Here’s your crib sheet for the 2017 Belmont Stakes so you can look like the most knowledgeable person at your viewing party. Check out the scoop on the field and vote in our poll for who you think will win!
No, there won’t be a Triple Crown winner this year after Cloud Computing won the Preakness Stakes, ending Derby winner Always Dreaming’s chance at eternal glory. (2017 will join the illustrious rank of years where a different horse won each individual jewel of the Triple Crown — check out our two-part history of such Triple Crowns in Part I and Part II). Sadly, likely favorite Classic Empire was forced to scratch when his connections discovered an abscess on Wednesday morning.
That doesn’t mean, however, that it won’t still be an interesting race: with some returning horses from the first two legs as well as some intriguing new shooters plus a Japanese colt throwing his hat into the ring, the 2017 Belmont Stakes has plenty of intrigue to captivate racing fans. At a mile and a half, this is likely to be the longest race that most of these colts have contested in their careers so far, earning the race the nickname “the Test of the Champion.” Check out our field preview and then vote in our poll for who you think will win!
Post Position 1: Twisted Tom (20-1)
Chestnut gelding by Creative Cause
Owned by Cobra Farm
Trained by Chad Brown
Ridden by Javier Castellano
Claims to fame: winner of the Private Terms Stakes and Federico Tesio Stakes
While Twisted Tom perhaps has the stamina to handle the Test of the Champion, the Belmont will be a significant step up in class for the gelding.
Post Position 2: Tapwrit (6-1)
Gray colt by Tapit
Owned by Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Robert LaPenta
Trained by Todd Pletcher
Ridden by Jose Ortiz
Claims to fame: second in the Sam F. Davis (G3), first in the Tampa Bay Derby (G1)
Tapwrit finished sixth in the Derby after navigating a sloppy, traffic-choked track. He skipped the Preakness to rest and train and now heads to the Belmont in the footsteps of another Tapit son, Creator, who pulled off a surprise win last year. Will history repeat itself again?
Post Position 3: Gormley (8-1)
Bay colt by Malibu Moon
Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss
Trained by John Shirrefs
Ridden by Victor Espinoza
Claims to fame: winner of the FrontRunner Stakes (G1), the Sham Stakes (G3) and the Santa Anita Derby (G1)
Gormley finished a distant ninth in the Kentucky Derby in the massive 20-horse field. By skipping the Preakness, he comes into the Belmont fresh and ready.
Post Position 4: J Boys Echo (15-1)
Bay colt by Mineshaft
Owned by Albaugh Family Stables and Bobby Flay
Trained by Dale Romans
Ridden by Robby Albarado
Claims to fame: third in the Withers Stakes (G3), winner of the Gotham Stakes (G1), fourth in the Blue Grass (G2)
J Boys Echo will be reunited with jockey Robby Albarado for the first time since Albarado fractured his leg in an accident just before the Derby. Will the winning combination be enough to propel this colt to the win in the Belmont? J Boys Echo skipped the Preakness after a poor race in the Derby to come to New York fresh.
Post Position 5: Hollywood Handsome (30-1)
Bay colt by Tapizar
Owned by Mark and Nancy Stanley
Trained by Dallas Stewart
Ridden by Florent Geroux
Claims to fame: fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2)
This colt followed up his fourth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby with a disappointing run in the Illinois Derby, which forced his connections to regroup. His most recent start was an impressive win in an allowance at Churchill, but one wonders if this horse is about to be overfaced in the Belmont Stakes.
Post Position 6: Lookin At Lee (5-1)
Bay colt by Lookin At Lucky
Owned by L and N Racing
Trained by Steve Asmussen
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.
Claims to fame: second in Breeders’ Futurity (G1), fourth in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), third in Southwest Stakes (G3), third in Arkansas Derby (G1) and second in the Kentucky Derby (G1)
With a surprising second place finish in the Derby, the odds shortened on Lookin At Lee for the Preakness where he did not rise to expectations. With a jockey switch to Irad Ortiz, who is currently Belmont’s leading rider, it remains to be seen if this horse will find the finish — with a relatively light field, anything is possible.
Post Position 7: Irish War Cry (7-2)
Chestnut colt by Curlin
Owned by Isabelle de Tomaso
Trained by Graham Motion
Ridden by Rajiv Maragh
Claims to fame: winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and Wood Memorial (G2)
Irish War Cry helped set a quick early pace in the Derby but ultimately finished tenth in the slop; with some rest and sharp workouts the colt should be back in winning form for the third and longest leg of the Triple Crown. Provided he can go the distance, he should be one to watch.
Post Position 8: Senior Investment (12-1)
Chestnut colt by Discreetly Mine
Owned by Fern Circle Stables
Trained by Ken McPeek
Ridden by Channing Hill
Claims to fame: winner of the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3), third in the Preakness Stakes (G1)
Coming off of a third place finish in the Preakness, the odds should be shorter on this colt in the Belmont Stakes. He made up an impressive amount of ground in the second leg of the Triple Crown, and if he can go the mile and a half his style might suit the longer race to catch tiring leaders.
Post Position 9: Meantime (15-1)
Chestnut colt by Shackleford
Owned by Silverton Hill LLC
Trained by Brian Lynch
Ridden by Mike Smith
Claims to fame: second in the Peter Pan Stakes (G3)
This long shot colt has yet to win a graded stakes, and will surprise many if he can go the mile and a half. Superstar jockey Mike Smith may be able to help.
Post Position 10: Multiplier (15-1)
Bay colt by The Factor
Owned by American Equistock
Trained by Brendan Walsh
Ridden by Joel Rosario
Claims to fame: winner of the Illinois Derby (G3) with second-fastest time in race history
Multiplier finished sixth in the Preakness Stakes, perhaps reminding fans that he lacks experience having only debuted this year. The Preakness was a considerable step up in class for this colt, so it remains to be seen how much he developed in the quick turnaround between races. His Illinois Derby was impressive but this still may be too much too soon.
Post Position 11: Epicharis (Japan) (4-1)
Dark bay/brown colt by Gold Allure
Owned by U. Carrot Farm Racing Syndicate
Trained by Kiyoshi Hagiwara
Ridden by Christophe Lemaire
Claims to fame: winner of the Hyacinth Stakes, second place in the UAE Derby (G2)
Epicharis, by virtue of winning the Hyacinth Stakes which is on the Japanese Road to the Kentucky Derby, could have run in the first leg of the Triple Crown but his connections chose instead to route him towards the Belmont Stakes. Epicharis has contested the mile and a half distance in Japan, and with Belmont considered the track most like his home surfaces, perhaps this foreign contender stands a good chance.
Post Position 12: Patch (12-1)
Bay colt by Union Rags
Owned by Calumet Farm
Trained by Todd Pletcher
Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione
Claims to fame: second in the Louisiana Derby (G2)
America’s sentimental favorite from the Kentucky Derby is back to prove that a one-eyed horse can do everything a two-eyed horse can do… does that include winning the Belmont? He’s still as much of an actual long-shot in New York as he was in Kentucky, but in a light field anything is possible.