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Belmont Stakes 2012: Union Rags Heads Fresh Faces

Belmont Stakes 2012 logo.
Photo: Kevin Creative (Kevin House)

A strong contingent of horses will attempt to spoil I’ll Have Another’s Triple Crown bid when the 3-year-olds assemble at Belmont Park on June 9 for the 1 ½-mile “Test of the Champion.”

 

Chadds Ford Stable’s Union Rags will return to the site of his 5 ¼-length win in October’s Grade 1 Champagne as he looks to regain the winning thread following a pair of tough trips when third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 31 and seventh in the Derby on May 5. He is unbeaten in New York, having taken the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Saratoga Special by 7 ¼ lengths and also sporting a triumph in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

 

Dullahan, owned by Donegal Racing, fell 1 ¾ lengths short of emulating his half-brother Mine That Bird when he finished third in the Kentucky Derby. He has a pair of Grade 1 victories over Keeneland’s Polytrack to his credit, having won the Breeders’ Futurity in October and the Blue Grass on April 14.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ Rousing Sermon completes the list of horses who will go directly to the Belmont Stakes after competing in the Kentucky Derby. The Grade 1-placed runner was eighth in the Derby.

 

Optimizer, 11th in the Kentucky Derby and sixth in the Preakness for owner Bluegrass Hall, is probable to take another shot at I’ll Have Another.

 

Mark Valeski, who skipped the Derby, will attempt to become the first horse to sweep the Grade 2 Peter Pan and Belmont Stakes since A.P. Indy pulled off the feat in 1992. Prior to his 1 ¼-length victory in the May 12 Peter Pan, Mark Valeski was second in both the Grade 2 Risen Star and Grade 2 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds.

 

Paynter, a facile winner of a Pimlico allowance on the Preakness undercard for owner Zayat Stables, has faced I’ll Have Another once before. In his second start, Paynter was fourth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, won by I’ll Have Another, and then was second in the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.

 

The list of horses who are slated to make their first Triple Crown start in the Belmont Stakes also includes Atigun, winner of a Churchill Downs optional claimer on May 5; Five Sixteen, fourth in an Aqueduct allowance on April 18; Guyana Star Dweej, runner-up in a Belmont optional claimer on April 27; Street Life, third in the Peter Pan; and Unstoppable U, who is unbeaten and untested in two starts in New York.

 

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Older Comments about Belmont Stakes 2012: Union Rags Heads Fresh Faces...

Look at Unstoppable U's pedigree... Not saying he can win it but he could make the exotics very interesting.
Correction Unstoppable U was 1:37.23 and not 1:34.23. Also his 2 wins were at Belmont and Aguaduct
I like Unstoppable as a 2hd or possible upset.Is 2 for 2 won a mile at 1:34.23, has a great family back ground , and is a Raise a Natice horse.
i agree with you Longlive, but weird things happen in a mile and a half..
Alpha has the ped to get the job done. Cant say I like him more than IHA, but he could do it.
Of course upsets are always possible, but does anyone expect a serious challenge to IHA from any horse that ISN'T named Dullahan or Union Rags?
No Fly Lexis Fly?
A lot of these horses have no business being anywhere near this race.

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