The 2017 Belmont Stakes, the final leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, will be run at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. on Saturday, June 10, 2017 (6/10/17).
With Classic Empire scratched with an abscess in his right front hoof, New Jersey-bred Irish War Cry is the early-line favorite.
Here's what you need to know:
What: Belmont Stakes
When: Saturday, June 10, 2017
Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y.
Post time: 6:37 p.m. Eastern
Livestream: NBC Sports Live
Kentucky Derby Winner: Always Dreaming
Preakness winner: Cloud Computing
The Belmont field:
1. Twisted Tom, Javier Castellano, 20-1
2. Tapwrit, Jose Ortiz, 6-1
3. Gormley, Victor Espinoza, 8-1
4. J Boys Echo, Robby Albarado, 15-1
5. Hollywood Handsome, Florent Geroux, 30-1
6. Lookin At Lee, Irad Ortiz Jr., 5-1
7. Irish War Cry, Rajiv Maragh, 7-2
8. Senior Investment, Channing Hill, 12-1
9. Meantime, Mike Smith, 15-1
10. Multiplier, Joel Rosario, 15-1
11. Espicharis, Christophe Lemaire, 4-1
12. Patch, John Velazquez, 12-1
This year's topsy-turvy Triple Crown trail comes to an end in a Belmont Stakes without the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners or the expected favorite who dropped out. It does come with questions about a Japanese horse with a sore foot.
No horse has dominated the 3-year-old ranks so far, leaving the 11/2-mile Belmont up for grabs among 12 horses that on Saturday will run the longest race of their lives.
The 7-2 early favorite Irish War Cry is only in the Belmont after trainer Graham Motion licked his wounds from the colt's 10th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby five weeks ago.
"When you get beaten as one of the favorites in the Derby, it's pretty discouraging and you just want to put it behind you," he said. "My horse is doing well. As long as he's doing well, he deserved a chance."
Irish War Cry inherited the role of favorite after Classic Empire was forced out earlier in the week with an abscess in his hoof.
Speculation on the status of early 4-1 second choice Epicharis continued to swirl Friday after the colt didn't train for a third straight day because of his sore right front hoof.
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming finished eighth in the Preakness, so he is skipping the Belmont. His trainer Todd Pletcher has two shots at winning the $1.5 million race on his home track: He will saddle 6-1 fourth choice Tapwrit and one-eyed Patch.
Tapwrit was sixth in the Derby and Patch was 14th.
"I think he ran a sneaky good race in the Derby," Pletcher said of Tapwrit. "I don't think it would be a surprise if either of them ran well."
Cloud Computing skipped the Derby, won the Preakness and is sitting out the Belmont. His trainer Chad Brown has 20-1 shot Twisted Tom, who brings a three-race winning streak into the race on his home track.
Senior Investment surged late to take third in the Preakness and his trainer, Ken McPeek, won the 2002 Belmont with 70-1 shot Sarava. In 2012, he trained 20-1 shot Atigun to a third-place finish.
"This thing is wide open, completely wide open," McPeek said. "It will be interesting to see it unfold."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Keith Sargeant may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @KSargeantNJ....Read more