few days before the Belmont. The owner of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom fired the first salvo at a news conference in Manhattan on Tuesday, dissing Preakness winner Shackleford’s chances of winning Saturday’s final leg of the Triple Crown.
Animal Kingdom, with jockey John Velazquez aboard, worked four furlongs in 47.76 seconds over the main dirt track at Belmont Park on Monday morning. The 3-year-old colt worked in company with another horse.
In the Derby, Shackleford led from the start before fading to fourth. In the Preakness, Castanon settled in behind pacesetting Flashpoint, took the lead at the back stretch and wouldn’t relinquish it.
Shackleford battled for the lead from the start and held off a late charge from Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom to win the Preakness Stakes.
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will be heading back to his home turf to await a likely run in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Animal Kingdom sped past the leaders in the turn at Churchill Downs on Saturday and roared down the middle of the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby. Jockey John Velazquez guided the 3-year-old colt to the front at the quarter pole then poured it on to beat Nehro by 2 3/4 lengths.