Orb favored to win at Belmont Stakes
NEW YORK (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Orb is the horse to beat in the Belmont Stakes.
Despite finishing fourth behind Oxbow in the Preakness, Orb was made the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a 14-horse field entered Wednesday for the final leg of the Triple Crown. The colt trained by Shug McGaughey drew the No. 5 post position.
Oxbow, who will leave from the No. 7 post for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, was the third betting choice at 5-1. Revolutionary, one of trainer Todd Pletcher’s record five horses in the field, is the second choice at 9-2. The field is the largest since 1996.
“I think Shug has established his horse as the favorite today, and that’s right,” said Lukas, who has won a record 14 Triple Crown races, including the Belmont four times. “But I think he knows he has to take care of business in getting us out of the way, too.”
Revolutionary did not run in the Preakness after finishing third in the Derby. Pletcher’s other entries for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont are the filly Unlimited Budget, Overanalyze, Palice Malice and Midnight Taboo.
Unlimited Budget, who will be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, will attempt to become the fourth filly to win the Belmont. Pletcher’s Rags to Riches was the most recent to do it in 2007. Unlimited Budget, the co-fourth choice with Freedom Child at 8-1, won her first four starts before finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks.
“She’s a big strong filly from a physical standpoint, and she will match up well,” Pletcher said. “My biggest concern is the mile-and-a-half.”
McGaughey said he’s pleased with the draw, which puts his colt closer to the middle of the pack rather than the rail, which proved to be a problem in the Preakness.
“I’m going to strike a line through the Preakness,” McGaughey said. “It just wasn’t our day. It was Wayne Lukas and Oxbow’s. And Gary Stevens. We’re going to regroup and hopefully you’ll see the right horse here on Saturday.”
Orb, with Joel Rosario aboard, will try to become the first Derby-Belmont winner since Thunder Gulch in 1995. Oxbow seeks to become the first Preakness-Belmont winner since Afleet Alex in 2005.
The field from the rail out is Frac Daddy (Alan Garcia, 30-1), Freedom Child (Luis Saez, 8-1), Overanalyze (John Velazquez, 12-1), Giant Finish (Edgar Prado, 30-1), Orb (Joel Rosario, 3-1), Incognito (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 20-1), Oxbow (Gary Stevens, 5-1), Midnight Taboo (Garrett Gomez, 30-1), Revolutionary (Javier Castellano, 9-2), Will Take Charge (Jon Court, 20-1), Vyjack (Julien Leparoux, 20-1), Palace Malice (Mike Smith, 15-1), Unlimited Budget (Rosie Napravnik, 8-1), and Golden Soul (Robby Albarado, 10-1).